We have all noticed the slooooooow nature of Adobe's latest version of the acrobat (.pdf) reader, recently renamed "Adobe Reader" by their marketing spinmeisters. See "Adobe's quiet release of Reader software causes people to scream".
here are the dirty details
Install Adobe Reader 6 ;
From the Start->Run windows menu, Open the "x:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Reader" folder, where x is the right drive letter.
Find the plug_ins folder and rename it plug_ins_disabled
Create a new folder named plug_ins
Copy the following files from "plug_ins_disabled" to "plug_ins": EWH32.api, printme.api, and search.api
Of course this will limit the functionality to viewing non-encrypted pdf files, but that's exactly what we want Acrobat alas Adobe Reader for, 99.9% of the time. You might want to experiment leaving some of the fat in, I mean, .API files, like reflow.api and search5.api (if it's there), and see how it affects functionality and load times.
With the files listed, you get half the load time on low-end systems, and a 2-sec load time on high-end ones. Still, you might want to prefer using Acrobat Reader 4.05 on old systems, since it loads in just seven seconds instead of 20.