Slowness (was Re: notes from the field - Mongolia)

Tomeu Vizoso tomeu at
Thu Oct 9 04:59:57 EDT 2008

Hi Elana,

you have brought a very needed point of view to this list. Let me try
to start the process of translating your experience to actionable

On Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 5:20 PM, elana langer <elana.langer at> wrote:
> 1) Computers are slow - So I was in a Ger in the west part of Mongolia
> and I thought I would show the computer to the family that was hosting
> me. The husband, wife and 8 year old child huddled around the computer
> and pressed the on button. Instead of being delighted by the computer
> they waited, and waited for the computer to load. I asked them in
> broken monoglian to be patient but once the computer loaded they
> wanted to open an application and again more waiting. The 8 year old
> lost interest as did the mom and only the man of the house stuck
> around to try things.
> This is not a unique experience. This is a culture that lives close to
> the land. Action- reaction. No one is used to "waiting" for an
> computer to load or a bagel to toast for that matter. (of course
> cooking takes time but they can watch as it changes form not just an
> unmoving screen)
> In the city the experience is worse. Kids used to PCs quickly grow
> impatient and leave the XO to find other faster computers.

First, I would like to note that you are talking about perceived
slowness, not the absolute time that takes to do anything. So to solve
the issues you mentioned, we need to give a sense to the user that
something is happening and, when possible, how much time it will take
to finish, in case reducing the time it takes is too expensive

Second, you talk about boot time and activity launch time. Is there
any other action in the laptop that causes problems because of its

And third, both booting and activity launching performance are known
problems and some improvements already happened in the last stable
release, 8.2.0. Do you think you could do some experiments with that
release and see if things have improved and if so, how much?



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