Another book series to consider is the "Dummy" series...."Internet for Dummies", "Windows for Dummies", etc. Like the "Complete Idiot's Guide" series, it is not intended to insult anyone, just provide clear, simple explanations. They also can be found at Amazon
.com, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Waldenbooks, etc
As far as installing programs, nowadays (at least for Windows), once you insert the CD into your drive, a lot of programs have "wizards" that walk you through the installation of the program step-by-step.
Feel free to send me a private message/email if you have any further questions. Hopefully everything here will help you get started
Newly minted MSN