The thing with the buttons is a common problem. The new flash buttons are very wonky. These were introduced in Director 10 I think. If you go to Insert, Control, Push Button, then you will get the button you were expecting and it will work like it should. If you want to use the newer Flash button, then you have to click on it, then go into the Property Inspector, Flash Component tab, and set the eventPassMode to #passAlways.
There are a few differences between the rather old version you are using and the newer version, but I don't know if there is any single place that show a coparison or upgrade guide. You could start with the What's New stuff for Director 11 and 11.5 in the help file and Adobe's site. That is where most of the new stuff came in. Apart from that, just ask questions here and we'll try to help.