Applications Start Up Very Slowly

Successful 13.1 32-bit installation using recommended partitions and swap size. This is a desktop pc with an Athlon running at 2 gH, 2 g. memory. Starting applications from the console or from KDE is very slow. There is a 5 - 10 second period with no disc activity at all, then normal startup. System commands (bash) start up immediately. Is the delay related to power management? Where should I start looking?

Thank you!