2: iBook also doesn't know about the microscope camera, even with the macam program running. So it goes - I can use it with a PC for now, maybe bring my microscope in here and use it with the spare desktop machine.
3: Is there any reason other than "you don't need to worry about it" why you can't see what the USB ports etc. are up to?
4: Is there any particular reason why Apple don't give you any information at all about the progress of a job such as writing a DVD when you do it? Such as how long it's likely to take? First time of trying, not overwhelmingly impressed.
5: Re 2 - 4 above, am I missing something obvious in the way of an additional program / menu I ought to be looking at for this stuff?