I have what would have been considered a supercomputer 20 years ago sitting under my desk. 3GHz. And I can't even use the thing as a simple word processor half the time. I just watched my computer become bogged down to the point where the mouse could hardly move. I CTRL+ALT+DELed and spent 5 minutes (5 MINUTES) waiting for the task manager to appear. For some reason, while this was happening things started randomly disappearing from the taskbar; however they were still open, I could ALT+TAB to them. At the same time, some things started appearing twice in the ALT+TAB screen even though there was only one of them open. I'm still trying to explain that one.
What did I do to cause this? I had a Ruby script running that was doing some text-replacement on a plaintext file, and I made the mistake of trying to open a Firefox window while it was running. I believe they invented this thing called "multitasking" sometime a few decades ago. Maybe it'll make it into Vista?
My OS? Windows XP Pro. "Pro", I believe, stands for "Propensity to Suck". Brand new computer, barely 2 months old. I often hear how "stable" XP is compared to other versions of Windows, which is true I guess; I didn't get a blue screen, I just got a computer trying to eat its own face off for 5 minutes. Already, if I leave this computer on for, say, 3 or 4 days without rebooting, I witness massive slowdown.
When I'm running Linux at home, I have Apache/mysql/sshd going, 300kbps worth of torrent-downloading, GIMP and gvim and 8 terminal windows running, and there's no slowdown whatsoever. Sometimes I have so much crap open at once I forget about it until the taskbar on all five virtual desktops are cluttered beyond being able to read the program titles.