Also check out this tiny old book suitable for a total noob to computers:
The Pattern on the Stone - The Simple Ideas that Make Computers Work by W. Daniel Hillis
This book shocked me with the idea of a universal computer:-)
"..there is really only one kind of computer .. all kinds of computers are alike in what they can and cannot do"
".. any computing device, whether it’s built of transistors, sticks and strings, or neurons, can be simulated by a universal computer."
".. making a computer think like a brain is just a matter of programming it correctly."