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

Tomeu Vizoso tomeu at
Fri Oct 10 08:23:18 EDT 2008

On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 7:22 PM, elana langer <elana.langer at> wrote:
> in addition to boot and activity load time the time it takes to switch
> between applications is also a little frustrating - especially for
> kids who have worked on faster computers.

This should have been improved in the 8.2 release, so would be good to
give it a look as well.

> I am in Mongolia for the next few weeks. There are several schools in
> the city that have computers so if you want any testing done (like the
> reaction to the boot time with 8.2) just let me know. If you send me a
> list of "dream field feedback" or something I can try to make that all
> happen.

Thanks, will keep asking questions.


> On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 4:59 AM, Tomeu Vizoso <tomeu at> wrote:
>> 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
>> items.
>> 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
>> resource-wise.
>> Second, you talk about boot time and activity launch time. Is there
>> any other action in the laptop that causes problems because of its
>> slowness?
>> 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?
>> Thanks,
>> Tomeu

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