Sorry to bump, but I noticed that only one of the original user's questions was answered.
Also, my husband likes Vista because he is very computer illiterate and he can just log off my desktop and click onto a windows icon for his desktop. Is there anything like that for Linux?
Yes, there is. He'll still have to enter a password, but Linux allows users to click on an icon to bring up their usernames. In Mint (Gnome?), it appears to be called a "face browser". In order to activate that feature, you'll need to go into Administration->Login Window, then click on the "Local" tab. From there, make sure that "Themed with face browser" is selected from the "Style" dropdown. Then, make sure "Selected Only" is chosen from the "Theme" dropdown. Finally, you'll need to make sure that the theme you select says that it includes a browser. From the default themes installed, it appears as though "Happy Gnome with Browser" is the only theme that includes a face browser.
However, once you activate that, your husband will be able to log off your desktop, then click on his icon and enter his password to log in to his account.
Also, if your husband is extremely computer illiterate, and you understand at least a little bit about computers, you could do what I've done with my family's computer. I set up a "timed login" for the general family user, which will automatically log them in after a certain period of time. They don't have to enter their password or anything, it just automatically logs them in.
The timer allows you some time to override that setting, so that you can login to your account, instead.
To set that up, go back into the Login Window preferences and click on the Security tab. Then, choose "Enable Timed Login" and choose your husband's username from the dropdown list that appears. Finally, type in the number of seconds you want Mint to wait before automatically logging him in to the system.
If you set it up that way, all your husband needs to do is log out of your desktop and then wait a few seconds. Then, Mint will automatically log him in.
BTW - I happened upon this topic, because I am also looking for a good sidebar. Thanks for asking that question. I'm off to try some of the suggestions mentioned in this topic.
Thanks to everyone on these boards for the help they offer.