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8jaggery

How to just....learn more?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I've been watching ltt and other tech channels for like 3 or 4 years now and I still just feel like I haven't learned enough about hardware and everything, and I do want to learn more about it

Is there some way to know more about it? Where do you suggest to start?

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Practice, reading or watching others won't give you the same results as practicing with real parts.


I tend to reply with memes because I lack social skills and don't know how to express myself correctly.

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What do you want to learn more about? How components are put together from start to finish? How parts work inside and out? Or do you just want to know about assembling a computer and want more experience in that regards?


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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 minutes ago, Lurick said:

What do you want to learn more about? How components are put together from start to finish? How parts work inside and out? Or do you just want to know about assembling a computer and want more experience in that regards?

Learn in detail about the parts themselves, like difference between the different types of SSDs, etcetera.

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This is what I ended up stumbling into. 

1. Determine WHAT you want to learn about
2. Get involved with a community that values growth and development in that area (peer pressure works). If you can, get a mentor.
3. Determine GOOD learning resources. Don't be afraid to spend a little. Coursera (free), Brilliant (inexpensive), youtube(free), etc. are good sources. Be able to discern quality and cut lower quality sources. When listening try to predict the next bit that'll be talked about and take notes which summarize in as few words as possible concepts
4. Do projects that build up skills and practical understanding. Think building computers, doing coding projects, making a home lab, etc.
5. Have fun/play.


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1 minute ago, 8jaggery said:

Learn in detail about the parts themselves, like difference between the different types of SSDs, etcetera.

For that you need to just look at review sites dedicated to that type of stuff, there isn't really a one-stop shop for most parts, it's going to be scattered about a bit.


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Just now, Mira Yurizaki said:

Experiment with your own computer and see what sticks and what doesn't.

 

The times I broke my computer doing stupid things is more than I want to admit. But at the same time I figured out how to undo my dumbassery.

^This^

I got my current job doing exactly this, experimenting on my own time (Sometimes on work's time now) to learn. I started by just giving myself bigger and bigger tasks until I couldn't complete them, then would break it down into parts I could solve, and if I couldn't focusing on it one step at a time.

 

Now, I work for a small office managing their entire network, all computers, printers, and security system. I'm still learning almost every day on my job (I had no idea what the difference between an MPX camera ,an analog camera, and a digital security camera was until yesterday), and use skills I learned at home to improve my workplace, and visa versa. :D  


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dude  just jump  in too  it experince is the  best knowledge


NOTE: I AM NEVER ALWAYS RIGHT, BUT I AM HAPPY TO HELP ANYWAY I CAN

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I'd say physically doing stuff is worth way more than any video ever can be (although a video can guide you through the process).

 

Get cheap crappy computers and upgrade them using components you can also find for cheap.  Do silly things with old stuff, like maybe find a 2500K and overclock it till it explodes.  Also hacking together projects on a Raspberry Pi, Arduino or whatever can be very rewarding.  If you don't mind the cost maybe even build a retro computer from scratch.  Basically anything you do on the workbench isn't wasted time.

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Just now, AlexTheGreatish said:

I'd say physically doing stuff is worth way more than any video ever can be (although a video can guide you through the process).

 

Get cheap crappy computers and upgrade them using components you can also find for cheap.  Do silly things with old stuff, like maybe find a 2500K and overclock it till it explodes.  Also hacking together projects on a Raspberry Pi, Arduino or whatever can be very rewarding.  If you don't mind the cost maybe even build a retro computer from scratch.  Basically anything you do on the workbench isn't wasted time.

big facts


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32 minutes ago, AlexTheGreatish said:

I'd say physically doing stuff is worth way more than any video ever can be (although a video can guide you through the process).

  

Get cheap crappy computers and upgrade them using components you can also find for cheap.  Do silly things with old stuff, like maybe find a 2500K and overclock it till it explodes.  Also hacking together projects on a Raspberry Pi, Arduino or whatever can be very rewarding.  If you don't mind the cost maybe even build a retro computer from scratch.  Basically anything you do on the workbench isn't wasted time.


There are tradeoffs. 

I would say that learning practice is easier than learning theory (hence a good first step) but that theory scales better as time progresses and older technologies and methods fade away. This is especially the case at the bleeding edge.

With that said, learning the "how to not screw up real stuff" the easy way (videos/lessons) instead of the hard way is a good way to cut costs and minimize injuries. 

-----

Anecdotally - I "learned" a lot of theory during undergrad - think exams filled with Greek letters and not many numbers. I didn't really appreciate it or remember it... got my first full time job and was suddenly in a position where I could use a lot of the concepts... I went to reviewed concepts through coursera (and then grad school). Here and now, it's a lot easier to pick up a concept for a new algorithm because I've seen how the math/code on the backend works and I'm aware of how things can totally go wrong and explode/be misused. Pure application doesn't give you "this could go wrong because..." as an insight.



----------

reframed:
Learn by doing has a more gentle learning curve. Learn by overanalyzing and developing a theoretical understanding has a very steep learning curve BUT it scales better as you approach the upper echelons of what can be known in an area. If you go the "learn by doing" route, which is mostly what's done in IT, your expertise would be from knowing A LOT of many different things and having experience in getting them to work quickly without too many screw ups BUT half your knowledge will be worthless in 5-10 years. If you go the theory route, you'll likely be a bit narrower and your knowledge's half-life will be around 10-20 years instead. You'll also generally be able to pick up new things a bit quicker (if you're fast enough, you can get to where you'd handle most of the former's roles while being able to go way deeper - think the guy defining 802.11ax as a standard [or designing an antenna for it] vs the guy rolling out 500APs in a stadium using someone else's pre-made stuff). 


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The best way to learn, for me anyways, is hands on. Assemble your own PC, go to Micro Center and just look at parts, cable manage, think of a problem you want to solve and come up with a way to solve it, without the help of others. The more you touch components the more you'll learn about them. Watching someone else do it is a great way to learn, but nothing comes close to doing it yourself, especially learning from your mistakes.


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26 minutes ago, comander said:

Anecdotally - I "learned" a lot of theory during undergrad - think exams filled with Greek letters and not many numbers. I didn't really appreciate it or remember it... got my first full time job and was suddenly in a position where I could use a lot of the concepts... 

The main reason I said for the OP to do a lot of physical stuff is because it sounds like they've hit the point where they've learned a lot of the theory but haven't put any of it to the test practically.  

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Just now, AlexTheGreatish said:

The main reason I said for the OP to do a lot of physical stuff is because it sounds like they've hit the point where they've learned a lot of the theory but haven't put any of it to the test practically.  

Your logic (if know.theory == T then do practice) is good but I would interpret the interpretation of OP's baseline ("watched a bunch of youtube") as being more towards learning a lot about practice (but not having done a lot of practice). 

I would still say he should do some practice (things you had suggested such as fiddling with an RPi or old Sandy Bridge system) but there's A LOT of theory to learn too (think Electrical Engineering, Signal Processing, Computer Science, Physics, Applied Math, etc.)

That's a good chunk of why I emphasized as step 1 knowing WHAT needs to be learned. 


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You cant learn it all.  LTT has specialist's for a reason.

 

For myself, the only way to learn is hands on.  Tell me all you want, let me get my hands dirty.  The only reason I have an M.2 NVMe is because (as a gamer it has no bearing on my performance) I needed to understand them, as this is my second of two hobbies I spend my time/$$ on. 

 

I buy a lot of used, or AliExpress hardware - much more affordable and allows me to tinker.  I ask my wifes family, and co-workers to donate any tech with a PCB they would be throwing away to me instead (I get a lot of old and sometimes decent hardware just by asking).

 

I offer to fix family, friends and coworkers PCs for free - the only exchange I ask for - if I cant get it working because its DEAD is, can I have it if you are going to just throw it away (see also, above).  Ive lost out on a few laptops because the old battery reset trick but in reality I don't want to scam anyone out of hardware at all.  That's bad karma.

 

Anyhow pick something and see if you actually like it.  For me, its Hardware.  Legos for adults.

 

And to that point, I know very little about server hardware, because that's a different ecosystem but Im sure I could learn it due to the similarities to consumer hardware.  Got to pick something and focus on that to learn!


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I learn by taking apart and puting back together random pentium pc's I learned that litteraly anything could be the psu.


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10 hours ago, comander said:

Your logic (if know.theory == T then do practice) is good but I would interpret the interpretation of OP's baseline ("watched a bunch of youtube") as being more towards learning a lot about practice (but not having done a lot of practice). 

I would still say he should do some practice (things you had suggested such as fiddling with an RPi or old Sandy Bridge system) but there's A LOT of theory to learn too (think Electrical Engineering, Signal Processing, Computer Science, Physics, Applied Math, etc.)

That's a good chunk of why I emphasized as step 1 knowing WHAT needs to be learned. 

He said hardware and stuff, the examples you are giving are going to far out of the subject, this guy ain't going to start to learn electrical engineering or all that other stuff, the op said himself "Learn in detail about the parts themselves, like difference between the different types of SSDs" so it is simpler stuff like about the hardware not how the electrical signals travel from a part to another and how strings of information are sent here and there.

 

Also videos LMG posts aren't all practice and how to's. There is a lot of "theory" if that's how you wish to call it involved in these, take techquickie for example, a lot of the videos there explain concepts and often during other videos on the main ltt channel a lot of concepts are explained, like how a given part works, or how the software works together to do a specific task.

 

You saying "learning a lot about practice" only tells me you haven't really looked in detail at their videos to see that  they do include a lot of information, especially in a 4 year span but also watched a bunch of youtube could mean a few hours to a few thousand hours and in a 4 year span we do expect quite a lot of videos and therefore loads of hours spent watching them and a lot of those videos do include useful information but also learning practice. The only way I can look at your given statements is that the OP doesn't know much about tech after watching a tech channel for 4 years.

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6 hours ago, AndreiArgeanu said:

He said hardware and stuff... 

You require a lot of assumptions to reach your conclusions. 


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As someone who graduated from a computer engineering course, I can tell you I've used in my career comparatively little of the theory I was taught in school. If anything, the only thing it did was save my EE colleagues 5 minutes to explain something.

 

People can be successful regardless if they study theory or build up experience. The important thing to remember is to not stop learning.

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@8jaggery What works for me is to tackle the hardest thing you struggle at which comes to mind, as a 3d artist i went into the deep end straight away, now by no means am i perfect or a master at any of this but if you tackle the hard things then you will learn more and in the long run it will help. For hardware i would recommend doing it yourself that way it stays in your brain and then it will be like learning to swim

 

"if your not struggling,your not learning"

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11 hours ago, comander said:

You require a lot of assumptions to reach your conclusions. 

Not really, I made assumptions based on your comments, and didn't need more than one assumption. You can clearly see through structure that I attempted to separate my points properly. You picking 6 words out of the 269 that I wrote only shows me you haven't looked at my comment as a whole. My main point was that you, recommending that he learns electrical engineering and all that other stuff is far too off topic. 

 

You saying that watching videos is "more about practice" also made me think that you believe that YouTube videos don't include much information and I gave you a couple of examples which do actually include it. And also based on that assumption that YouTube videos are "more about practice" I can also assume that you believe that the OP doesn't know that much about the tech but rather how to use it/build it or what it contains which I disagree with. I didn't made my assumptions on those 6 words you quoted, I made it mainly on your whole comment.

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15 hours ago, AndreiArgeanu said:

Not really, I made assumptions based on your comments

I'm going to break down assumptions, specious reasoning and things which are more incorrect than correct. 

On 8/1/2019 at 2:52 AM, AndreiArgeanu said:

He said hardware and stuff, the examples you are giving are going to far out of the subject, this guy ain't going to start to learn electrical engineering or all that other stuff, the op said himself "Learn in detail about the parts themselves, like difference between the different types of SSDs" so it is simpler stuff like about the hardware not how the electrical signals travel from a part to another and how strings of information are sent here and there.

This requires a logical jump. 
 

"Learn in detail about the parts themselves, like difference between the different types of SSDs" could mean learning about differences in caching algorithms, queuing algorithms, wear leveling algorithms, memory, NAND gates, encoding schemes, paging... I could go on. 

This was literally just one week out of a class from grad school and NOT something you'd generally find on youtube by casually glancing. I don't see Linus sketching out how to make an NAND gate.
 

On 8/1/2019 at 2:52 AM, AndreiArgeanu said:

Also videos LMG posts aren't all practice and how to's. There is a lot of "theory" if that's how you wish to call it involved in these

Most people with STEM degrees would consider most of the "theory" you're referring to to not fall into theory and to be MUCH more along the lines of describing real world implementation. There are bits of theory in the tech quickie catalog but it's pretty light - by design. 

On 8/1/2019 at 2:52 AM, AndreiArgeanu said:

Often during other videos on the main ltt channel a lot of concepts are explained, like how a given part works, or how the software works together to do a specific task.

This is literally describing practice. There might be abstract elements described but I don't see LTT regularly describing quicksort as linearithmic or going into graph theory or queuing algorithms when talking about networking. 

On 8/1/2019 at 2:52 AM, AndreiArgeanu said:

You saying "learning a lot about practice" only tells me you haven't really looked in detail at their videos to see that  they do include a lot of information, especially in a 4 year span but also watched a bunch of youtube could mean a few hours to a few thousand hours and in a 4 year span we do expect quite a lot of videos and therefore loads of hours spent watching them and a lot of those videos do include useful information but also learning practice.

While I'll admit I absorb a lot of information and some blurs together, I generally tear up things which I find to be illogical or inaccurate and I look for limitations in authors' knowledge. I've generally seen LTT videos to be closer to instruction manuals or descriptions of things which exist than instilling knowledge on what makes something tick (at least not at a level that a bright 10 year old couldn't understand). 

By and large, LTT is more accurately described as entertainment, NOT education (though some elements are educational).
 

On 8/1/2019 at 2:52 AM, AndreiArgeanu said:

The only way I can look at your given statements is that the OP doesn't know much about tech after watching a tech channel for 4 years.

This is a pretty big assumption and there are reasons to question its validity. 

4 years, even if you're pretty rigorous and persistent about knowledge acquisition, only scratches the surface. Clicking on every link on these 3 pages and then following those one level deeper while attempting to internalize everything is VERY time consuming and there's likely an order or three of magnitude more which could be learned beyond that. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_computer_science
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_electrical_engineering
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_information_technology

I'm pretty passionate about tech. I know A LOT of things. I'd like to think I'm a quick learner. I'm in some senses fanatical and obsessive and have treated tech as a hobby for a lot more than 4 years. I've taken graduate level courses in the area at an "elite" university, been encouraged to get a PhD by multiple professors (I passed) and have worked in engineering heavy settings at a couple of places on this list: https://www.bluechiplist.com/indices/fortune-100-companies/
I've overengineered the heck out of a lot of my own personal equipment...

and I have A LOT of blindspots
I can have an hours long conversation with someone who designs CPUs for a living but not be able to do his job. I can do a risk assessment for doing a billion dollar interconnection project but I can't do the entirety of the work of everyone doing that. I can run a machine learning algorithm on a massive dataset, but I can't develop a cutting edge neural network algorithm... 

I have a lot of blindspots despite being at it for more than 4 years. I could learn at a prolific rate at the detriment of being productive for the next 40 years and still have A LOT of blindspots. 


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