If you want to learn things about computers, then I suggest you start reading material based on these subjects...
- Computer Hardware
- The Internet & How it Works
- Operating Systems & Alternatives to Windows
If you want to be dubbed "1337" or leet, then you should DEFINETLY make the switch to a Linux platform. Infact, the thought of Linux scars off many. When in reality, it's just as simple as Windows XP is!
If you're interested in running a Linux platform, I suggest PMing this member, "Linux Guru
", he should be able to direct to you to a beginners platform. Also, if you don't want to switch to Linux because of games, think twice! There is a program called Wine that emulates Windows XP and allows you to use games via emulation. So, give it a shot.
Also, I definetly suggest you learn networking. If you're still enrolled in school, try signing up to a class caled Net Tech 1 through Cisco Systems. If you want to check otu the program visit this link...
It's an amazing class, and you will learn nearly everything you could want to learn about networking. I'm in the class, I enjoy some of it. I'm having a VERY difficult with the OSI model, but that's a different story.
You should learn networking, this will give you a better understanding of how the Internet works, what an Intranet and Extranet is, as well as what LANs, WANs, MANs, SANs, and VPNs are. As well as what their advantages are and disadvantages are.
The next thing you should definetly learn is Programming. This essentially after all is what makes up everythign you use. If it wasn't for C, C++, C#, Java, Visual Basic, or any other language, simply put, you wouldn't be using a computer! Might as well learn what makes up the very applications you run and use on a regular basis right? The language I would learn if you really
want to learn, is most definetly the core language C. It's not to horribly hard to understand, and, it can at times be fun.
The next thign you should learn is probably what types of computer hardware there is. Such as RAM, Hard Drives, such as Serial ATA, SCSI (Scuzzy), and IDE, not to mention the processor, and what types of processors there are and what kinds there are, such as Dual Core, Quad Core, Single Core, and what die size they use, 130nm, 90nm, and 65nm. You should also learn what types of motherboards there are. Plus, what chipsets motherboards make up, such as the NVIDIA nForce4 SLI chipset, or the ATI CrossFire 3200 chipset. Not to mention, processor manufacturer chipsets, such as the Intel 945P chipset.
After all of this, I suggest you learn a little bit about webpages and hwo they work. Netowkring and Programming ties into this, but you should really learn about this on it's on terms. Learn what HTML and XTML is, as well as what kind of web browsers there are, such as Mozilla FireFox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera, and many more. You should also try to go indepth in regards to the actual code, HTML, and the new type of code being used, CSS, or Cascade Styling Sheets. Also, try designing your own webpage in Notepad.
After this, I would make some new friends who are hardcore computer fans. Also, try to get into the gaming community, as this is where most of your crackers/hackers reside, and are generally the one's who boast the most knowledge. So, I suggest gettign a gaming rig (PC) set up, and go to a LAN Party. Definetly make some good computer friends.
Just in general, you'll learnt hings over the years, especially if you take classes about it, such as A+/Comp Hardware, Net Tech 1, Graphic Design, Web Design, Programming, Intro to Information Technology, and various other classes. Overall though, just learn about computer, how they work, what makes them function, and how they talk to other computers, this generally envelopes all of the ctagories. So, you had better get started! Good luck! And may the 1337 be with you!