From zero to Arduino (maybe a HOWTO someday?)
- Don't overestimate the other Arduino users! They all were not born with this knowledge too.
- Never be too shy to ask!
- Making mistakes is ok as long as they trigger learning.
(-: short break :-)
You'll find lots of HOWTOs and other tutorials in the wild wild web.
I assume, the confusing thing is to read them in the wrong order.
Forget your Arduino(s) for a while and start with reading about:
- General common components (resitors, capacitors...) and when and how to use them...
This will at least partially answer:
- Safety rules, what happens when you do something wrong
- How to read schematics (different elements that appear there)
If not already done:
- Read about ANDs, ORs, NANDs, NORs, FLIPFLOPs...
This will show how their schematic symbols look like.
- ...compare them to creating the same behaviour by programming (if,
and (&&), or (||), ...)
- Have a look at bit operations (&, |, ... on whole number variables.
The programming up to this point can be done on your PC.
After this, dedust your Arduino again and jump into:
- What different pins are used for (yeah, even on a more basic level
than arduino documentation)
(Happy end. At least for now.)
(I make this a community wiki answer to invite others to expand this text.)