Step 2: Find a Retro-Gaming Community to Help You
The second community to mention is Digital Press http://www.digitpress.com. You will find a lot of information on old games here, but they don't just specialize in old games. You'll also run across information about all the newest consoles. I also joined this website in the midst of my Atari wanna-be programmer phase, but don't think it's quite as useful as the first.
The last community is a little unique in a few ways. The way I understand it, they don't have an "official" website, but have been hosted in several places. The Stella Mailing List http://www.biglist.com/lists/stella/ has searchable archives and I believe it dates back to the mid-90s. I don't think they still update the information, but in the past it would contain answers to fairly detailed questions from the community itself. You can still search through the archives and find a lot of the answers you need to difficult questions.
For the purposes of this instructable, I will pretty much reference the community from AtariAge. They also cross over to the other two sites, and vice versa, but AtariAge seems to be the most personable and the most helpful of the three for beginners (imho).