Keyboard Lag

CLIFFORD ILKAY clifford_ilkay at
Mon Apr 6 19:07:28 UTC 2009

Michael Haney wrote:
> I get keyboard lag.  What do I mean, well as I type for a while what I
> type appears on screen immediately as it should but from time to time
> the cursor stops and then what I've been typing suddenly all appears
> at once and then things go back to normal.  This happens not just in
> Firefox but also in Open Office and even Kate.  Its like there is
> something hanging the system every few seconds but I've checked CPU
> usage and I can't find anything that's causing it.
> Any ideas?  This problem is getting really pronounced lately.

I get this all the time on this system, which is a Pentium 4, 2GHz
machine with 1GB of RAM. More often than not, it's because of Flash
either in Firefox or Konqueror. The load average of your machine is
spiking and that's why the keyboard response gets sluggish. If you run
"top", you'll most likely see Firefox, Konqueror, nsplugin, or X
consuming significant CPU resources and processes in the queue waiting
to get the CPU's attention (look at the "wa" parameter). The correlation
between network problems and this problem is most likely because one or
more of the browser tabs are on sites that have active page content,
such as Flash or Javascript, that is hitting slow servers. Ad networks
are particularly nasty because you'll often get freezes in Firefox
because some Javascript code is trying to load an ad from a broken or
overloaded server. Try the NoScript
<> and Flashblock
<> Firefox add-ons to
see if they help and avoid using Konqueror for web browsing until you
run your Firefox experiment.

Clifford Ilkay
1419-3266 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON
Canada  M4N 3P6

+1 416-410-3326
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