I always wonder if I'm the only one that *doesn't* know things like this, being just a few months into learning FC3, but I did a search and didn't find.
This is a cool trick to speed up OpenOffice. I'm using OpenOffice 1.1.3, FC3 and Gnome on a Dell laptop with 750MHz PIII and 512MB RAM and this made a huge difference in how fast documents load. Not sure how applicable this is to other software and configurations. So far no negative side effects observed in several days of usage.
Here's what I did:
I created a file in my home directory called ".ooquickstart" that contains the following:
while true; do ooffice -quickstart; sleep 1; done &
and made it executable
chmod u+x .ooquickstart
Then opened a terminal (as user is fine) and started Gnome Session Properties by typing
Go to the Startup Programs tab. Click on Add. Enter this in the Startup Command box:
Then click OK, and Close. Finally, log out and log in to activate the new Gnome startup script.
Here's my layman's description of what this does. It uses the -quickstart flag in OpenOffice to keep a preloaded (and invisible to the user) instance of OpenOffice in memory. However, this preloaded instance is "consumed" when you open an OpenOffice application (Writer, Impress, Calc). This bit of code is a loop that opens new preloaded instances as they are consumed. So when you want to use OpenOffice you are grabbing a preloaded instance, and then another instance loads in the background.
So how much memory and CPU does this consume? I ran "top" in a terminal and sorted by % memory used by typing "Fn<return>". There is an instance of "soffice.bin" with no OpenOffice documents open. The CPU usage is negligable. The memory usage is 8.1%. Top says I have 515772KB RAM available, so this appears to be using 41777KB (42MB) of RAM. Ouch. I use OpenOffice quite a bit, so worth it to me, but a personal decision I guess.
With this trick enable a typical (for me) 12K byte Writer document takes about 3.5 seconds to load. Without this trick the same file takes 9 to 22 seconds to load.
I found this trick buried in this Mandrake setup script on a Slovene website: http://mandrakeprinas.org/mpn
BTW, there is a OpenOffice quickstart app for KDE (which I did not try because I use Gnome) http://segfaultskde.berlios.de/index.php?content=oooqs
and one for Gnome that I wasn't able to get installed http://ooqstart.sourceforge.net/