More notes to cover my adventure so far with Mint:

Wine — Was already pre-installed in Mint 12.  There is also something called “Winetricks” but I couldn’t immediately figure out what it does so I am ignoring it for now.

Password Corral — This is a very old Windows (DOS?) program that I’ve been using all these years to store (with encryption) my passwords.  I located the “.EXE” file that Windows uses, right-clicked it, and selected “Open with Wine.” Works perfectly, just like in Windows.

Evernote — This is a freeware program I discovered last year.  It is a freeware competitor to Microsoft OneNote.  I use Evernote to store text, lists, photos, web sites, etc. and share it across all my computers.  Evernote has versions for Windows and Mac, but not Linux.  However, the Windows version of Evernote seems to work flawlessly on Mint with Wine.

Firefox Add Ons — One that I really like is “Video Download Helper.”  When you encounter a video on the web that you want to keep, you can capture it with this download helper.  Easy and it works.  What’s nice is that you can instruct it to download a video and then navigate elsewhere while the download is completing.  While I was in the Add Ons I noticed they have Themes (skins) for Firefox, and a whole section of Themes called “Compact.”  I selected one and now my menus and toolbars are smaller, so I have more “real estate” to see the web pages.  And I also noticed Firefox has an Evernote add on.  Installed it and it puts an Evernote button right in the browser to make it super easy to snip stuff into my Evernote file.

Search for “Classic Compact” theme.  I am using a version that works with Firefox 9.0.1.

Display Settings — My computer has two displays driven by an nVidia graphics card with two display outputs.  However I did not recognize the display driver in use.  So I decided to play:

Menu > System Tools > System Settings > Additional Drivers

This spends several minutes scanning for drivers that might need to be installed for my hardware.  It presented me with about 8 choices, all nVidia.  I picked the one with “Recommended” next to it. Now I have nVidia’s display set up screens.  I picked some really advanced options, and it said a reboot was required.  So be it.

But when I rebooted, it was clear my display configuration was hosed!!!  Left screen blank-white.  Right screen had no icons — nothing to click on.  Pretty sad.  Suddenly that sinking feeling, “I screwed up.”

Only one command seemed to get a response:  CTRL-ALT-DELETE.  This got me back to the Mint login screen, where there is a menu of login options.  Three of those are GNOME variations, and there is a fourth option to use MATE.  Never used MATE, so what the heck, I tried it.  Actually very simple but complete desktop.  Seemed to work pretty good with my hosed display settings.  Via Google I found that I could bring up the nVidia display configuration screens from Terminal using the command line: “sudo nvidia-settings”.  I set the display settings to something reasonable, rebooted into GNOME, and all is perfect now.

When you have 2 monitors and you try to save the twin view, you get an error (sometimes).  To fix:
1. Open Terminal.
2. Type “sudo nvidia-xconfig”
3. Type “sudo nvidia-settings”
4. Setup the way you want. Click on save.
5. Enjoy.

Thunderbird — I can feel a new addiction coming on.

View > Layout > Vertical View

This puts my folder structure in the left column, my email headers in the middle column, and the mail I’m currently reading in the right column.  But here’s the neat part:  I stretch the Thunderbird window across both screens and size the columns such that the screen break is between columns two and three.  This is surely going to spoil me!