I'm interested with computers, with no formal education on them outside of the basics taught at middle school. The problem is that I really enjoy learning about head amazing machines, I visit the dump and scavenge old parts from old systems, I go through phases in which I attempt to learn an object oriented language for a few weeks, but every once in a while I try to learn something else. The most recent was Playing around with the unix shell. I read a few chapters about it, then flipped through the book and noticed on of the words that always haunts me; kernel. It's one of those words that reminds me I have absolutely NO idea how complex these machines are, no matter how much I try. It's a bit difficult searching google for this sort if thing, and I was tempted to name my post "computers". Can anyone help me with this? I really just want to be able to read a book about computers and understand what it means. However stupid this question is, it never hurts to ask so you can just forget about leaving those one sentence replies. Thanks.