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REAP

New user expectations

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REAP

Hi,


 


I recently posted this response to a post by GIV


 


Now I have seen this post and I can understand GIV's earlier post.


 


The problem is well understood by long-time members and is well explained by GIV here


 


I think it would be worth making some changes to the Board Rules & Guidelines and possibly in a Sticky at the top of each forum as well; so that new members in particular have a realistic expectation about the level of "support" that they can anticipate, and what they should do if they don't understand something in a tutorial.


 


I can also understand why new members sometimes give "feedback" (no doubt with the best of intentions) about some tutorials, because there have been videos that I have watched myself - without any comments or explanation - which I found of little or no value; but that's the reality of 'free support' sometimes you get what you pay for (not much) and other times you get a lot more.


 


greetz


 


 


 


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mrexodia

Personally I don't think we should expect some kind of initial level of knowledge to ask questions on this board. Many newbie questions are actually good ones, just about basic reversing, what hardware breakpoint are etc etc.

The questions that bother me are the 'HOW DO I UNPACK THEMIDA??!?!??11111 Need this for a friend, in 2 HOURS ASAP'-like questions. Always love how kao responds to those :P

But be honest: a lot of tutorials are not very well done, just some operations done on screen, not very useful if you really want to learn something.

A sticky with a link to Lena and Random's tutorials would be good though (Isn't there such a sticky already?)

Greetings

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NOP

I think it would be worth making some changes to the Board Rules & Guidelines and possibly in a Sticky at the top of each forum as well; so that new members in particular have a realistic expectation about the level of "support" that they can anticipate, and what they should do if they don't understand something in a tutorial.

 

That isn't possible. Every member here is here in their own time and do not get paid to help. If you expect no level of support then you will be fine. There is plenty of info here to read and start experimenting on your own freely shared by LOTS of different people from different backgrounds and countries so expecting a similar level of support from everyone is impossible

 

Having said that, if you are willing to learn and do read & watch the tutorials, if you are stuck on a particular part then ask the question and 99% of the time you will get help. They posted the info for other people to learn from their knowledge on their own and do not sit by their computers waiting for someone to ask to be spoon fed anything related to the info they posted

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kao

How new user sees the situation: "I have this EXE file. Someone told me it is packed. I want it unpacked. I want it now. So, I'll just make a post "please unpack this: htttp://xxx.yyy" and someone will do it for me. Or he will explain me step-by-step what should I do."

 

But he doesn't know 2 things. First, this board is not for crack requests. Second, we expect the user to do the job - and more knowledgeable members can provide assistance if and when he gets stuck. 

 

So, it's our failure to communicate.

 

Few points that I think can be easily improved (some of my points repeat what NOP and Exodia already said. I just kept these suggestions here for completeness)

1) Our "Rules and guidelines" are way too long. Seriously, nobody will ever read it past #3 or #4 anyway. :) We need some TL;DR version. 
2) I think it must be made very clear and in very large letters what is and isn't OK. Currently - attachments and crack requests are hidden in #7 and #9 in "Rules and guidelines." Who's gonna look there? But then again, I think that new members just want to have their files unpacked/cracked - and they don't care how many rules they break in the process.

3) Important links, like links to Lena's Tutorials are in "Rules and guidelines" point #15. Nobody will find it there. 

4) It should be made clear that we expect the author to do the research, try to solve things himself, and ask questions when he gets stuck. I don't think it's currently mentioned anywhere.

5) Seeing same "how to unpack themida" questions again, again and again, pisses me off a lot. How hard it can be to use a damn search box?! It should be made clear that a member must use search function and Google before asking trivial questions.

6) Quality of our tutorials is different. LCF-AT is making great stuff. Certain other people can make crappy 10-minute movie showing how to drag-and-drop file on de4dot and find deobfuscated file in the same folder. Seriously, WTF? As a result, new member will find ten tutorials about Confuser on our board, yet 8 of them will be total trash. What's he gonna do? Right, he'll just ask the same question again...

In my opinion, such bad quality tutorials should be trashed immediately - but, as I understand, we don't have enough manpower to do that. Maybe sticky-fy 20-30 best tutorials, so that the crappy ones doesn't show up on first page?

8) Because of 5) and 6), it would probably help to have a nice FAQ on the first page with answers like "How to detect used packer - use PID [link] and RDG Packer detector [link]", "How to unpack Themida? - Read this and that topic by LCF-AT", "How to devirtualize XYZ - Read the this topic by Deathway", "How to unpack Confuser - read this topic by CodeCracker".

 
For inspiration, try reading Forum Rules/Registration form of Exelab.ru (ex-Cracklab): http://exelab.ru/f/index.php?action=manual  - Google Translate to the rescue for the Russian-impaired ones.. :)
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Teddy Rogers

All Junior members will see the following message on the index page of this board...


 


post-620-0-47969800-1406938321_thumb.jpg


 


The idea is once those members have moved out of Junior group they will have been indoctrinated so the message remains hidden for all other member groups. It is quite clear in that message, without even consulting The Board Rules, what the golden rules of this board are. Unfortunately people do and will still continue to ignore these rules and those people will be targetted by Moderators and Administrators in line with the warnings defined in The Board Rules.


 


Every aspiring reverse engineer started somewhere, the ideaology is not to scare new interested people away from asking questions because we want them to participate in the community and become part of the reverse engineering scene too. In the future we may one day be taking lead from them so we must try to nurture and encourage them...


 


Ted.


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REAP

Every aspiring reverse engineer started somewhere, the ideaology is not to scare new interested people away from asking questions because we want them to participate in the community and become part of the reverse engineering scene too. In the future we may one day be taking lead from them so we must try to nurture and encourage them...

 

I agree with this entirely, and the 'custom' message for Junior members is a good idea, but I don't think the message goes far enough. It doesn't address most of the points raised by Kao, which I feel is a fair summary of the expectations of the community (i.e. that members need to search before posting a question, seems obvious to regulars, but if you're a newcomer it won't necessarily be so).

 

The FAQ suggestion is a good one, that way a whole bunch of useful info can be summarised in one place and guidelines can be outlined for what is expected of members and what members can expect from the forum.

 

At the end of the day opinions are like backsides, everybody has one, and quite possibly many won't agree with this view, in which case so be it ...

 

But IMO it is wrong when a member gets flamed about the quality of a tutorial that has been posted (and I have seen this happen more than once). OK some tutorials are better than others (and it makes sense that only the best tutorials would be listed in a Sticky or the Downloads section), but you learn by doing, and people are going to be less inclined to do more tutorials (and get better) if they find that they have to defend themselves rather than respond to questions about the content of tutorial.

 

The bottom line is that there needs to be a clear understanding that people volunteer their time here for free, so ultimately whatever useful info you receive is a bonus. If you don't understand a tutorial by all means ask questions - but flaming the tutorial writer should be off-limits.

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Teddy Rogers

In defence of the banner it's not meant as a one-stop-shop, it's purpose is to highlight the golden rules of the board and to prompt individuals that there are further rules to read at The Board Rules page. If people fail to read the rules and choose to ignore the banner I am not sure how those people would take to reading through a FAQ page. However for those who are more attentive at reading, a FAQ page may be helpful to them, so I am willing to implement it. If you guys have any suggestions as to what the content should be, the level of detail to go in to and where to have this located please share your thoughts and I will work on it...


 


Ted.


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REAP

@Ted


 


As you say there are always going to be boofheads that post crack requests etc. and no amount of FAQ etc will make any difference to their behaviour.


 


I've since had another look at the current Board Rules and notice that in "Board Etiquette" there is already a comment about "no flaming"; so the question becomes how to get those new members that are interested in learning RE to take notice of the rules to make the Forum better for all.


 


I'm inclined to think that there should be a separate sticky for new members, which covers the basics in more detail and reinforces some of the key etiquette rules:


 


  • How to post questions (i.e. that you're expected to do research, and explain what steps that you have taken to try to solve the problem yourself before posting a question)
  • As Kao has noted it should be emphasised that people should search the forum and Google before posting any question. For instance if you're using one of the unpacker scripts, and the script produces an error, search that topic for the error_before_ posting a question in the topic.
  • The 1st post for unpacker scripts and tools will often have the latest version of the script/tool and tutorials on how to configure and use; so check those instructions _before_ posting questions about any errors that have been encountered
  • A stack of URL's for commonly asked questions (Kao point 8), which could also include a series of links for RE newbies (Lena is great, but I think the Random series is very good as well, and perhaps there are some good intro packer tutorials that could be added)
  • A reminder that:
  • All members volunteer their time freely, so whatever useful info you receive is a bonus; if you don't understand something and have done some research then by all means ask questions. But don't expect to be spoon-fed.
  • If a tutorial goes too fast, use the pause/rewind button to replay that part. If some part of the tutorial assumes knowledge that you don't have (search the tutorial thread - and if the point that you don't understand has not been asked - post a question). Or if you don't find the tutorial helpful, ignore it and find another one that is better. Don't tell the author how you think the tutorial should have been done. This is free support, sometimes you get more than you pay for and sometimes you don't.

greetz


Edited by REAP (see edit history)

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NOP

Is it possible to disable attachments and links until the member has at least a few posts, that should stop most of the crack / unpack requests for members with 1 or 2 posts who just sign up for that?


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Teddy Rogers

I was hoping to have this completed before replying, I am here to let you know I have not forgotten. I am still thinking about how best to implement your suggestions, the content and where to put it... once I have some spare time. Been very busy with projects recently! Hopefully I'll have it done by the end of the week...


 




Is it possible to disable attachments and links until the member has at least a few posts, that should stop most of the crack / unpack requests for members with 1 or 2 posts who just sign up for that?




 


Thank you for the suggestion. There are already similar restrictions in place for new members and it seems to have worked well for now...


 


Ted.


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Extreme Coders

There can also be a minimum post count restriction before new users are allowed to use the Private Message feature.


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kao

@Extreme Coders: that could encourage people to make useless posts like "thx 4 share" or "+1" or similar - I'm not sure if we need more of those.

Any time I receive inappropriate PM, I just press "Report" button and mods take care of that. ;)

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GIV

Hi all.


 


Now i have noticed that i am the bad guy again.


 


:prop:


 


I have nothing to do with the beginners because i have a beginner myself and i know when i asked what ESP trick is and nobody answered me.


 


So i start searching the internet what the ESP trick is and found.


 


Further i have take a pen and a paper and start to note what i have seen on "tutorials".


A real tutorial is one on a PDF witch you can print and think about it.


Video tutorials are good but are just like a good serial.


You watch, enjoy and forget.


 


So my advice is to start from bottom to top not backwards.


Sometimes i get in despair with some poor quality users and i loose my focus.


 


That is why i "tamper" some users . Because we work so hard to show some methods and some zero brain users make fun of us and insult us even they don't understand what amount of time and knowledge  is involved to show a 3 minutes of a nice method video etc.


Sometimes instead of sitting to play with my boy i show them something or code some tool for their use and in return you get insults.


So is not worth the time.


 


Anyway....


 


See ya!


Edited by GIV (see edit history)
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Teddy Rogers

I have considered things mentioned in this topic and looked at a few options and each time I nearly ended up re-writing The Board Rules. Rather than duplicate the content I have added some new sections to The Board Rules so that the first part is more like a FAQ for new members to the board. I think this was not how some of you thought it may turn out so I apologies but I am open to suggestions...


 


Ted.


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rekoe

There can also be a minimum post count restriction before new users are allowed to use the Private Message feature.


 

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NOP

There can also be a minimum post count restriction before new users are allowed to use the Private Message feature.

An EXACT copy of a post by Extreme Coders 4 posts above yours...???

 

There can also be a minimum post count restriction before new users are allowed to use the Private Message feature.

Edited by NOP (see edit history)

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