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the system is getting slow ....

hi ...
i'm using potato on a ultra5 ...
some times, under aparently high load conditions ---for example, using X,
windowmaker and some docks, xmms, a few Eterm's, Netscape and dselect---
the system falls on a deep meditation and it starts to write somethings to 
the hard disk (a lot of things, by the way it sounds =)

then the system is absolutely unusable for a while, from a few minutes (if 
i'm lucky) to more than one hour ...

when it goes on its meditation for a long time, it leaves the disk quiet
(at least there is nothing to hear), and i assume the machine is gone =)

if i'm on the console when it starts its meditation it writes a lot of

VM: do_try_to_free_pages failed for <some_app>...

some_app = {xmms, gpm, xscreensaver, ssh-agent, XF86_Mach64, 
communicator-sm, klogd, kswapd, etc ... }

so, my questions are ...
why does it happen ???
what can i do to solve this situation ???


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