Since most laptops have slow hard drives, the speed penalty for hitting the swap file is noticeably worse than what you have on most desktops these days. With 512MB RAM, he should be able to run a Word Processor, Browser, play .mp3's, run a firewall, ect all at the same time without hitting the swap; you might not be able to do that with only 256MB.[/url]
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. The competent use violence well before last resorts are necessary.
If violence isn't solving your problems, then you aren't using enough of it.