New to Linux, no idea what to do

Hey, I just installed Ubuntu 8.04 on my laptop yesterday at the suggestion of some physics grad students I'm working with.  One of the grad students did the install for me, so that's alright, but he's not around now and he was saying something about the install only giving you a bare bones of Ubuntu, and having to update things after this.  I just got my connection set up here at work, so I'm ready to download any updates, but I'm not sure what or how.Any help or guides that I can be referred to?Thanks.

try this

try this --http://tombuntu.com/index.php/2008/04/25/10-tips-for-after-you-install-or-upgrade-ubuntu/--and good luck and have fun!

Updates

The way updates are handled with Ubuntu is that any updates available will make them selves known (if you're using Gnome a little popup will make you aware of this).  Ofcourse if you want it's easy to do this manually with the command "sudo apt-get update", which will take care of all your updates.  If you want to look for programs, or you've heard of a program you want to check out you can use terminal commands like "sudo apt-cache search [program name\keyword]" where you simply replace [program name\keyword] with whatever you're looking for.  For instance if you want to install Kile for LaTeX, you just go "sudo apt-cache search kile", and then the name of kile and programs\packages related to kile will scroll in the terminal.  At this point you can install it by using the command "sudo apt-get install kile".Some programs that I like that you may want to check out are kicad (a CAD program for making electric circuits schematics and custom PCB layouts), banshee (an iTunes like media manager), vlc (video/media player), thunderbird (email client, like outlook but better).  These are all free and downloadable from your terminal.  Ofcourse if you're a physics person you may want to try and see if your university will give you Matlab for linux.  Hope your first linux use goes well, there is a big community to ask for help when you need it and I'd love to answer any questions you have.                                          --Class

Thanks for the responses.I'm

Thanks for the responses.I'm actually having a couple problems I would like to ask about.I tried using the standard media player that comes with Ubuntu but after I added all my music (from folders on my windows drive) and restarted the computer, when I tried opening the program again all the song names would start unpopulating from the list.  I downloaded Amarok, thinking maybe it was just a buggy software, but it does this as well.  Also, I guess a bigger problem, is sound isn't even playing.  If i re-add the songs to the player and try to play them, the progress bar works fine but I don't hear anything (it's not muted and my volume levels are fine).  I tried checking if its just music and movies...play in slow motion only...my machine has 2 gigs of ram so I don't think its a memory problem.Thanks in advance for any help.

your problems with Ubuntu

I'm a Kubuntu user which uses KDE rather than gnome (Ubuntu) for the desktop manager so I'm not sure what the standard media player is on Gnome.  But I can say that Amarok is for KDE which may work on Ubuntu as long as you have kdm installed (not the default for Ubuntu).  kdm is the package you would install to have access to the KDE libraries.  KDE can run many packages built for the gnome desktop but I am not familiar with how well KDE packages run on gnome.

Not yet familiar with linux

I've been using Windows as my OS since I first touched computer, and just started with Ubuntu about few days ago. Actually it's not me who posted the question but I found it helped me a lot. I have vlc in my pc now. thank you. But after I entered the command "sudo apt-get install vlc", the pc just did everything by itself not even ask what directory do I want to install the application in like in Windows. In where are the applications installed? Can't we choose the directory by ourself? Thank you in advance.