What is the "Desktop" and how can I customize it?
Answer: The desktop is the main working space on your computer screen. It is where the icons for the files and folders on your hard drive is displayed. You can also open windows on your desktop and browse the directories on your computer. Most operating systems allow you to choose your desktop background, which can either be a picture or a pattern. If you're using Windows, just about any picture is better than the included patterns, which are mostly painful to look at.
To customize your desktop in Windows, right-click anywhere on the desktop background and select "Properties..." from the pop-up menu. From there you can choose the background or entire themes for your computer's interface. On the Mac, right-click (Control-click if you have a single-button mouse) on the desktop background and choose "Change Desktop Background..." You can then choose from Apple's built-in patterns or select one of your own images. The Mac also has an option to cycle through the images at various intervals.