What Should I bother learning in SSF4AE?

Hey guys Im still a beginner to sf4. My issue is, I currently only have AE on my computer. I won’t be able to upgrade until i get my next paycheck.

I’ve tried playing online but as im sure you guys know, nobody has AE anymore on steam.

So my question is, what can I learn/practice until I actually have usf4 in my hands?

Maximizing your damage off hit confirms

Should I still play any character I choose just to get a hold of solid fundamentals?

Learn to fight with normals and how to move your character.
Get a feeling for the range of every single button.
Learn how far you jump, how to dash at will from both sides etc.

Pick Ryu if you like motion character and Guile if you like chargers.
I suggest Ryu though.

Would performing and completing all the trials be a good way to learn the character? I was never sure if it was worth it completing all 20 per character

No the trials are mostly “Can-you-do-this-combo?”-challenges.
Most are neither damage-efficient in terms of meter spent nor are they practical and in some cases they are even outdated and do not work anymore (except the ultra trials obviously), they just look cool and give advanced players an idea what is possible within the combo system.

Also learning combos does absolutely nothing for you if you’re new, because you will never land them. You will become one of these retards that jump at their opponents and get anti-aired every time because you learned this super duper high damage 420 blazing combo, then realize that you only land it on scrubs and that you’re lost once someone takes that option away from you.

So pick Ryu, go to the training room and get comfortable with his forward dash and back dash from both sides as well as his movement.
Try out every button and find the maximum range on them and take note of their speeds and recovery times.

Just check out these videos they should give you an idea how total beginners should start to practice:

The first one is about SFV but the same applies to SFIV.
You’ll switch eventually anyways cuz SFIV is a good game but a shitty Street Fighter.

Learn movement, all your buttons, play against people and when you find success with all your single buttons and special moves and feel super comfortable with moving and landing your moves, then look at the moves that you find most success with, and learn how to combo them.

All the fundamentals of movement, space control, anti-airing, reading your opponent, hiding your intentions, switching up your playstyle, whiff punishing and pressuring go a whole fucking long way.
Combos are just a way to maximize your damage when all of the above is not enough anymore to win a match. Practice them on the side.
Playing other people consciously and learning how to move at will and use the right button at the right time is much more important.

But sure if you get bored, try some trials but dont get discouraged if you cant do them or wonder why they dont help you win.
They’re just that, a distraction when shit gets boring.