I want to become highly computer literate. Where do I start?

May 9, 2008
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Here is where I stand as of today. We live in a society which is run by computers. Yet my uneducated guess would be that something like 95% of the general computer using public (basically everyone over the age of 5) is relatively computer illiterate (myself included.)

Sure we know how to browse the internet. We know how to change our print settings from 8.5x11 to 11x17. We know that running multiple programs slows our computers down, but we aren't sure EXACTLY why that happens. But I feel that, especially in 2014, the vast majority of us are only scratching the surface of what these machines can do. And I personally do not like that feeling.

My point is that when it comes to HOW a computer functions and why a computer sometimes doesn't work like we would want it to, we are completely lost. And what does the general public usually do? Call up tech support and have someone walk them through the issue. But if you give a man a fish he eats for a day, if you teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime.

I want to learn how to fish.

Here is my question. Do you guys know of any good threads on this site that specifically address the question of self education? I know that reading threads will increase one's knowledge, but I am looking for something that is more structured and linear.

Does anyone know of any sites that deal with a different technique or a different problem solving theory on a daily basis. Almost like a blog that says, "today we will be talking about the benefits and uses of the developers consol."


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Staff member
Jul 17, 2009
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Your Mac's Specs
2022 Mac Studio, macOS Ventura, 32 GB
Well for starters, do you want to know more details about computers in general or OS X? If the former, then that's a little harder to pin down to a single thread/book/site, but for the former you can grab the OS X bibles to get an in-depth knowledge of OS X and how it works..
Feb 19, 2014
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Since most of how any computer works is determined largely by the operating system, I'd look into some books on Mac OS. You could start with entry level stuff and move onto more advanced stuff as you gain more knowledge. By understanding, for example, how MacOS allocates resources to applications, you will also begin to understand the operation of the underlying hardware, and this knowledge will be applicable to other systems such as Windows and Linux.

Just browse Amazon for titles on MacOS and read the user reviews.


Join a Mac User Group if one exists in your area.

The free e-book guides to iOS are a great place to start for that platform. They are available from Apple through the iBookstore.

I've always liked Maria Langer's "Visual Quickstart Series" and David Pogue's "Missing Manual" series of books for focusing on the nuts and bolts of a specific OS version.

If you want to get into the weeds of minute details, underlying frameworks, UNIX Terminal use and even programming, then O'Reilly Publishing will be your playground.

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