Half an answer, perhaps.
I can only tackle half of that, as I'm pretty much a clueless newbie myself.
If you've got KDE or Gnome up and running, open your file broswer of choice, and look for your CDROM drive under /mnt/cdrom
If you're stuck in the command line, try typing: cd /mnt/cdrom
So far, all of the distributions I've installed set up my CDROM drive under /mnt/cdrom