This post is more for archival information. I usually do a complete re-installation of Ubuntu with each major release, and I want to document the extra steps I take to personalize my system to my liking. This may or may not be of interest to others, but it will show the steps I take after I remove the CD of a freshly installed system.
1. First step after closing cd tray and rebooting is to kill all the default Ubuntu Sounds, expecially the startup sound. Whoever thought this was a good idea? Silence is golden, they say.
2. I like to delete the bottom panel to give me more desktop space. I also add the Window List and the Workspace Switcher from the bottom panel to the top panel as I don't want to lose them.
3. Speaking of the top panel, I also add icons for Terminal, Synaptic P.Mgr, and Force Quit. Later on I add an icon for Thunderbird, after it gets installed along with an icon for the Downloads folder for quick access to downloaded files.
4. I deactivate the screensaver and disable the lock screen as well from the screensaver settings. I hate the screen going to sleep when I step away for a few minutes and find that I'm being prompted for my password again.
5. The Ubuntu gurus decided that the menu buttons would be much better on the left rather than the right. No choices given on install, but I apply the fix here by hitting ALT-F2 and typing gconf-editor. From here, find Apps>Metacity>General and change the old button_layout text to read 'menu:minimum,maximum,close' (without quotes) Ahh, buttons back where they belong.
6. This is the point where I take a break and install the necessary Updates. Time for a coffee.
I'll add a follow up to this post listing all the programs that I find useful and can't live without.