I'm 17 and I decided that I want to be an electric engineer. I've learned a lot from purchased books, kits, etc. At Radioshack I stumbled upon their Electronics Learning Lab kit and, with the help of internet, I've achieved a basic understanding of what a lot of the parts do. To get to the point, the only parts that I'm having trouble understanding is how to use the ICs that it came with and what they each specifically do. The names of which are below. The 555 Timer is the only one I've been experimenting with, (making the simple astable and monostable circuits) but I don't get how to use these applications in broad situations. I know it's a very expansive question, but if ya'll can help me out, even a little bit of helpful information is greatly appreciated.

1) Quad Op Amp 324

2) CMOS Quad 2-input NAND Gate 4011

3) CMOS Quad 2-input NOR Gate 4001

4) Dual-D Flip-flop 4013

5) Decade Counter/Decoder 4017

6) Phase-Locked Loop 4046

7) Hex Inverting Buffer 4049

CMOS 4-bit Presettable Up/Down Counter 4029

9) Quad Bilateral Switch 4066

10) BCD to 7 Segment Decoder 4511

11) Exclusive OR-Gate 4070

12) Dual Op Amp 272

13) Power Amp 386

14) Quad Comparator 339

15) Regulator 7805

16) Timer 555