The one vital thing you will need to know outside of the usual if/while statements is how to open and read files. Might brush up on this before starting.
I still say jump right in and get started on the hardware chapters. Assuming you are going to write your software tools in Python, if you haven't yet learned how to do Python file I/O by the time you get to chapter 6 we can deal with it then.
What kind of computer do you have?