Thank you all, very much. I think that with your help I have figured out some of it. I missed the checkbox for inserting the date and did a date creation checkbox. Do any of you know the documentation well enough to direct me to some pointers for working with mirror tables? I'm not doing very well finding that using tw.o site search.
On being able to automagically increment numbers in trackers and tracker items, I can imagine a counter module being useful in the context of other Tiki apps as well, with an ability to pass parameters such as increment/decrement, beginning number, etc.
On helping with the dev work, I'd be happy to if there is a role for someone without significant coding skills. Perhaps helping with developing a spec and documentation?