I understand it can be difficult to start out in the game due to a lack of ingame tutorial, but most people think this was a bad thing when infact it was one of the aspects that made ffxi so great years ago. You started off in a new world, unsure of what exactly to do and where to go and so it forced you to talk to people and help each other out. I made many friends this way and joined linkshells to stay in touch with them. So yes, I would reccomend using the /shout command and telling people youre a new player looking for a linkshell and guidance as theres alot of people willing to help and theres just too much to explain in one post.
To start off I would pick a job that you think looks fun and then zone out of the city into the starting area. Look for a floating book that near the entrance to the city and check out the different pages it has to get extra experience with, or just go out and fight stuff. You use the /check command to see how powerful mobs are and you'll find that Easy Prey and Decent Challenge are the best way to go whereas Even match, Tough and Incredibly tough are usually too much to deal with. As you approach level 10 you'll be getting farther out to find experience mobs and you'll probably venture into a different zone. Its in the upper teens that you begin partying (alot of people go to Gusgen mines) and things change alot.
But again I would highly recommend just /sh ingame and asking for a linkshell for a new player, there are so many questions you will have and theres plenty of people ingame that will be willing to show you the ropes.
Oh yeah and I use compact setting 1 for the keyboard, I too dont like the default controls for pc. Like the above user said, Menu>Config>Misc2 is where you can change it, among many other options.
Edited, Jan 28th 2013 7:03pm by aadrenry