So, I have found a few answers over the last few days to some of my queries. I found out, by coming in early to the office one morning, that the F5/F6 keys on the MBP are responsible for setting the Keyboard Backlight Brightness. Apparently you can only adjust that when the backlight is on, which is confusing.
A more important discovery that I have made is that there is a free way to sync ical with google calendar bi-directionally. This is really important to me because I have a load of different calendars which I use for work and I really need to be able to add and track events on different calendars.
The google web client is nice, but iCal integrates really well with the rest of the OS and feels right for usability. There are commercial clients such as Spanning Sync and Busy Sync, but as I am a
cheap bas believer in freedom, I prefer not to pay for software.
It turns out that there is an application for both OSX and Windows called ‘Calgoo’ that will do the syncing for you. Their website is at calgoo.com.
One really nice feature is that it will let you create iCal calendars as you set up connectors.