Hi my OU course started today (thought it was next month but there you go) and ubuntu locks up all the time (11.10 unity 2D). I noticed it's always xorg and unity 2d panel that are eating up the cpu and mem when it freezes. I tried gnome classic but I couldn't find anything easy and it had performance issues of its own mainly due to ubuntuone.
My computer isn't great to start with; 512 ram (8mb reserved for video buffer) P4, 2.8G. Had a look around the forums but I couldn't find anything specific.

The course is IT and computing so I kind of need a computer that I know my way around and doesn't spazz out all the time, is there anyway I can turn off all the bells and whistles for maximum performance?