New user: software freezing

Hi everyone, I'm new to Arduino. I did a search of the forums and couldn't find a solution to my problem.

I'm running Arduino 0011 Alpha in Windows Vista Home Premium (eventually interfacing with Diecimila).

I installed the hardware drivers. When I double-click Arduino to open software, it takes almost a minute to fully load (so long that the first time I ended up opening several copies, thinking I'd not clicked right). After it loads, it freezes again when I start working on it (by working, I mean clicking the File menu to open a sketch or clicking the tools menu to change settings, etc.). It will freeze for a long time, then work for a long time, then freeze for a long time again and again. At first, I thought this was a Vista issue, but the exact same thing happened when I tried it on my XP machine. With some patience, I did manage to upload the "blink" test sketch to the Arduino, but I'd rather not have to work in 20-40 second chunks forever. I don't know if this information is helpful, but I run Processing 0135 Beta with no issues. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Dave

Check out this question in the troubleshooting guide: http://www.arduino.cc/en/Guide/Troubleshooting#toc11