the camera can work with skype if it i working
also there is many apps on synaptic that can let you test if the camera is recognized and works correctly, kamoso is one and there is a couple others
about the battery, how many cell does it has, 3, 6, 9, 12?
3 should give you at best 3 hours, 6 around 5, 9 will give you around 8 and 12 will offer around 10 to 11
on konsole please run the command acpitool -B i think you could need to install acpitools form synaptic, don't remember if it comes on the livecd
post the results to know if your battery has lost some of the original capacity, my battery has lost almost 20% since september 2010
the blue keys, the function keys, none work? then you need to verify if those work in switch mode or by holding them, in windows how do they work, by holding the FN and the blue key you want? or does it work by pressing FN and then releasing it to press the function desired?