You make it seem relatively simple to learn the basics of C. How difficult is it to learn the libraries and operators?
The operators just take some memorization - learning the difference between "=" and "==" for instance, or between "<" and "<<". And how to use them (binary and unary operators).
I love the unary operators, Rather than typing:
variablename = variablename + 1;
you can type:
and get the same results...
It's even more useful with pointers - the compiler knows the size of the thing pointed to, and will increment the pointer by the correct amount (number of bytes).
And if it's in a conditional, you can put the ++ either before the name (to increment before evaluation) or after the name (to increment after evaluation).
The libraries are just a matter of usage. The things you use all the time, you soon learn all the functions and their parameters. The stuff you seldom use, you'll need to look up.
That's the way it is in any technical field - the common stuff you soon memorize, but you need references for the seldom used stuff (just like we use dictionaries for spelling/meaning).
Are there any good books / references / how-tos available on the web gratis?
I gave a few in my original post. You can back up to find it, or, if you want, I'll come up with a more comprehensive list and post it here. Just let me know.
While we're on the subject of books, I get a lot of them from my local library - they always have a couple of carts by the door with your choice for a dollar - and since programming or computer books are not that popular, I usually find one or two that I would like to have. A buck a piece is a darned good price! Might pay you to check it out.