A Polite Introduction to the Command Line
In your line of Kicker icons is something that looks like a screen with a shell in the lower right-hand corner. If you move your mouse over it and pause for a second, the bubble help will tell you that this is called Konsole. This is your command prompt. In Windows-land, you might have thought of it as the DOS prompt.
The reason there is a shell in front of the icon is because Konsole is your access to the Linux command line, known as the shell. There are many types of shells, each of which works similarly (e.g., all allow you to run commands), but each may have different capabilities. The default on Linux is called bash, the GNU Bourne-Again Shell.
The shell is powerful, and learning about its capabilities will make you a wizard of the Linux world. Become one with the shell, and nothing can stop you. The shell is the land of the Linux systems guru and the administrator. For the most part, you can do just about anything you need to do by staying and working with the X window system and your KDE desktop. Still, from time to time, I will ask you to do something from the shell prompt. As time goes on, you too will feel the power of the Linux shell.