one thing is certain: the future war against ai (artificial intelligence) is coming. no, i'm not talking about the matrix movies. in the matrix, neo, morpheus, trinity, etc, were all clones, grown by the robots. they weren't fighting for mankind; they were fighting for clone-kind. i'm talking about programmatic viruses that are too small for the human eye to see, programs that infect the human body, a robotic plague. would you be ready? fear has a name, and it is: nanoelectronics omgz noes!!
this may not seem like much of a project, but it's important for several reasons. one point of this lesson is that you should always have a plan b, c, and d. don't grow too attached to your computer station or files because systems will and do fail (mostly because they're not taken care of). when a program stops working, they refer to it as being "hosed." you should make it a habit to back up your data often, and have a recovery plan sketched up and stapled right next to the fire-escape route. as we move further along you will learn about tools that could help you to automate the majority of this process. they make affordable little usb (universal serial bus) devices that are small enough to fit on your key-chain, so that you're never without your favorite files.
the second point is that technology, although constantly changing, will grow on you like a tumor; it becomes a part of you. there have been several times when i was out with friends having a good time and then suddenly i just felt out of place. i couldn't tell what exactly was bothering me; the only thing going through my mind was that i needed to get home, and fast. i know that feeling well now, and whenever it comes i can confidently say "i just lost my internet connection." having a h4x0r pack full of 1337 g34r will help you feel safe when your connection severs itself. cyber cafés help too.
as for the notebook, when geeks aren't typing code they're usually hand-writing code to be typed later, also known as "pseudo-code." you can use the notebook starting now, to make a note of every time you see something on your computer having to do with aol. you'll want to delete anything and everything aol related later.