I just recently got into building my own system, so I know how you feel with being a little overwhelmed by the information that is out there. I found it easier to learn as I go along. The basics are pretty simple really, basic parts necessary anyway. But once you get parts and are working with them, it is much easier to understand because you are looking at it and can work with it hands-on more. Another good way to learn how things are put together is to simply look at a computer that is already constructed and see where things are, how they are hooked together, etc. That is how I learned most of the things taht I know so far. As far as learning how those components work, that is just a matter of looking up information about that specific parts and slowly making your way through manuals and things. It takes a good bit of time, and seems very overwhelming with the amount of info, but once you get it all done, it really comes down to some rather simple, logical things that are easy to understand. Alot of things that I learned were just learned from trial and error. I put something in, hook it to the right slot, and it either works or not. If it does work properly, great, if not, then I ask questions specifically about that part either to people on here or to friends that I have that do this kind of thing. My suggestion would be to work with some things, and try some things. Should you choose to do that though, I give one warning about one VERY important thing. If you start working with the components of a computer, especially MB and CPU, you need to make absolutely sure that you have NO static electricity in your body. If you plan on working with it more, I would suggest ordering an anto-static bracelet just to be on the safe side. Also, if you use magnetic tools, be VERY careful in what you touch with it. Static and magnetism can short out things very easily. Other than that, there are not alot of things that you can do to permanently devastate the components. Just a matter of being cautious at first until you get used to things more.