(is this a new incarnation of Eadon?)
Hey, no need to get insulting - I actually have credible knowledge. There's just a fairly brutal accident between me and my memory, so sometimes it takes a while to load the right tape in my memory bank :).
I must admit it's been ages so I can't quite remember what fight I had with AIX but I do remember the aha moment of "Menus. They have menus. No editing of files, just menus. Argh!". The "ifconfig" came from an attempt to get at least something behaving whilst someone was mining for the manuals, and it did indeed absolutely nothing. Once the manuals arrived it was easy.
Indeed, each Unix had its own special way of making your life miserable but despite colouring the levers differently, it was still the same principle to get an IP network up which was really what I was into (making things talk to each other, sometimes by hook and by crook). You have one or more interfaces, routes (usually only a default route, only in government and military settings this got a bit more complicated), either a hosts file or a DNS and later also either a couple of good NTP sources if time wasn't that critical or a local GPS time sources if it was.
By the sound of it you had at least the time to learn about the OS. My job was to get something online and remote controllable in the shortest possible time in what were probably different circumstances to what you were doing.