In case this question is too subjective/violates any rules of StackOverflow, my apologies.
I have been running processor and memory intensive tasks past 2 weeks. But, even after i stop the run, the system is pathetically slow. A simple operation like opening the terminal by clicking on the icon takes 4 5 seconds. And firefox hangs a lot . I have scp'ed about 60L files from my server ( which is in the next room ) to the local system and it has been running since yesterday morning(30 hours and counting) . How to diagnose what is taking up so much of the available resources that Linux feels worse than Vista ? For now, i cannot restart the system as the scp operation is still running :( I checked System Monitor and it shows CPU1 and CPU2 usage between 20-40% [it keeps fluctuating].
Configuration : 64-bit AMD processor, 2 GB Ram.