Please have patience, and take one thing at once.
First... "When I save the grub----.tar.gz to a floppy and load it into my RH machine it changes the filename on me to the 8.3 format" - you are mounting your floppy as msdos or fat, use vfat to avoid the 8.3 format and get long filenames.
Next... sorry I don't use Gnome.
Next... using a terminal for find should work, but you have to give it the path to search and the filename, but you must have permission to read those directories - what user are you logged on as and do you have permission to read the root directory? i.e. try ' find / grub* ', does ' ls / ' give you anything?
As for your screen being slow. What processor/memory/etc machine are you using? Do you have the correct Xconfig?
Linux does need you to polish the set up yourself, but then it does not expect you to be as stupid as other OSs.