for the second question there is a command called "uptime" , go to the terminal and type "uptime", the output will be like this
root@xxxx yyyyy]# uptime
14:49:44 up 35 min, 2 users, load average: 0.07, 0.76, 0.79
also , you can install screenlets , in screenlets, there is widget which shows all the things like services running, cpu and ram usage, and uptime, ip etc.
Thanks and Regards,