Are you sure you have the correct voltage on your power supply for that machine? If the voltage is low it may think that it is running on battery and go to low power mode, I think mine runs about 133mhz on battery.
First time you open a program it must pull it from the drive. Can you tell if the drive is idle and how long it takes before it spins up? I am guessing that the slow speed when opening apps is caused by a power saving measure. The only other reason I can think that the machine would be running slow is that it may be overheating.
You may be able to find some benchmark software to let you know just how fast your machine is actually running. I think there are some good ones for linux, just don't know where. I have a HP laptop with a terrible drive in it that clicks all the time. Even at 600mhz it is painfully slow whenever it needs to read or write to the hard drive. _________________ Questions? Search Puppy Linux Answers with Google
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