This is interesting. Over the last few days I've noticed that every now and then (and at first I could connect it with nothing specific) my CPU usage - via Gkrellm - would rocket to anything from the high 80% to 100% when the machine is supposed to be idle. And that's on a dual-core Athlon 64 7550, each core running at 2ghz. Occasionally both cores would be at that level (though they don't mimic each other) and sometimes the load would alternate from on to the other. I tracked it down only by accident - to when I launch the Xterminal emulator. As soon as I do that - whether I enter anything into the terminal or not - one or other, or both of the cores shoot up to those levels. As soon as I dismiss the terminal, they immediately fall back to normal.
That's all if I launch the Xterminal emulator. If however I use Xterm itself instead - all works as it should. No rocketing cores. This is hardly a problem as all it means is when I use the command line (says he, like he knows all about that, but he doesn't but can use it fairly simply) I use Xterm and not Xterm emulater. But does anybody have any idea why this would be? Does it point to any potential problem?