Hardware Upgrade

GNOME Shell started to crawl, using up all RAM and swapping all the time, for seemingly no good reason. So I made some hardware purchases. Or rather, I jumped at the opportunity to make some hardware purchases.

$ df -h .
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda8       525G  133G  366G  27% /home

$ free -h
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:           11G       5.5G       6.1G       379M       687M       2.7G
-/+ buffers/cache:       2.2G       9.5G
Swap:         4.0G         0B       4.0G

Thrice as much disk space than before. Twice as much RAM than before. Not too fancy, but wheee!

It turned out to be rather unnecessary, though: the reason for GNOME Shell's crawliness was that Mesa had been using fallback software path for OpenGL rendering rather than hardware; and this was because Mesa needed a newer kernel. I came to know of this because I attempted to launch an Android emulator, which failed to launch with Mesa-related error message, even though I had disabled hardware rendering in emulator settings. Installing a newer kernel made things normal.

Depending on how you're looking at it, there could be a moral somewhere in this story. The urge to get an SSD has been contained though – for now.

(Posted on 17 February 2014.)