The error when trying to authenticate is probably because you were using the old scripts. One thing to pay attention to is that the old scripts use the key password="..." while the new scripts use the key course_password="...". (There is also a site_password which doesn't do much at the moment but may be useful later to prevent DNS exploits. )
Let us know if the sendXMLRPC.pl works. It has better instructions than the old scripts. Those are already housed in a directory called "old" and will eventually go away completely.