These are real genuine newbie questions.
- What can be added to the network so that devices that are not directly connected can ping each other?
when you use 'show ip route', why are all the networks not in the routing table? is it something to do with updates only when necessary or something to do with holddown?
Answer on How to ping devices that arn't directly connected?
I guess the answer to the first question is a router. If the devices are not on the same network they need a router to move the traffic between subnets.
Not sure exactly what "all the networks" refers to. the router will have locally connected networks by default. The only other way routes will be added to the table is manually (static) or if it shares a routing protocol with a connected router (OSPF, RIP, BGP, etc). There should also be default (0.0.0.0) gateway defined. That is where it sends anything it does not have a route for. It's usually the next hop upstream router.