[kwlug-disc] Can OSs demand too much?

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Fri May 14 14:31:49 EDT 2010

On Fri, May 14, 2010 at 06:52:04PM +0000, Shane wrote:
> Here's the situation.  I found a vintage 2004 Toshiba laptop that
> had an older version of Ubuntu installed which appeared to be
> running quite well.  Me being me, I upgraded - yes, all the steps -
> to 9.10.  The problem is that now it doesn't run so well. 
> It hangs while booting or, if it does get booted, while running.  It
> is not always at the same place or while performing the same
> function.  Length of time running is obviously not a factor.  
> Things I have noticed: it will no longer play music, when it hangs I
> can move the mouse pointer but cannot get any response, sporadically
> while running the display will "grey down" and it won't respond for
> a minute or so.  Moving the mouse sometimes clears this, sometimes
> not.  Certain functions, bringing up gedit, are as fast as ever

If I was in your shoes I would look at the following things: 

- See if dmesg or /var/log/messages reveal any clues. 
- Try booting the system with the noacpi kernel option at boot (you
  will have to modify GRUB's config files and/or add in the entry
  manually to do this.
- Related to the above, disable power management manually in the GUI

(I realize that I am describing these steps tersely, but if you need
help with these things then I am sure that me or others on the list
can help you find step-by-step guides.) 

My first guesses with weird problems like these are to look at
interrupt issues (especially when sound cards are concerned) and
things like ACPI. Sometimes the support for these things on older
hardware changes from kernel version to kernel version. 

A machine with 1.2GB of RAM should have no problems running Lucid, I

- Paul

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