yes editing the registry can do things....but to put it bluntly, make one mistake in the registry and you could be possibly looking at a format a reinstall. It can be an extremely complicated beast so it's not really ideal to experiment in there unless you accept the potential consequences.
That said, it's great that you want to learn but prepare yourself for lots of reading I have just uploaded a PDF Registry Guide for you and you can download it here. It's got some very helpful pointers and information in regarding the structure and role of the registry.
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