The metacity window manager configuration has been changed considerably: the minimize, maximize, close buttons have been moved from the right to the left, and reordered. Rather than adjust to these new settings, I modified the configuration to put them back where they were before. This is a good reminder that I should go back to my own window manager and config. I'm not sure what will be best for the laptop, I am very happy with ion, at least with the ideas behind it, it's kind of a pain to configure. I still haven't duplicated my ion1 settings in ion3. Now that the developer gave up on it and switched to windows (sigh), I'm not sure if I should move on.
How to change the metacity button layout: Edit the gnome config for apps/metacity/general/button_layout, which is a string describing the button locations. I have changed mine to
menu:maximize,minimize,close. Using the gconf-editor tool, navigate to apps/metacity/general, then find the button_layout option. Changes are immediate. Invalid button names are silently ignored, to future proof against updated button names in later configurations.