Ummm I think I can actually answer one of these Q's.
Answer to #2: If you use the KDE desktop environment, go to KDE-look.org....Lots of cool desktop themes, backgrounds etc.
...hopefully I didn't just state the obvious.
Now a question for you... do you by any chance know how to reformat a hard drive? I am trying to install linux on a used HD, but I've never even installed a used HD before and I need to wipe it clean. Since the info is not mine, I dont think I need to make a backup disk.
take it easy.