Bitcoins are a new form of currency that is currentlly produced online that you can produce at a profit if you have what it takes and then a boat load of both patience and luck.
Bitcoin is a new economy that you can generate using your Computers which from this point forward shall be referred to as rig. You Can generate these coins by dedicating time from your RIG to encrypt the trades of bitcoins from person to person securing their transfers. The coins are found in blocks of 50 at the moment. At the moment Every hour 6 blocks are created every hour. There is a system in place to make it harder to get bitcoins. In around 90,000 blocks the number of coins will lower from 50 to 25 per block because half of all bitcoins that will ever be created have been distributed by the system. A total of 21,000,000 Coins will be made.
Blocks are Trade points that have 50 coins in them and have people's cued transfers. First person to complete the Encoding for security gets the 50 Coins inside (At the time of writing this 50BTC=$357.55). Blocks have a Cryptographic Code that allows whoever cracks it first will get the 50 coins.
Mining is the Act of leaving your computer to do the work of the encrypting/coding and shall be referred to as such from now on. There are 2 types of mining, Solo mining and Pool Mining. Solo mining requires that you Produce at least 1.5 Ghash/s and is not effective for the masses. Pool mining is the act of pooling the power of hundreds if not thousands of computers together to decode blocks to get get to these coins. This method require patience as you will be getting miniscule amounts out Bitcoin and when I saw miniscule you will make about .25 bitcoin in 24 hours with an NVIDIA GTX 470.
All mining falls into Two categories you either use your CPU or your GPU. CPU mining is outdate due to the fact that they normally process at a rate of 2 Mhash/s while most Modern GPUs produce any where from 30-700 Mhash/s. NVIDA's CUDA Technology is the less efficient in the case of all bitcoin mining. ATI's OpenCL is the main Processing technology used by Bitcoin making the Difference between an NVIDA GTX 580 and an ATI Radeon 6990 is 600 Mhash/s which translates to a difference of $15-$18 a day.
A mining Rig is a computer designed for just mining Bitcoins. mining Rigs Are usually just a mother board, a PSU, The CPU, The CPU Fan, 2GB of Ram and 3 ATI GPUs that will all be independent miners. Most of us who built or bought their computers for gaming probably have NVDIA cards and in that fact we don't have effective solo mining ops.
Bitcoin is a currency that has no value in the real world but can be traded into $USD at a Trading Site. Soon the main exchange will be able to change bitcoins into the €EUR the ¥YEN. The Main Exchange is also setting up for transfers into the $CAD and the ¥CNY aka The Chinese Yuan.
This Is all I can Write at the moment feel free to ask questions in the comments Ill be happy to try and answer please keep in mind that I am new to this too.
Trading Site- The money!!- https://mtgox.com/
Where you Start- http://www.weusecoins.com/
Next Step Choose Your Miner and Your pool in most cases- http://www.bitcoinminer.com/post/5142039411/miner-pools-software-20110502
When you see a Mhash/s on whichever Miner You use(I use GUIMiner or M0mchill's) go here and put it in so that you can see your profitabilaty to see if you continue mining alone or pooling- http://www.alloscomp.com/bitcoin/calculator.php
General Hardware Guide- https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_hardware_comparison
Where you can use it- https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade
Massive mining Operations- http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=7216.80