Many of you will of already heard of preload I am sure, but for those that you that haven’t you really should enable it if you have more ram than you need (on an average ubuntu desktop i would say more than 512mb ram)
Basically there is a problem in the modern desktop in that they use a lot of data, so when you click on your firefox icon or whatever the exceptionable has to be loaded from the hard-drive then all the graphics it needs and then gtk and all the graphics it needs and so on, the problem with that is that hard-drives are slooooow. Preload simply sits in the background, monitoring the applications you use often. It then uses that data to “preload” the application data into your main memory. when you start your computer, then when you launch an application instead of loading from your hard-drive you load it from your nice fast ram.
I have been using it for quite a few months now and i can honestly say that yes it does work, application load times are much faster (before enabling preload on a new install on this computer i ached at how long it took to open simple applications like epiphany or evolution)
The only downside to this is that yes you will have longer boot-up times, but its really not by that much, it depends on how much stuff you generally do on your computer.
To install on ubuntu you just simply install the preload package