going dim

Gary Kirkpatrick pegngary at gmail.com
Tue Apr 21 02:59:11 UTC 2009

On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 7:23 PM, Gary Kirkpatrick <pegngary at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 5:10 PM, Preston Kutzner <shizzlecash at gmail.com>wrote:
>> On Apr 20, 2009, at 3:33 PM, Gary Kirkpatrick wrote:
>> On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 9:02 AM, Gary Kirkpatrick <pegngary at gmail.com>wrote:
>>> On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 6:20 AM, Vincent Arnoux <
>>> vincent.arnoux at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 01:25, Gary Kirkpatrick <pegngary at gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> > Nope, the dimming business hit me again.  Application dimmed, CPU
>>>> usage went
>>>> > to 100%, only got better after rebooting.  I have no proprietary
>>>> drivers
>>>> > installed.
>>>> >
>>>> > gary
>>>>  When you write "application dimmed", do you mean the whole desktop
>>>> darkens, or only some windows go black and white?
>>>> When it happens, if you type control-alt-F1, log in with your usual
>>>> user name and type "top", can you see which process goes through the
>>>> roof?
>>>> Vincent
>>>> The dimming just occured while I was running FF, update manager and
>>>> xsensor.  Everything dimmed.  I am not sure  that it is always the case that
>>>> everything dims.  Did control-alt-F1 then top, FF was taking maybe 7-9%,
>>>> Update from 7-60%, and another program maybe 5-7%.   Maybe FF jumped once or
>>>> twice.  But nothing really took over.  The screen undimmed of its own
>>>> accord, so this was not one of the those times where anything froze.
>>> gary
>> I can add a bit more info.  Screen refresh had become very sluggish.  With
>> FF running without sound or video and Skype the same, Pulse Audio was taking
>> 20% of the CPU, FF froze after I checked cpu usage.
>> Everything was fine after I rebooted.
>> By any chance, did you happen to be on a site that uses Flash when FF
>> froze up on you?  I don't know what the cause is, but I have had other
>> computers where FF froze up while on a Flash-enabled (which is an oxymoron
>> IMO, but I digress) site.  By FF freezing, I mean it winds up sucking up all
>> available CPU cycles and memory to the point where the system becomes
>> unusable.  Again, never figured out the cause, but the problem eventually
>> just mysteriously went away for me at some point.
>> gary
>> The last time I had this problem FF was taking maybe 2-3% of the CPU.  I
> am having a  problem at the moment, characterized not by dimming (which
> often accompanies this problem) but by a typing lag, slowness in scrolling
> and switching between tabs and programs, etc.
> gary

A concurrent symptom:  the fan is whirring away and the laptop seems
unusually warm to the  touch.  Could overheating cause the symptoms I am

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