Hi Dave,

Just to clarify: The normal way to check for changes in a repository is 
usually this:

cd /path/to/repository
git status

There are many factors that come into play with git performance, and 
although it is inherently fast compared to a remote repository system like 
Subversion, it involves a lot of clever techniques on the file-system, using 
a lot of indexing and compression.

This means, when it slows down, it's kind of hard to trace what's wrong 
without being a bit of a git/filesystem/operating-system wizard. 

For example, it could be due to heavy fragmentation of the disk sectors 
where your slow repository is stored. It could also be that your filesystem 
is slowing down the procedure. Which filesystem are you running? What are 
your hard-drive specs? Operating system? Git version? 

It does sound odd that the larger repository is fast compared to the small 
one. Can you say something about the nature of the two repos? Is there a lot 
of binary (images) data in one of them? How many files are in there? How big 
are the .git folders compared to the rest?

Sometimes it helps asking git to repackage its index/repository (garbage 

git gc

If you want additional ways of asking for the diff between two points in 
time in the repository, the general syntax is this:

git diff <commit1> <commit2>

where the commits can be either SHA's, or tags.

If you leave out the first one like this:

git diff <commit>

.. the diff is between HEAD and <commit>

You can also use *git log* for seeing the commit log between two points in 
time, as well as git show, for looking at single commits.

For example, here's the log with diff (-p) for the last three commits:

git log -p HEAD~3

And here, showing only the changed files:

git logv -p HEAD~3 --name-status

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