I just installed Ubuntu 12.10 x64 as a guest OS in a VMWare Workstation 9.0.2 VM, with a host OS of Win 7 x64. Laptop is a Dell Precision M6400 with 16GB RAM and 1.5TB HDD. Guest OS is assigned 1 CPU, 1 Core, 2GB RAM, and 80GB HDD.

I feel like I've spent my whole afternoon chasing down ratholes of forum searches trying to figure out things that seem like they should be intuitively obvious.

1) When I first installed, Ubuntu kept telling me my Wired Connection has broken (or something like that) and I am now Offline. I would check in the System Settings/Network tool and it would show my Wired connection as turned Off. I would turn it back on and have Internet access again for a few minutes. Rinse. Repeat. After an hour or so of messing with it and doing forum searches from my host OS, I couldn't find anything helpful, but the Wired connection stabilized and has been working for the last couple of hours. Any idea what's up with that?

2) I need a mail client that will connect to MS Exchange using ActiveSync, but doing it over an HTTP proxy. Outlook runs on my host OS and connects that way. I installed Evolution and the Exchange add-on and it does not seem to have support for connecting over an HTTP proxy. Is there any client that will do this?

3) My Logitech wireless mouse has 5 buttons and a scroll wheel. I want my thumb button to perform a Back in the browser. I can't seem to find anywhere in the settings to configure this. The Scroll wheel works, but I don't see any configuration option for that, either. After some searching, I found a recommendation to use the dconf Editor. So, I went into the Ubuntu Software Center and searched for it and it says it's already installed. But, I don't see an icon for it in the tool bar and it doesn't show up when I click on the Dash Home button, either. So, how is a new user supposed to know that this program is already installed and how to run it? How DO I run it?

4) When I was messing around with trying to get Wired networking working, I wanted to go out to a command line and see if I could check my configs for obvious problems. I am a software developer by trade and I used Unix back in the 80s, and have occasionally hacked around in a terminal session on my g/f's Mac or on my Android devices, so was somewhat hopeful. But there's not even a terminal app accessible from the system tool bar or under the Dash Home button. WTF??

5) I hate to bring up the "if this were Windows...." thing. I'm sure that is not a popular drum around here. But, geez, all but the most obscure tools in Windows at least are accessible through the Start menu. So, if you don't know exactly what you're looking for, you at least have a prayer of finding it just by poking around. Right now, I am completely mystified at how anybody could think this OS is fit for use in mainstream, Joe User, desktop environments. My parents, as one example, are not particularly PC savvy. But, even they can figure out how to adjust their mouse button settings in Windows without my help. I'm supposed to be an "expert" and I can't figure it out here! Am I just missing the forest for the trees??

5a) In trying to diagnose my Wired network connection problem, I also could not see anything like the Event Viewer (from Windows) that would let me possibly see messages that might be getting logged regarding the Ethernet interface getting mysteriously turned off. Another tool that, if it does exist, why would it not be shown somewhere in the tool bar or Dash Home area so that mere mortals can actually find it?!

6) I started Thunderbird before I downloaded Evolution, to see if it had Exchange support. It doesn't, so I bailed out of it before completing the first account setup. Now I have a mail message icon in the top right corner of my screen that I can't seem to make go away. If I click on it, I get a drop down list that includes Thunderbird Mail, Compose New Message, and Contacts. I went back into Thunderbird and held down the Alt Key, then chose File/Quit from the menu bar, but this icon is still there. How do I make it go away?

Please help! Thanks!