I am trying to get started with Cardano. This is a rough log of my adventure and the path I've taken to get started.

I want to put my spare compute to use to earn Cardano. What do I need to do?
It looks like I need to create a public stake pool to really earn. According to this page, I have to first learn how to set up, run, and maintain a Cardano node for 24/7 uptime.

Creating a stake pool

Here's some good info on staking https://iohk.io/en/blog/posts/2020/11/13/the-general-perspective-on-staking-in-cardano/

If I want to delegate my Ada to a cardano stake pool that someone else operates, here are a few links for that:

Staking and delegating for beginners—A step-by-step guide
Staking and delegating for beginners—A step-by-step guide (Written by @ElliotHill of the Cardano Foundation) Today’s hard fork marks the release of Shelley and with it, the arrival of stake pool creation and delegation. Cardano is a proof of stake (PoS) blockchain. This means that even if you d…
How to choose a stake pool
Deciding which stake pool is the best for youThere are more than 1000 stake pools available. Choosing to which ones delegate your stake is an important decision. There are many differences between...
How safe is it to delegate to a stake pool?
Delegating your stake to a stake pool is 100% secure.1) You should never transfer ADA to a stake pool. If a stake pool asks you to send them funds in a transaction, please DO NOT PROCEED and repor...
How to delegate and earn rewards? — Cardano Documentation 1.0.0 documentation