Note: As of 2015, consider the Bastards Book to be in maintenance mode. I currently work at Stanford's Computational Journalism Lab and am slowly working on an overhaul, but it may be awhile. The concepts in this book are evergreen, but the version of Ruby is most definitely not, so follow it with some caution.
The Bastards Book of Ruby is an introduction to programming and its practical uses for journalists, researchers, scientists, analysts, and anyone else whose job is to seek out, make sense from, and show the hard-to-find data.
This does not require being "good at computers", having a background in programming, or the desire (yet) to be a full-fledged hacker/developer. It just takes an eagerness to be challenged.
New: Check out the spinoff book, Bastards Book of Regular Expressions