answers to some of your questions:
2. coming from a WinXP perspective, my c:\program files\ equivalent in linux is /usr/local. this means you'll have /usr/local/mozilla, /usr/local/java there.
3. try putting http://www.cnn.com.
i remember my homepage didn't load because i forgot the http://
5. I'm still a newbie and i bought Mastering UNIX. pretty comprehensive book