I have learned to program perl and C++ as well as do some work with HTML. When I walk into a book store that has a decent stock of computer books I often get lost with all the technology available. I see .net, python, sysco, XML, java, java script, oricle and so on. I am not asking for a definision of each technology that would be a constantly outdated book. Are there any overview books that break down these seeminly random names of computer solutions? That is catigorize them between server technologies, web technologies or programming languages and operating systems.

I would like to find a resource that is a beginner's guide to computers. That is break down all that into gropus then explain what each one does then give an intro to that topic. Often times when you start one topic they will lead naturally to others such as HTML to XML to java script of perl or my-SQL. I would like to know what areas to study that complement each other. I have done some work with HTML then used perl in the CGI bin. Often time it is hard to know what it out there and I am reluctant to spend $40 on a book that I not even sure if it will help not to mention the investment in time that something that might not even contribute to what I am doing.

I have access to hundreds of free technology classes on an army web page. I know what many of the topics to various degrees. Still I often wonder if they are worth the time to go through and try to lear if I will ever use what they are teaching.

I am slowly getting to know what most of the