I am interested in learning chess. I am already familiar with the rules of the game, but I am very weak when it comes to tactics and strategy.
I am afraid that if I just register at chess.com and start playing games, my ability to improve to my chess score will be limited by the fact that I won't understand the reasons for my losses.
On the other hand, I don't feel like there is anything worth doing well that you can completely learn from reading a book. I'm also just not sure how to find the book that is right for me. Most books seem to either be for beginners that don't know what the pieces do, or for rather advanced players whose techniques just don't apply to me yet.
Also, I don't own a Windows machine, so running Chessmaster or Fritz would be difficult, though not out of the question.