hi there; I am a computer/imac newbie and am really struggling with a sluggish machine. I don't know computers at all, so please bear with me. I'm having real problems with my imac and just don't know what to do. I'll give the info as best as I can. FIrst, a little history. Right after we bought the imac, roughly 3 years ago, my husband ordered the ilife or iwork package and installed it, along with the then-new Leopard. after installing all this on our one-month-old imac, the computer had a heart attack and wouldn't work right. we took it to genius bar twice and finally they erased the hard drive and started over. the computer worked well after that until a couple months ago. i first noticed streaming video wouldn't play and startup was slow. we had not downloaded any software updates in a year or so b/c i was nervous to. my husband downloaded a bunch (all available to us) a week ago, and since then the slowness has gotten worse. now the other relevant info: I don't know "what" our computer is, but here's what it says when I open "About This Mac:" Mac OS X Version 10.5.8 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM I don't even know what that all means. The problem is that the computer is just really slow! At first we thought it was an internet connection problem, but it's not. Our internet connection speeds (looking speedtest.net) are usually between 1.2 and 4 Mbps. Here are the major issues: Startup is slow...gray screen and little spinning dial lasts for a minute or two before blue screen appears and then computer is "on." Opening any application, like iphoto, safari, pages, etc, is slow. spinning ball slow...for up to a minute or more sometimes. Using applications is slow. When I use Safari and go to any web page, it loads slowly. often i get a spinning color wheel. Streaming video won't play well...it buffers really slowly and then it "stutters" rather than playing smoothly. this is true for any streaming video we try. I have been searching online for "fixes" and have read various things, most of which I don't really understand, like erasing the caches from the Library (which I did), resetting PRAM (which I did), repair permissions in disk utility (which i did), uninstalling and re-installing Flash Player (which I did), and using a variety of software to clean up the hard drive (which I have not yet done). I also read that I should look at Activity Monitor to see what's going on...I'm doing that but don't understand what I'm seeing. But here it is... I'm on Safari and currently running a Youtube video in another window...it is stutttering. I have two safari tabs open and nothing else. My Activity Monitor says: CPU % User 15-16% CPU % System 6-7% CPU % Idle 76-77% Safari is using Real Memory 191.45 MB kernel_task is using Real Memory 52 MB I don't see anything in the list for Flash Player (it's just not there...bad?) System Memory Free: 3.2 GB Wired: 403 MB Active 365 MB Inactive: 28 MB Used: 796 MB Disk Usage Space utilized 240 GB Space Free: 58 GB OK, what am I missing? What do I do? THis slow computer is driving me NUTS!!! I'm willing to buy software to clean it up if it really works...should I use apple software like "clean my mac?" i've read about using ONYX...should I? I don't know anything about any of these softwares and I REALLY need help here. Please tell me what to do and how to do it. Thanks!!!