I've recently started using Ubuntu (10.10) . It's neat. It has many of the features I like about both Windows and Macs and the things I don't like are changeable. One feature I'm a fan of is having multiple workspaces. As I'm using Ubuntu on my netbook it's nice not having a bunch of windows cluttering the tiny screen. In an attempt to demonstrate my love of workspaces to a friend I increased the number of workspace columns to 16. At some point during this escalation the preferences window changed and instead of selecting number of rows and columns I needed to select number of rows and number of workspaces. Workspaces went up to 36. Overall this was a bad plan. My application dock (Docky) began coloring an 8th of my screen black and the borders of all my windows went missing (You know the part with the close window button. I also lost the ability to change the number of workspaces, though I could change the number of rows. Whether or not an application would launch was also now up to the computer's whim. After some searching (rebooting, searching, using alternate log in, not being able to connect to the internet, going back to my main log in, and more searching) I found the way to manually change the number of workspaces using the terminal.
gconftool-2 --type=int --set /apps/metacity/general/num_workspaces #
(where # is the number of workspaces desired)
That solved most of the issues but under appearance the visual effects were now set to none and all attempts to change it back to normal caused the window to temporarily freeze. After more searching I found the solution to be reinstalling the package that was supposed to handle that.
(and then marking "compiz" for reinstall)
Then just for kicks removed the shut down menu from the top panel and couldn't figure out how to get it back so I looked up how to reset the default panels.
gconftool --recursive-unset /apps/panel && killall gnome-panel
...Anyway, I still like Ubuntu*.
*I've had stranger problems on Windows: like having the start menu disappear.