inside of a week still since my ubuntu installation, and was wondering what applications people would consider as essential, whether they're utilities or whatever.

i'm not much of a command line type (done a small amount as a legacy of my mac background), i'd call myself an enthustiac dabbler, are there any helper type apps for this area of linux ?

or is it book is best, if so can anyone recommend a good (relatively inexpensive) book for a beginner.