I figured I would share this little program, that I actually got from mfilpot, in thread form.
Yakuake - It's a drop down style terminal/konsole. It's KDE written, but works just fine in GNOME. When I say drop-down think video game hitting the ` key. It's quick, not invasive, doesn't use a lot of system resources, and easy to hide while it's completing a task.
'sudo apt-get install yakuake' on mint/ubuntu
It has a slackware package, and I'm sure it's available on other distros. You can even open multible tabs of terminal. Check it out.