Today, with the help from Chad, I cleaned up my Ubuntu install. Disk space increased from about 300 MB to nearly 1.8 GB. Items removed include: Open Office, older linux-kernels, and games.
And to create a shortcut to lock my machine, it's actually the switch user command. I needed to create a new keyboard shortcut with the command gdmflexiserver. I use "window key + l" to mimic Windows Vista behavior.
I really want offline GMail back up and running on my netbook. I just installed Google Chrome, but it doesn't support offline GMail. I have Firefox 3.6 installed (Namoroka) which has a round-about way of installing Gears; I will need to investigate this further.