There is a section of the Wired magazine website devoted to how-to topics. There you’ll find information on how to compile software, photograph the stars, and a bunch of other things, including how to become a radio amateur.
The interesting thing is that this site is actually a wiki, and your contributions are not only accepted, but also welcome. The Become an Ham Radio Operator wiki could use a little help. I just played around with it myself, but it could use more. Please feel free to hack on it a bit. I’ll be checking in myself from time to time and doing some editing and writing.