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My JApplet runs SLOW!

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Hello applet gurus,
I'm trying out my first applet. I've written it so it can also appear as a JFrame GUI application. As an application it displays and runs(a Jdbc connection) just fine.
Tested as an applet in Netscape, however, it runs very slowly. It also shows a white, instead of the proper gray, backround. When I position the cursor at the first JTextField and type my name, the characters show up about 30 seconds later. When I click on a button I've created to input the textfield values and activate the jdbc connection, the button does not react in any way. I received a Windows NT message complaining of low virtual memory.
I'm using Netscape to test the applet, which is stored on my c:\drive. The applet uses Swing components. I have not compressed the sourcecode into a .jar file.
What's wrong with this applet?
Thanks in advance,
Ben Weaver
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