I want to learn how to operate computers to their full potential, but I don't really know where to start. A bunch of my friends can create websites, hack passwords, and other stuff that doesn't even make sense to me. Do you know where or how I could learn about all this stuff??
If you want "full potential" then I suggest learning from bit and bytes (hardware) then work yourself up to systems programming then to applications programming. Most people would do it backwards, from applications then down to hardware. I don't have any strong opinion which is best, I think it depends upon what works with the person.
Attending a university is always a good choice but self-learning is equally fine too.
Check out the link below for an online course about computers and the internet:
http://academicearth.org/courses/unders … e-internet
Learning ALL of those stuff will take you years to fully comprehend those. For example, creating websites is actually taking up 2 subjects in a computer course but you can learn them by yourself by exploring and it could take you years to play on. HAcking, stealing, and other similar stuff as you have said are not really ethical in the computer world. They could not be considered as knowledge in computer but just products of curiosity. Your friends should devote their time and knowledge not for hacking but for learning more like learning SEO, Article Writing, Making Money Online in a legal way, and Other Similar stuff.
So fan number of applications and softwares available in the market its very difficult for any one to try a hand over them or use them on regular basis.
Go to your local library and pick up a book about computers - a basic intro book. If you can find a college textbook, even better. Visiting websites is fine, but a lot of them assume that you already have a good working background to go off of. With a book, you can take it anywhere, and can reference back to it while you're checking things out on the computer.
...and learn DOS. I really miss the days of DOS.
I miss DOS, too - you could do nearly anything with it.
Buy why stop there? Back up to Assembly language or even machine. Make those chips and transistors do exactly what you want them to do.
Of course, it may take a few hours to type the letter "L" onto the screen...
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