Here is a cool project that you can build from a few parts that will allow you to power fluorescent lights with a 12 volt battery.
This low cost project even teaches you how to wind your own transformer from salvaged parts.
This link is from a interactive electronics e-magazine stocked full of electronics projects and tutorials. There is also a basic electronics course and micro-computer programming course that can be purchased for a small fee.
Many of the lessons feature animated gif images that really aid in the learning process on how electronics circuits work.
Know what? In recent years you’ve been able to get a 12V to CFL adapter for PC mod purposes for around $5 or less on PC parts websites or eBay, etc. I don’t see the point except as a dangerous project to learn to electrocute yourself with.