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Thread: learning? help

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    learning? help

    Hi, I know a little bit about computers, I know C++. But I am lost as to what goes on in the computer. I love computers, I think they are mysterious. But most of the fun of a mystery is figuring it out. I look through the internet for information, but everything I find is written in such hi tech. Does anybody know of any good websites, books..etc that start with the basics and then work there way up to the high tech? Example of some of the things I want to learn about...SometimesI will spend hours in explorer looking at all of the files in Windows and wondering what they do... but I cannot open always ask me what I want to open it with. I want to learn about how messages are sent over the internet...FTP...How viruses work ( not that I would ever make one ) I just want to know how they do it. When your computer receives a signal from the internet, what does it do with it? What is the signal? And much more... I am just extremely curious. Thanks for your help.
    Victor Serge said, \"I followed his argument With the blank uneasiness which one might feel In the presence of a logical lunatic. --Wallace Stevens

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Well.....that's mighty ambitious. I could explain some of that to you, but this post would probably be 10 pages long. For starters, the "For Dummies" series is a wonderful place to start. It makes things very easy. Something like like "PCs for Dummies", or "WIndows for Dummies" would be good. Also look into into simple PC repair and upgrade books. They will get into good detail on how different pieces of hardware work. The 24 hours series, and the 21 days series are also very good. Everything in them is well-organized, so you can learn things in pretty much whatever order you want. I have a book on HTML from the 24 hours series, and I taught myself in about an hour with it, maybe less. I also have a 24 hours book on UNIX, and it makes a great reference for when I need to do work in the terminal in Linux. For things like security, "Hacking Exposed" is a wonderful book. Consider it your Bible. Of course, when it comes to teaching yourself computers, nothing beats first-hand experience. Get a junker machine, and go nuts with it. If you're curious about something, you can use that machine as the guinea pig without worry of causing harm to your main box.

    There are lots of kinds of viruses out there. They range from simple batch files limited to little more than formatting your hard drive, to complex C programs that can do very interesting and creative (and also harmful) things. There's also the beloved trojan horse. There's nothing wring with writing viruses. I think it would be a good way to learn a programming language, and to be creative. There isn't even anything wrong with creating malicious viruses. The problem doesn't come into play until you try to distribute them.

    Unfortunately, going through all the files in Windows to find out what they all do isn't really worth the time. There are far to many, and the odds of you having to work on them (with some exceptions, such as win.ini, boot.ini, hosts, and lmhosts) are minimal. If you want to do things like that, try Linux. Slackware would be a good distribution for something like that, but it's less than easy.

    Just remember that the entire computing world doesn't revolve around Windows (although it can sometimes seem that way). There are other operating systems out there that are worth learning, such as Linux and BSD. Please don't be OSist. Give all operating systems an equal chance. Also, Linux and BSD are freeware and open-source, so they don't restrict you if you REALLY want to mess around with your settings, and you can obtain a free copy without breaking the law.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    here we go.

    This is what I am talking about...I know that you probably know so much about comptuters that my questions sound dumb...well, your answers aren't at my level. I believe that someone who truly understands can break the most complicated subject down to a level that anybody can understand. Do that for me. I am a student, I work mostly with Unix. But I only knwo the most basic. It doesn't mean I understand it. I also know that it would take ten pages to try and tell me what I am trying to learn, that is why I just asked for references to good books our web pages, you have to understand..what sounds simple to you, is a headache for other people. I truly appreciate your help though, thank you.
    Victor Serge said, \"I followed his argument With the blank uneasiness which one might feel In the presence of a logical lunatic. --Wallace Stevens

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    hello temp,
    well i just read your post..and u look very ambitious but little bit confused...well do one thing..
    ...if u look at the computer as a whole it is very complicated..because it uses many things at the same time..and to learn everything is very diffucult for a starter like u.
    ok here are some steps and if u go about it , it will help u :-

    1) First of all go step by step as what exactly u want to learn ..and then try to learn it in depth.
    as u told me that u know C++ that means u should know the basics of computers. like what is CPU and ALU.

    2) well then the second things is try to learn or to explore the inner parts of computers like how the memory is accessed when u say ctrl + S when using MS Word.

    This information u will get on the net ..and the person whowill help u is there search for documents on working of operating systems.

    3) The third part is learn languages in depth , which u like the most.
    just visit these links for help :-

    if u are interested in C programming and C++ then visit this site :-

    and then when u complete reading all this..then u can actually start to learn everything about hacking...

    hope this will help..u...

    All the best...


  5. #5
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Thumbs up

    Norton Utilities has a program, DISKEDIT I think
    that allows you to open any file for examination
    and low level, byte by byte editing.
    I have spent many happy hours searching
    through files for text strings just for fun.
    DEBUG.EXE, which still comes with windows
    is the most awsome tool in the world of msdos.
    Search for a tutorial with your search engine
    or get a very old DOS manual to get info on debug.
    It can examine files, assemble and disassemble
    executable files(print out the assembly lang instruc-
    tions that the bytes represent) and it can enable
    you to run a program one instruction at a time,
    to do debugging.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

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