On the directory there are some things to realise.
First off the '~' means the current user's $home directory.
To change to a directory or this directory from the CLI, command line interface, use cp()
# cd ~
# cd /root
... so if you are logged in as root you can see ~ and /root are the same directory. Passing pwd() prints the present working directory.
Next, on the front of the subdirectory there is a '.'. In Linux this means hidden file. Regular directory calls will not show these hidden directories or files. use ls -a
# ls -a
../ .Skype/ .bash_history
.cache/ .mc/ .config/
.mozilla/ .conkyrc .ncftp/
# man ls
... use the man ls command for more arguments like -a to pass. ls -l is very useful as well, and you can concatenate some arguments like this: ls -al.
Actually, typing man before the vast majority of commands will give you a manual page with very helpful information.
The list entries ./ mean current directory, and ../ mean previous directory. Also, hitting tab halfway through a command name can sometimes complete the call for you, or tab tab will give you options that begin with your character string.
Basic Commands, good tutorial...http://rute.2038bug.com/node7.html.gz
As per your network manager problem for help on that it would be best to know which network utility you are using. If you don't know, then which DE, desktop environment, or WM window manager you are using. DEs like KDE, XFCE, or GNOME, and WM like Fluxbox.
Since you are talking about your .gconf file I'll assume you are on GNOME, in which case you will be using Network Manager. Hit ALT-F2 to pull up a launcher where you can run the command Network Manager to gain access.
...corrections: mi scusi