I am thinking about Windows Via C / C++ by Jeffrey Richter, and is that good for a total noob windows programmer? Are there any extremely good ones? The MSDN Library just doesn't do it for me. Thanks for any suggestions.
Your option is extremely good, in fact if you like reading e-books and hard-copy may I recommend Forgers Win32 book, its pretty basic in terms of UI development.
If you interested in rich winsock development may I suggest Network Programming For Microsoft Windows second edition by Anthony Jones & Jim Ohlund.
After these critical steps you could probably use you time learning specific APIs and topics which include DirectX and Malware research.
I strongly advise you not to e jump a ahead of your self as Windows API is pretty much complicated and difficult for a newbie which means jumping further than your learning curve could lead you to becoming a programmers who has no internal knowledge of reason why these happen.
Good Luck! I hope to see you soon here (in this section).
Your book does not teach UI, however it gives knowledge of back-end & internals of Windows kernel and usermode. It not only gives you theory but shows code so you can implement and use Windows special development dedicated function in your Application these include moving files and copying files using Windows API (1 - 2 lines of code) rather than using bare C++ (file input output libraries & such) which would take significant amount of time & possibly be much more time efficient than windows.
As for network programming, it does not teach too much about HTTP protocol but rather about TCP\UDP\ICMP protocols and how to use them to create servers and clients similar to your idea but it is not as complicated as you assume, you would find it incredibly simple and easy to grasp.
Do be aware it does not talk or teach about management of servers (Security, Hardware, Customers).
Ok thanks again. I kinda need something new to learn now after finishing my second C++ book and first large C++ tutorial. Would you recommend Qt for anything? I have it installed, learned the very basics of signals and slots and Qt objects, and haven't touched it since. Should I continue with it?
For some things, Qt is much better than windows. Being a C++ library, it is much more intuitive and easy to use for a C++ programmer than the WinAPI (which is written in C), though that admittedly isn't saying much...
Qt is good for cross-platform development. If you write a UI program that you want to be able to compile on Windows, Linux, Mac, or maybe extend it for phones as well, Qt is the way to go. However, because it has to abstract from the native API, it won't have as much functionality as messing around with the underlying API does. I would generally recommend learning Qt, for more all-round development, and then learning the specific underlying API (in this case the Win32 API) to get more control, which can be useful.