Ubuntu 12.10 on Asus Q200E is super slow, how to improve?

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http://askubuntu.com – The primary symptom is that apps frequently freeze up, graying out. I've read that the gray is a visual signal from compiz for apps that have become unresponsive. It happens so often that the machine is basically unusable. Every time I interact with an X app, e.g. Firefox and Software Center, they will freeze and go gray. The freeze is system modal: alt-tab doesn't work, so I just have to wait it out. The mouse usually moves, but sometimes not. I'd say 90% of the time the mouse is movable. I've come to expect waiting at least 30 seconds per freeze before I can use the machine again, oft (HowTos)