Just a heads up: I was fiddling around with gnome panel changes. I moved the top panel to the bottom..worked fine, with reboots etc. I then changed it to "autohide" and the cpu went to 100%. I could not get back to the configuration gui for the panel to attempt to change it back. I then booted into single user and attempted to run the gconf tool to set it back to defaults, but the documentation does not match what the tool wants....Well, to make a long story short, I made a new user, with password...(oh yes, gnome is fussy about how you set a user password, but that is another story). I then copied the new users "panel" subdirectory into my normal user profile, set the permissions, and rebooted...darned if it did not work.
My next job is to learn how gnome handles it conf. files. It seems to me to resemble Microsoft's registry scheme. I recall reading in the gnome docs something about converting an XML file to a text file, editing it, and then converting it back to an XML file....that sounds an awful like a registry. Odd.
Anyway, I hope this helps someone..and if someone has any idea what cause the kerfuffel, I would be interested in your comments.
Toshiba laptop...i686 latest pae kernal, fedora's ati vid driver..OSS sound..no PA or PackageKit. all updates current.