Make sure you install the documentation included with our distro. Aside from the man/info system. There is documentation on all the common commands that come with the KDE help program.
Installing a program from a tarball (.tgz or .bz) source package isn't difficult provided you don't have to track down a bunch of missing libraries, or if the libraries have version mismatches.
The README file that comes with the package will tell you which steps to take. Usually, it's simply:
tar xvzf <packagename>.tgz
This will uncompress the source files into a directory <packagename>
# Always look at the included README file. Sometimes installing is a little different.
# This checks if you have everything
# installed you need to compile and run the
# application. And writes the Makefile.
# The make program reads the Makefile and compiles
# the program.
su # You need to be root to have to write
# access to directorys such as /usr/bin
# or /usr/local/bin, where most
# programs will be installed.
# this will simply copy the program or library files
# to the target directories, where they will be run from.
The articles, in the magazine may also go over how to install the programs. Good Luck, and Have Fun!