Why is my computer so slow?

These are the current stats for my laptop. I'm planning on exchanging the 256MB with another 1GB stick. Other than that, what can I do to help speed up my computer. I'm down to using only 1 or 2 applications at a time. I transferred most of my files to an external HD, and kept only the 'essential' applications. I'm mainly using Safari 5.0.4, Word 2008, and Photoshop CS3. Each application periodically stalls when trying to perform simple tasks, and I'm forced to watch the 'spinning ball of death' as I wait for pages to load, open new files, close or save etc. What (if anything) can I do to speed things up and stop this from happening??

Hardware Overview:

Model Name: PowerBook G4 15"

Model Identifier: PowerBook5,4

Processor Name: PowerPC G4 (1.1)

Processor Speed: 1.5 GHz

Number Of CPUs: 1

L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB

Memory: 1.25 GB

Bus Speed: 167 MHz

Boot ROM Version: 4.8.6f0

ATI Mobility Radeon 9700:

Chipset Model: ATY,RV360M11

Type: Display

Bus: AGP

VRAM (Total): 64 MB

Vendor: ATI (0x1002)

Device ID: 0x4e50

Revision ID: 0x0000

ROM Revision: 113-xxxxx-134

Displays:

Color LCD:

Resolution: 1280 x 854

Depth: 32-Bit Color

Core Image: Hardware Accelerated

Main Display: Yes

Mirror: Off

Online: Yes

Quartz Extreme: Supported

Built-In: Yes

Display Connector:

Status: No Display Connected

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Besides the obvious upgrading of RAM and HD, I would recommend you Zero-out the drive and repartition. After this do a fresh install of the OS and that should help things. Now, if you still have bad performance, then you might need to look at the drive as the culprit. It may have a corrupt directory or just too many bad blocks.

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Another thing I wanted to add....Photoshop is no slouch of an app, it can be a memory hog. That may be causing you issues. Also download SMC Fan control and keep your fan speeds at a constant 3,000RPM. That keeps your processor cool under heavy loads.

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1) Put maximum RAM in this beast. 1GB, PC2700, 200 PIN in each slot. You will then have 2 GB of maxed out RAM.

2) Change out your slow hard drive from 5400 RPM to a faster 7200 RPM

3) Upgrade your old 80 GB Hard drive to a larger one like 120 GB or 180 GB

4) Go into System Preferences, Accounts, Select Login Items, select programs you don't need to boot during startup, and select the - button on the screen to keep programs from booting up and slowing down your system when you power on.

5) Go into Disk Utility, click on your hard drive in the left hand box, and click Repair Permissions so your applications will load and run smoother.

6) Zap your PRAM by power down and remove your power cord, but leave your battery in. Now press power button and let go. Immediately press command, option, P, and R at the same time until you hear 3 bong sounds. Then you can let go of the keys.

7) Buy a copy of Disk Warrior 4.0 or borrow one from a friend, stick it into your DVD drive, power down, power on and press the C key to boot from disc, wait for Disk Warrior to load, and follow the on screen instructions.

8) Install RAM in pairs and use the same brand. Ex- Don't use 1 GB RAM chip and 256 MB RAM chip. Use 1 GB RAM in slot 1 and 1 GB RAM in slot 2 or 500 MB RAM in slot 1 and 500 MB RAM in slot 2. Ex2- Don't use Samsung brand RAM in slot 1 and Hynix brand in slot2. Use Samsung brand in both slots or use Hynix brand in both slots.

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