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VIM questions

I have a few questions regarding VIM that have been nagging at me for a
while, and I'm hoping someone can help me out...

1) For some reason vim inists on showing file stats at the bottom of the
screen whenever I edit a file. It isn't too bad normally, but when I
invoked from mutt it waits for me to press a key. Very annoying. How do I
get rid of that behaviour?

2) How do I make use the dark background syntax settings? I've set
background to dark, but it makes no difference - it still inists on using
such groovy combinations as dark blue on black. In the past I have edited
/usr/syntax/vim directly, commenting out the dark settings, and changing
the colours in the light scheme more to my liking. However, it tends to get
hosed every time I upgrade vim, which is a PITA. How do I set up vim to use
my personal colour settings? (FWIW I think the doc system on vim is awful -
the one thing I really don't like about it)

3) In the long running debian coding standards debate on devel, it was
mentioned that tabs shouldn't be used to indent, but spaces instead. How do
I set up vim to insert n amount of spaces when I press the TAB key? Or is
there some other key that is used for that purpose?

Any illumination will be much appreciated


         Dave Swegen           | Debian 2.1 on Linux i386 2.2.3
<dave@recursive.prestel.co.uk> | PGP key available on request
      <dsw@debian.org>         | Linux: The Choice of a GNU Generation

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