6. Mint 14.1 Cinnamon + Mate

How Mate looks (as of February 2013)

Those two desktops co-existed almost two weeks. Record for me, of course. Partially it's explainable by my then-fixation with software. Means, I didn't make too many efforts to better my Linux (read: break it).

One thing which makes a noob-user gawk is main menu hodge-podge after successfully adding another session. Means – new DE adds its menu-items to your existing menu. Not all of them – there are some rules – but quite a lot, and in this case there were bunch of same things (editor, calculator, terminal etc) but of slightly different version. Explainable by mixed Gnome 2 and 3 sources. Then I had Cinnamon-settings in Mate, and mateconf-editor in Cinnamon...
Made me quite angry, you know – I had carefully perused nicely available (not every distro provides that) menu-editor, had made some group-changes (shitty thing to do!), uninstalled apps, added apps... I had made a system, and now it was …$%$... very unruly.
Cinnamon and Mate both have editor for such kind of work. After you have hidden/shown/moved/deleted things in both sessions' menus – it stays like that. Except maybe couple of items which might have their own life and behave … differently despite of your wishes. But that's the free thinking of Linux.
I am not going to blab about how editors exactly work. The process is quite self-explaining. Try it. But try not to delete things only because you can – to get them back is not self-explaining.

Mate has panels to add! They are movable and re-sizeable. You can swap your Stuff between them. Or move this Stuff into different order. And you can add new Stuff. Right-click the panel, discover the menu and find out. It's possible to create quite funny mess! Just kidding. Or not...
Settings/Appearance. The place to visit, and fast – to show those devs that they do not know an iota about real design. Play around, get new themes, icons, and shit. They do not work all as they are supposed to – but that's a part of fun. Throw out what you don't like. Tweak others (if you can). Download even more themes, icons, stuff. In some point you will have problems – as said, not everything is 100% compatible, despite being there and free to take.
INFO. Took me some time to get the idea: There are two separate managers in Linux for making windows on your desktop. One makes window frames (windows manager), another creates inside-style of every window (desktop manager). So you can apply features from different theme sources – frames from one theme, insides from another – and of course, icons from third. I like it.

Customizing, tweaking:
I like darker wallpapers and darker panels – means some black text gets invisible. Changing themes makes some things better, but probably not all. Panel-clock text, for my theme choices, tended to remain black. Following is taken from Mints' web-tutorials, and it also works. So, proceed like that:
Simple text file (use default text editor) has to be created, name has to be .gtkrc-2.0 (with dot at the beginning too!), save it to ~home/username/ - means, to root of your real home directory.
Put following code into your new file.
font_name = "sans bold 11" 
widget "*.clock-applet-button.*" style "my-panel-clock"
Save. After logout/login – clock text will be white. #FFFFFF means white and font_name is also place to test your hand.

Silly and annoying default time-formats.
Sequence %F %H:%M displays the time in the format 2012-10-13 15:17.
Problem is, Mate clock doesn't have field for adding this. To aid comes mateconf-editor. Open editor, navigate through tree to: /apps/panel/applets/applet_clock
and click on "format", change value to "custom" - then click on "custom_format" field and change it to abovementioned string.
Took me several tries because of moronic mistakes, but finally it definitely worked.

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