If your card has a REAL midi interpreter chip, then usually Linux supports it out of the box.
Many cards use emulated Midi interperters which are handled by Winblows.
It sounds like you have the wrong keyboard or layout defined. This is handled in several places and if the selections are out of sync, you can get strange results.
ACPI is turned on by default on 10.1 now if the installer thinks it's safe.
You may need to enable the service, but this is trivial.
Set up your urpmi sources then
urpmi java (or is it j2re)
Nothing complicated about this.
I see nothing particularly wrong with Mandrake's "configuration business" other than some things remain uninstalled on a typical system, thereby making things appear to be much more difficult than they are.
To make your system "easy" to administer... (again after setting up your urpmi sources see: www.zebulon.org.uk
And look for a new slew of Wizards in the MCC.
Will get you to a nice Web based management interface for Linux.