[Edit: this post was written when using the defaul Gnome desktop, but i found some improvements after trying the KDE, which i will place in italics]
(Or like Windows can be made to be.) I know that is a provocative title and one that may invite some fire by some avid devotees, but it is asked because i want a bettter alternative to Widows , which itself takes some tweaking to be more user friendly and efficient (which is not by doing things like hiding details and burying setttings), without having to learn coding, and i am looking for some simple help in this area that may help me and other newbies, but thought what follows was too long or complicated for the newbie section.
I am running a new Mint 12 installed off the live CD, with the standard desktop and window and file manager, and with the latest recomended updates, on a Sony PC with 2.8ghz cpu and 3gb ram. Mint is on a 10Gb parition on an IDE drive, which also has another 10gb partition formatted as Fat32. XP is installed in a seperate sata drive (with its own boot file). I use the keyboard during the POST phase to choose which drive to boot from.
The first issue is that while in Windows (at least XP) if i want to find out where a program in the Start menu is actually located, or make a shortcut for it, then all I have to do is right click on it to get the options. But in Mint nothing at all happens when i right click therein. Nor can i drag a program icon from the Start menu to the taskbar to pin it there (you also cannot right click and paste into the search box, but Ctrl+V will work). [Under KDE, you can right click on items in the Start menu (i like Classic the best) and find options such as add to favs, desktop, panel or uninstall, but not "Find target/location"]
In Windows you can configure the Window pane of explorer to show an address bar and the whole path, which is good for copying locations, but while i found some options under Edit>Preferences, i did not see this option. [This and more are part of the options in the KDE Dolphin FM]
Seeing the whole path is helpful to see where you are quickly, and pasting paths is easier when doing things like editing paths in LibrOffice, as the file manager will not go outside the Linux directory to another partition, like the Fat32 parition on the same drive Mint is on.
By default there are only a few wallpapers offered under System settings>Appearance, and under Colors and Gradients there are only 3 options, and none for changing borders, etc. In Windows much more customization is offered (Title bar color, fonts, etc.) , and i do not know if such options are be available in Mint. [Under KDE far more customization is offered, like as under XP Advanced setttings]
Right clicking on an empty part of either Taskbar (panels) also results in no options, or allowing the moving of icons, nor does a mouse hover over icons show any tool tip. Left clicking on the Places icon in the Taskbar also does nothing. [KDE enables panel and notification options via R. click, and replaces the Places icon with Konquerer, which is a good file browser, which also has an address bar]
And how do you stop the mouse action that results in losing the window in focus and showing all the widows and the desktop?
The power settings are very rudimentary, only offering set times for suspend, or shutdown or hibernate for low battery (this is a PC). XP offers much more customization for the same Sony PC. [Under KDE there are more options, if not as many (like turn off hard disks) as in Windows]
In Windows, all the programs are usually within one main folder with its subfolders, and most all the user settings in another. But it seems(?) that due to the diversity of flavors of Linux then default locations are not always the same. Is there a chart of location equivalents for Mint and Windows?
In particular i am looking for the user profile folders for Firefox and LibreOffice. I also hope to use AutoHotKey in Mint as i do in Windows so this would help.
I did find the Firefox program folder in/usr/lib, and many profile folders are there, but they only have one file in it (and i have it set to view all files). And apparently i would not be able to even overwrite a file in there. [see my 3rd post below.]
Along that line, how do i obtain full privileges by default, as i can under Windows (i know about security, but would like the freedom to do so).
Finally, the spell check does not work in the Firefox 7 that came with the live cd which i find is a big help with my stiff fingers results in typos. [Under Fx 11, and which disabled the LM add on, this lack remained, although "Check my spelling as I type" was checked in Preferences>Advanced. (After I added a dictionary and it worked: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:3]
Thanks for any help with any of these.