3 of 8Image
The first thing to do after booting the installed system is to set up a network connection, either wired or wireless, and then let the mintUpdate utility (shown by the shield on the right side of the bottom panel) download and install all the latest updates. All you have to do is click the mintUpdate icon in the panel, which will bring up the following window, and then click Install Updates.
There are a lot of updates available already (roughly 300 at the time of this writing), so this process is likely to take longer than the installation itself did — but even at that with a decent internet connection, it is not likely to take more than 30 minutes or so.
Once that is done, the next thing I do is some 'fine tuning' of the desktop. Most of my computers are netbooks or sub-laptops, with small screens (10"-12", the screen shots shown here were made on my HP Pavilion dm1-3105ez with an 11.6" 1366x768 display), so I don't want to permanently give up the space used by the Panel.
Panel control menu
Right-click on the Panel to get to the Panel Preferencesmenu.
That will bring up the Panel control window, where I select the automatic show/hide option.
There are other options here for size and positioning of the Panel, but my next interest is the Items tab, where I can add to the contents of the Panel. I like to have a Weather icon and a Logout/Shutdown control on the Panel.
Obviously there are quite a few other items which can be added to the Xfce Panel.