Applets are icons that reside in your panels for launching specific applications and sometimes offering additional functionality.
There are many applets available not only in the default Ubuntu installation, but some extras, also. What follows is an explanation of how to use applets and an alphabetical list of the key ones that are available in Ubuntu.
(Note: this is currently a work in progress, so more programs will be added)
Assuming you've installed the required applet, or it's part of the default Ubuntu installation, all you need to do is right-click on an empty part of a panel to bring up a menu. Select 'Add to Panel...', to bring up the following choices:
Drag one of the icons to a panel and drop it in there. That's it! (Note: there are, of course, more applets that are available than are listed in these screenshots)
Alphabetical List of Applets Available on Ubuntu 7.04
Address Book Search
Battery Charge Monitor
Character Palette - allows you to choose from international character sets
Clock - Also provides access to Evolution Calendar and Tasks
CPU Scaling Monitor Applet
Connect To Server
Drawer - Dropdown list of program shortcuts
Dictionary Look Up
GNOME-pilot - Quick synchronisation of your Palm device
GNOME Sensors - Monitor, for example, the temperature of your processor
Keyboard Accessibility Status
Search for Files
Terminal Server Client Applet
Volume - Easy access to volume control
Workspace Switcher - Allows easy switching between alternate workspaces
Further Information on Software Packages
GnomeFiles - Categorizes, rates and lists Gnome-based software.
KDE-APPS.org - Categorizes, rates, reviews and lists KDE-based software.
osalt.com - Lists 'open-source' alternatives to proprietary software.
SourceForge - Repository of open source software
ubuntuvideo - Collates videos on Ubuntu from across the Web. Has some clips of software in action
FLOSS: Background and Theory
To better appreciate your software and how the world of FLOSS (Free, Libre, Open Source Software) works - in development, support, communities, and so on - it helps to have some understanding of its background, its theoretical underpinnings and how it works in practice.
The following links are a start to help get you towards that better understanding.
The Cathedral and the Bazaar - An example of how FLOSS works in practise
The Halloween Documents - What Microsoft thought about FLOSS...behind closed doors. Some of the beliefs that non-Linux computer users have about Linux are traceable to Microsoft's campaigns against Linux, which promoted much information that has been widely discredited. This site provides some insight into how anti-Linux advocacy works.