The big caveat with C strings
is making sure you don't write past the end of the array. You -must- code for that yourself either explicitly or implicitly (like never writing any string too long, not good for general use but okay for special cases).
Set yourself up with some bookmarks, it's good to have references.
These are the library modules used in the AVR C++ Arduino uses:http://www.nongnu.org/avr-libc/user-manual/modules.html
This is the C string library page:http://www.nongnu.org/avr-libc/user-manual/group__avr__string.html
You #include <string.h> to use those functions. All the names are shorthand, you get to know them.
Some easy basics you can do most simple things with:
strlen() is string length
strcpy() is string copy, it puts the terminating zero at the end of the copy. It is string = string.
strstr() is string string, it searches for a substring within a string
strcmp() string compare tells you if one string is >, ==, or less than another, good for sorting
strcat() string concatenation, adds one string to the end of another
You will some with an n in the middle. The n tells you that character count is used.
strncpy() is strcpy for up to n characters and does NOT put a zero at the end.
strncpy is perfect for writing over part of a string with another, in BASIC it is mid$()
Not simple but very useful is strtok(), string token, that you can use to parse strings with.
Also don't forget the mem (memory) functions, the 2 most basic:
memset(), to set some number of bytes equal to a given value
memmove(), copies bytes and **is safe to use when the destination overlaps the source**
There's more of all of them. And if you don't see what you want then remember that C strings are just 1 dimension byte arrays you can easily process in loops without needing any library whatsoever. Those functions are only for convenience once you understand how C strings work.
One function C strings don't have that C++ String Class does is a function to tell you where the data actually is. That's because with C strings you don't one, ^^ YOU tell the function where the data is and where it goes ^^ and IT doesn't go anywhere else, unlike mind-of-their-own String objects.
Hope this helps with your jitters. The territory is really quite simple and rock solid stable.