Adventures in a New Ubuntu 6.10 Clean Install: Day 5, Part 2

Day 5, Part 2

Itsy Bitsy Customizations

Top Panel

The one thing I don’t like about Ubuntu is having a panel at the top of my screen. Why? Because I’m use to handling windows (which I generally always keep maximed) by throwing my mouse cursor at the menu bar and then clicking or double-clicking.

For example, if I want to close a window, I simply throw my cursor to the top right of the screen without even looking, and then I click. The cursor hits the corner edge and my click closes the window. You can’t do that if there’s a panel at the edge of your screen. Doing this with Ubuntu’s default settings will make you click on the red “power” button.

Solution? Click and drag it to the bottom of the screen. Nice and simple!

Menu Bar

I also don’t like the “Applications | Places | System” menu bar. It takes up too much space on a panel. This is easily fixed by right-clicking on it and selecting “Remove from Panel”. It’s just an applet, so no big deal.

But now I don’t have anything there. What I DO want is ONE button, like in Windows. Not because I’m used to Windows, but because it saves screen space.

Main Menu AppletSo lets add a ONE-BUTTON menu to our panel… Right-click on the panel and select “Add to Panel…” Find the Main Menu applet (shown in the figure) and drag it to where you want the button on your panel. Now you have one tiny button which will open a menu that contains the Applications menu, the Places menu, and the System menu! Sweet…

Weather At-A-Glance, Please!

When I want to know what the weather is like outside, my logic tells me to look in the system tray with the date and time. But there’s nothing there… so let’s add the weather down there!

Right-click on the panel and select “Add to Panel…” and in the Accessories section, you will find the Weather Report applet. Drag it beside the Date and Time Applet or wherever you wish. Right-click on it, select Preferences, and search for your city within the Location tab. You can also set your unit preferences in the General tab and then click close to finish. Wicked sweet…

Is My Network Connection On?

I always like to see if my network connection has any activity going on… at a glance, again. So I also add the Network Monitor applet to my panel.

And a few more…

Misbehaving apps? Add the “Force Quit” applet for quick access.

My Window List is too small. I like having two rows of windows to maximize the amount of windows I can see without reducing the size of the button. Therefore, I right-click on the panel containing my Window List applet and select Properties. The default is set at 24, so I double it to 48… anything smaller will only give me one row.

And then I remove all the application icons from my Panel and I add all my favorite or most frequently used applications. Yes, I remove Firefox because I like Swiftfox (installed through Automatix). Essentially, Swiftfox IS Firefox, but with some tweaks specific to your CPU (automatically detected and set by Automatix). I remove Evolution because I prefer Thunderbird, and I remove the Help icon, cause I don’t use it. Once all my icons are set and nicely spaced, I lock them all by right-clicking on them and selecting “Lock to Panel”. This prevents accidental moves.

That’s it! My very basic customizations are done. And you know what? The best thing about it is, nothing crashed, nothing reset itself, and it does exactly as I tell it to. Microsoft Windows CAN’T do that whatsoever!

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One response to “Adventures in a New Ubuntu 6.10 Clean Install: Day 5, Part 2”

  1. Anonymous says :


    uh, try looking out the window…

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