A few days ago, I decided to take the big step and start reinstalling my computer. The reinstall has been a great success, however, the process of setting the system back up according to my preferences is always long and involved. I've made good progress, though, and have everything back to how I like it, more or less. I experimented with a few different programs this time around. I think everything still has a unified enough look, but it might change, who knows.
Some things I changed from the last setup:
1) Prominent programs are no longer in a dock menu. They are now in "toolbars" on the start bar. Since I prefer the stacked icon approach to the start bar, there's more than enough room for them there.
2) I added a swap file meter because I feel the need to keep closer tabs on my hard disk activity.
3) I finally figured out how to get the hard drive meters to read from left to right instead of right to left.
4) I finally figured out how to turn the hard drive meters into links to the hard drives themselves.
5) I ditched my previous icon set and spent a few hours making a new set out of an old picture of an Underwood. It's spiffy.
I need to find a new set of wallpapers at some point, although it is not really a pressing issue. The computer is up and running and accomplishing important tasks again. I guess that means it is time for me to do the same.