I'm trying to salvage an old Toshiba laptop for my son to use for school work. Basically, I just want him to be able to use Firefox for accessing email and Google docs and also to get to his online textbooks. It used to run Windows XP, but when I tried to restore it from the original factory disc, Windows update wouldn't work. Anyway, I figured this would be a good time for me to try Ubuntu. So far so good, except that it's still running quite slowly. The computer is ridiculously old and lame, but I'm on a tight budget, so I have to work with what I have. Here's what we're looking at:
Toshiba Satellite L35-S2161, Celeron M 410 @ 1.46GHz, 512 MB of RAM
My question is simple: What suggestions do seasoned Ubuntu users have for getting the most I can out of this thing? I'm running Ubuntu 12.04.3, and all I really need it to do is run Firefox, LibreOffice, and Dropbox. No games, graphics, or media required (except that he sometimes needs access to online videos of one kind or another.)
I'm assuming a RAM upgrade is the biggest thing I can do, so I've just ordered a 2 GB upgrade, which is the most this unit will accept. But is there anything else I can do to help it out? I've used CCleaner for Windows in the past to keep down the number of background processes running; is there anything like that for Ubuntu? Helpful suggestions are appreciated. Useless scoffing at the lame hardware, not so much. Thanks.