Re: Running the Terminal on startup
I'm not sure what System > Preferences > Startup Applications does (I'll have to try it right now) but you can also create the file .gnomerc in your home directory and add any commands you want into that file. Assuming it doesn't exist, you could just echo the command you want and redirect it into the file:
of course if the file already exists (or you don't want to redirect output) you can always edit it with your favorite editor, such as gedit and then put your commands in there:
echo "gnome-terminal &" > ~/.gnomerc
I'm going to check right now but I wonder if the Startup Applications menu option just inserts stuff into .gnomerc for you.
If all else fails, use fire.