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[ubuntu] Relative performance in general

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http://ubuntuforums.org – This is my first intstallation of Ubuntu, and I am not certain what to expect. It seems to me that panels (windows, whatever) load quite slowly, and it seems to appear in three steps on the display. (Using vbox on an Asus laptop.) Also, the mouse cursor turns on and off (true, it is mostly on), and does not seem to maintain focus. (Sometimes when I want to click in something in a window, I get something on the side-panel (or a balloon from the side-panel) instead of what I want. I think this may be a timing issue, but sometimes samba is unable to connect to the host and machines connected (Hardware)