If you use more then one Instant Messenger or into this hardcore free software thing check out GAIM
Also to login as root, when you get the login screen just type root and whatever password you set for root during installation. If you didn't set a password for root during installation, login as root then use the command passwd.
I know how it feels trying to learn Linux without anybody you know to help. Don't worry we'll help you out. Linux can be difficult to get started but is very stable once you have it up and running.
PS What distrobution as do you use.