Flash newbie questions about slow loading site

Hi all. I am new to Flash and web-site building in general and I have been learning while doing. Its fun, but frustrating. I really need some help, hope someone out there with Flash experience can give me some advice.
My problem is this: I built a Flash website, but it is painfully slow to load up (3-5 minutes via cable modem) when I visit the site (via Firefox, etc). Once it does load up, everything is fine with navigation. I'm having a hard time figuring out why its taking so long to load up on the web because, basically, I don't know how to trouble shoot. Hope you guys can help!
Details: the site is just a portfolio site with pictures and a few motion-things, no complicated animations. The swf file is about 9MB. I do have a flash preloader, but it doesn't show up until after the 3-5 minute "load-up" time. When I do the testing via Flash, its Ok and doesn't show the lag. But once I upload the website files and try to visit my website, the load time problem occurs.
My thoughts:
- do I have to purge my Flash file/library of unused images before creating my swf file?
- Is there a problem with my html code in my index file?
- because it is a portfolio site, I've got about 90 images on it, each image about 300-400K.  Is this too big, or about right?
Please help! Sorry for the long email, just desperate for help. Thanks in advance for any advise!!!! Just in case, here is the html code:
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<title>Acme Company</title>
<script src="Scripts/AC_RunActiveContent.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<style type="text/css">
<!--
body {
background-color: #000000;
-->
</style>
<link href="favicon.ico" rel="icon" />
</head>
<center>
<body>
<script type="text/javascript">
AC_FL_RunContent( 'codebase','http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,28,0','wid th','800','heigh t','600','title','Acme Company','vspace','100','src','development files/company site_AS2_2008 OCT_final','loop','false','quality','high','plugin spage','http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash','bgco lor','#000000','scale','exactfit','movie','develop ment files/company site_AS2_2008 OCT_final' ); //end AC code
</script><noscript><object classid="clsid27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,28,0" width="800" height="600" vspace="100" title="Acme Company">
<param name="movie" value="development files/comapny site_AS2_2008 OCT_final.swf" />
<param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="BGCOLOR" value="#000000" /><param name="LOOP" value="false" /><param name="SCALE" value="exactfit" />
<embed src="development files/company site_AS2_2008 OCT_final.swf" width="800" height="600" vspace="100" loop="false" quality="high" pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" bgcolor="#000000" scale="exactfit"></embed>
</object></noscript>

Yeah I'm with Ned on this one. Dynamically loading your images is the way to go. The fact that you are new to Flash, try this tutorial (http://www.entheosweb.com/Flash/loading_external_images.asp). As you move along in learning Flash, look for tutorials on actionscript arrays and loading images dynamically. Arrays allow you to call each images from a folder outside your fla. That way your site moves right along without much loading time.
Hope I was of help,
-Sly

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