well, apt-get is distro specific. What distro are you running? I'm going to take a guess that you are running Debian or some variant of it
I always recommend newbies start out with KDE and learn the CLI (Command Line Interface) through a Konsole. Try to avoid relying on programs with a GUI for configuration for too long - You are missing the beauty of Linux that way (extreme tweakability and configuration).
Learn a CLI text editor, such as vi(m) or emacs. You could also use Pico I guess, but I have no experience with it (I'm a vim user).
Don't know what else I can offer. Enjoy Linux - it's a great OS once you really get a feel for it