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Thread: Perspective from a total newbe

  1. #1
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    Perspective from a total newbe

    Well, I don't want to fan any fires but I'm just reading and trying to learn here. I'm very green to DTivo and Linux. I came here for guidance, the best and easiest way to get my unit to perform like I want, and mainly to learn something new.
    There are a lot of good folks here sharing their experiences and knowledge. There are others here that disagree and like to post slams instead of being helpful, as demonstrated in this thread HERE.
    What was the purpose of creating this forum in the first place or your reason for joining? Was it to vent or to learn something and share that information to help others? Seems to me, the goal of this forum would be for the members to compile all of this knowledge and come up with an informative learning guide to accomplishing an end result. I know there are different hacks and ways to get there but there should be a basic way to accomplish this. A roadmap, have you.
    I joined this forum with the hopes of not having to complete a course on Linux to accomplish what I want. Or, to learn Linux without attending a class, I'm cheap and hate attending classes. There are so many twists and turns, I'm getting lost in the traffic. One guide says do this so I start reading it. Then, I see another thread with another guide that leads me in a totally different direction. All proclaiming to be the best, but none have explained exactly WHY or exactly WHAT for. I'm not complaining, I REALLY appreciate those that have taken the time to document their experiences to share with us newbes.
    Don't lose the memory of when you were green like me. Try to see it from the point of view that you just arrived here and just bought your first TIVO unit. Where do I go from here.
    Again, thanks to ALL that share their knowledge and experience to help us "wet behind the ears" folk.



  2. #2
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    Re: Perspective from a total newbe

    Originally posted by ezman
    What was the purpose of creating this forum in the first place or your reason for joining? Was it to vent or to learn something and share that information to help others? Seems to me, the goal of this forum would be for the members to compile all of this knowledge and come up with an informative learning guide to accomplishing an end result. I know there are different hacks and ways to get there but there should be a basic way to accomplish this. A roadmap, have you.
    nope, this is not accurate. the goal of this forum is to explore the limits of what can be done with tivos. guides are simply a side issue created to help n00bs and allow those with knowledge to spend more time developing rather than answering the same questions all the time.

    I joined this forum with the hopes of not having to complete a course on Linux to accomplish what I want. Or, to learn Linux without attending a class, I'm cheap and hate attending classes. There are so many twists and turns, I'm getting lost in the traffic. One guide says do this so I start reading it. Then, I see another thread with another guide that leads me in a totally different direction. All proclaiming to be the best, but none have explained exactly WHY or exactly WHAT for. I'm not complaining, I REALLY appreciate those that have taken the time to document their experiences to share with us newbes.
    Don't lose the memory of when you were green like me. Try to see it from the point of view that you just arrived here and just bought your first TIVO unit. Where do I go from here.
    Again, thanks to ALL that share their knowledge and experience to help us "wet behind the ears" folk.
    the thread you pointed out contains many comments on why having many guides is detremental. if there are 5 different monte guides, all doing the same thing (obvious to the experts), but the minor differences cause questions like this. yes, we were all green at one point, however, the thread you were pointing to brings up some important issues:

    1) how many guides are enough? one answer is as many as it takes. i disagree with that. i suggest only enough to cover the basics, because guides which are blindly followed cause more problems then they solve, and too many guides causes the confusion which you suggest

    2) how should guides be laid out? pretty much any format is fine. however, guides should be certain to give credit where credit is due. cobelli's "guide" is nothing more than a layout change on existing info from ingineer, myself, and a few others, and yet he is getting credit for writing a "guide". does this matter in the long run? not really, but it discourages those who do put in work.

    beyond that, guides should always have clear explanations of everything but the most rudementary commands. I suggest that comments in guides should follow comments that you would use when programming. just like you dont need to comment every "i++", you dont need to comment every single "cd /mnt/tivo". however, each logical step in the process should have comments. annotated versions of the guide for printing are fine, but the explanations for what is going on should be there. since we are in a web world, links should be used to allow even more information to be found on certain topics (there are single original threads on mfs_ftp, tytools, monte, the s2 hacking faq).

    3) when should guides be made sticky? when the mods feel its appropriate. specifically, I will not sticky any guide which i dont feel has any new value. if there is already a guide available, then rehashes of the same type of guide aren't going to be stickied unless there is a very good reason (utilizing a different zip file of stuff is not a good reason).

    now, having been a member of this board since the great breakaway from TCF back in the day, I am very aware of the history and how people come through the ranks. I appreciate the guide writers who have come before, but moreso i appreciate the true developers who are able to make great tools. since this board is about development, they should not be burdened with support if they choose to not support their tools. and if people dont like that, then they shouldnt use the tools.
    Step one: search button!
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  3. #3
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    Re: Re: Perspective from a total newbe

    Originally posted by mrblack51
    nope, this is not accurate. the goal of this forum is to explore the limits of what can be done with tivos. guides are simply a side issue created to help n00bs and allow those with knowledge to spend more time developing rather than answering the same questions all the time.

    Well, to become a productive part of this forum, you have to have the basic tools to begin with. This shouldn't be a SIDE issue. You have to develop new folks with new ideas in order to sustain any progress.

    the thread you pointed out contains many comments on why having many guides is detremental. if there are 5 different monte guides, all doing the same thing (obvious to the experts), but the minor differences cause questions like this. yes, we were all green at one point, however, the thread you were pointing to brings up some important issues:

    1) how many guides are enough? one answer is as many as it takes. i disagree with that. i suggest only enough to cover the basics, because guides which are blindly followed cause more problems then they solve, and too many guides causes the confusion which you suggest

    Excellent support of my point.

    2) how should guides be laid out? pretty much any format is fine. however, guides should be certain to give credit where credit is due. cobelli's "guide" is nothing more than a layout change on existing info from ingineer, myself, and a few others, and yet he is getting credit for writing a "guide". does this matter in the long run? not really, but it discourages those who do put in work.

    I believe he stated that he just took the time to COMPILE the works of others. I believe he said that in THIS thread.

    DISCLAIMER: None of the hacking in this guide was discovered by the author (Cobelli). The following is instead a compilation of other people’s work organized in an easy-to-follow manner. Credit is given to the appropriate individual when possible.


    beyond that, guides should always have clear explanations of everything but the most rudementary commands. I suggest that comments in guides should follow comments that you would use when programming. just like you dont need to comment every "i++", you dont need to comment every single "cd /mnt/tivo". however, each logical step in the process should have comments. annotated versions of the guide for printing are fine, but the explanations for what is going on should be there. since we are in a web world, links should be used to allow even more information to be found on certain topics (there are single original threads on mfs_ftp, tytools, monte, the s2 hacking faq).

    3) when should guides be made sticky? when the mods feel its appropriate. specifically, I will not sticky any guide which i dont feel has any new value. if there is already a guide available, then rehashes of the same type of guide aren't going to be stickied unless there is a very good reason (utilizing a different zip file of stuff is not a good reason).

    I will limit my reading to the stickys for now. Hopefully, this will help eliminate some confusion for me. Might I suggest setting up a Guide section and have Admin or Mods move only relevant, current and originally authored guides into that section. Might help eliminate confusion to newbes like myself.

    now, having been a member of this board since the great breakaway from TCF back in the day, I am very aware of the history and how people come through the ranks. I appreciate the guide writers who have come before, but moreso i appreciate the true developers who are able to make great tools. since this board is about development, they should not be burdened with support if they choose to not support their tools. and if people dont like that, then they shouldnt use the tools.
    Thanks for your replies. There are peeps out here that would like to learn and become a productive part of the TIVO community. New minds can contribute new ideas. Thanks again for all those that contribute to help others learn. I hope to be a contributor myself.

  4. #4
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    I guess I'll chime in with my own newbie perspective, since the thread has come up.

    <ramble>
    I think everybody realizes that there are two extremes with newbies in any area of interest: on one hand are people who are new, but genuinely interested in learning; on the other hand are people who simply want the information handed to them.

    I can't recall seeing posts giving people in the first group a hard time. Furthermore, I completely understand the frustration that members have with the second group, and because I keep that in mind, I don't have a problem with the "tone" (for lack of a good word) that the discussions sometimes take--it would be rude to simply show up and ask people to spoon-feed me (or worse yet, EXPECT them to spoon feed me!).

    I think that the OP brings up part of the problem. New users probably do see the purpose of the forum as creating a guide, but that's just not the case.

    When I first started reading here, I was overwhelmed by the information. The guides (in some cases), help pull some of that together, but in the end, I ended up going to the respective threads and reading them anyway.

    Newbies come here expecting to find a digital book, with all of the information they seek neatly organized and referenced. I suppose that would be helpful, but if that's what they want, they should just head for the bookstore; the strength of a forum such as this is that it is dynamic. Unfortunately, dynamic means that it doesn't have a table of contents, though the search button does work wonders
    </ramble>

    Anyway, I'm not sure there's a point to all of this. I was meaning to post to thank people for the various threads. The stickies were helpful, though it usually took 2-3 complete reads for me to really get it!

    Remember: for every newbie that logs in and immediately posts a thread asking stupid questions, there are many lurkers who have gotten up and running without being too much of a nuisance!

    So, thanks to everybody who posts here. Based on your information, I decided on a DSR7000, bought it, built a serial cable, installed a 120 gig drive, learned enough linux to be dangerous to myself and those in the immediate vicinity, monte'd the kernel, and installed some basic hacks (tivotitle, etc.). All this with only a few posts to my name, and even some of those were trying to answer questions. Now if I could just get cron working

    Anyway, because of you guys, the fiance and I have a great new tivo. As everyone always says, the information is here, if you'll take a little time to dig it up!


    thanks,
    othy
    Last edited by othy; 11-17-2003 at 03:15 PM.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by othy
    So, thanks to everybody who posts here. Based on your information, I decided on a DSR7000, bought it, built a serial cable, installed a 120 gig drive, learned enough linux to be dangerous to myself and those in the immediate vicinity, monte'd the kernel, and installed some basic hacks (tivotitle, etc.). All this with only a few posts to my name, and even some of those were trying to answer questions. Now if I could just get cron working

    Anyway, because of you guys, the fiance and I have a great new tivo. As everyone always says, the information is here, if you'll take a little time to dig it up!
    [/B]
    Well said. Good job on your hacks and welcome to the group.

    NutKase
    "God, and DealDataBase, help those that help themselves." --Shamelessly stolen from psxboy
    ------------------------------------------------
    2 each, SA S2 287hr 7.2.1a's with Lifetime.
    Hacks: 1 Manually Monte'd -140, Bash,Telnet,FTP,TivoWebPlus,
    Superpatch-67all Unscrambled/HMO,MFS_FTP Ver. N,TyTools, tivoserver
    Fully hacked SA S1

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    I hesitated to get involved in this thread since the one ezman referenced was mine. This is not meant to open any old wounds but there were a couple of comments made that I feel deserve some clarification. It seems that part of the original controversy regarding the aforementioned thread stemmed from my initial response about having "as many guides as it takes." The response was a bit sarcastic and got blown out of proportion as a result. For that I wish to apologize to any and all concerned that may have misconstrued my intentions.

    What I meant by that statement was that it would take as many guides as there are hacking methods that may require the support of a step-by-step tutorial. I didn't mean to imply that there should be multiple guides for the same exact hack. That would definitely be confusing and non-productive, unless the initial guide presented was confusing and caused more problems than it solved. Not all hacks are presented with supporting documentation. The montestuff.zip file didn't have a readme and was somewhat confusing as to how it should have been used, hence the reason for putting the guide together in the first place.

    guides are simply a side issue created to help n00bs and allow those with knowledge to spend more time developing rather than answering the same questions all the time.
    This was one of the primary reasons for "creating" the guide in hopes of alleviating the repetitive questions that get posted time after time in these forums. There had not been any discussion on the montestuff.zip files prior to my posting the thread so I was looking to fill a niche and nothing more. Apparently somebody is finding it useful due to the number of downloads that have taken place since it was reposted (over 250 downloads total between the two threads).

    I agree 100% about giving credit where it's due. I never claimed to take any credit for developing the info in the guide but I also didn't list many specific names as to who did, mainly because I was probably too lazy to look them up at the time. I firmly believe that the developers should get full credit and not those using the info for their own purposes.

    guides should always have clear explanations of everything but the most rudementary commands.
    I would agree with that up to a point. If a guide is meant to be nothing more than a step by step set of instructions for performing a hack as mine was then I'd have to disagree. The guide contained mostly the rudimentary commands of which you spoke but anything specific to the monte hack was already covered in the monte thread. I recommended to anyone using the guide that they read through the monte thread first to gain an understanding of what they were about to attempt, eliminating the need to post redundant info in the guide.

    The guide was meant to give the user something to follow along with and is more of a placeholder than anything else. I've been a technical writer for almost 27 years and I've never seen a manual that mixed theory of operation in with procedural steps. It just isn't done anywhere in the industry. The "How To" and the "Why For" are two completely different topics of discussion and never get combined unless you have separate chapters in a manual. Since I wasn't trying to write a full-blown manual I didn't see how including the "Why For" info was relevent. If you want to understand how a hack works then you should read up on it first. I'd shudder to think what an aviator would do if he sat there reading theory info while going through his flight checklist. You learn before you leap and not while you're plummeting to the ground.

    What needs to be made a sticky? I'm still trying to figure that one out myself. The stickys are riddled with guides that do nothing but provide the same kind of step-by-step info that I provided. Don't take my word for it, see for yourself. The extraction forum has a multitude of guides scattered all ovwer the place and I'd be surprised if very many of them discuss the rationale behind the instructions they provide. I'm not saying that mine should have been made a sticky since that's not my call anyway. It may be a rehash of existing guides but it is a variation of a theme intended for a specific scenario. Perhaps if it had been melded with d7o's guide to combine both procedures then it may have seemed less confusing.

    I reposted the guide in a new thread following the close of the aforementioned thread. This time I outlined the purpose of the guide and included disclaimers to avoid any further conflict about the way it is formatted and presented. Once I made my position clear there ceased to be any negative posts in the thread.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

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    Originally posted by captain_video
    If you want to understand how a hack works then you should read up on it first. I'd shudder to think what an aviator would do if he sat there reading theory info while going through his flight checklist. You learn before you leap and not while you're plummeting to the ground.
    I am glad that you understand the often overlooked time critical and life safety critical aspects of TiVo hacking. It is your unprecedented ability to draw parallels between two completely unrelated activities that showcases your value to this board and to the video-game-looking freetv site you moderate.

    For this I say, thank you, captain_video.

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    Now there's a post from someone I never expected to hear from. Like a moth to a flame! DB, you're getting too darn predictable.

    Now I'd really like to know how your post provides anything beneficial to the general population. It appears to be nothing more than a lame attempt at ridiculing me for no apparent reason. I don't believe my previous post had anything to do with you (other than being the reason for the aforementioned thread's deterioration and ultimate demise) so why do you feel compelled to jump right in and impart your fabulous wit upon us? Do you get some perverse pleasure at being mean and vindictive or were you simply abused as a child (assuming you ever got past puberty)? Now go away and annoy someone else for a while and let the adults have their conversation.
    Last edited by captain_video; 11-17-2003 at 10:21 PM.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

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    Well, I have to apologize. Didn't come here with the intention of starting a flaming war. Just wanted to give some constructive criticism and point out a few observations about Guides. Appears I have dropped into the wrong forum.
    I have read many threads here and saw the comment that developers and programmers have abandoned this forum or become MIA. Now I understand why. I seriously don't think they were fed up with answering questions and supporting their work, just read this and other threads and you might understand why they left. Most genuine people are proud of their work and accomplishments and are eager to share their knowledge with those with the same passion.
    I see this forum is talored ONLY for the exchange of ideas from experienced folks and does not care for n00bs, as you put it. That's the overall mood of the forum. There ARE however, some few folks that remember what it was like getting started and try not to BASH the hopes of others trying to learn. To those, I say thank you. Maybe I'll run into you on another, more N00B friendly forum.

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    Re: Re: Perspective from a total newbe

    Originally posted by mrblack51
    since this board is about development, they should not be burdened with support if they choose to not support their tools. and if people dont like that, then they shouldnt use the tools.
    That's a total cop out. If they want to develop and not support their code, then why not just leave it on sourceforge and be done with it. This board "was" about sharing, and to a reduced degree still is. But the hostility level exhibited by the mods towards many, new and old, has pushed this place downhill for a long time.
    SpongeBob is not a contraceptive - Bart S.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Re: Re: Perspective from a total newbe

    Originally posted by BubbleLamp
    That's a total cop out. If they want to develop and not support their code, then why not just leave it on sourceforge and be done with it. This board "was" about sharing, and to a reduced degree still is. But the hostility level exhibited by the mods towards many, new and old, has pushed this place downhill for a long time.
    no, this board "is" about sharing, no reduction about it. the hostility you are suggesting is a personal problem rather than a general issue.

    if someone wants to post something, great. if they want to support it, even better. if they want to leave it and then disappear, thats fine too. if people like it, then it will be supported, if they don't like it, it will wither and die.

    The main reason i have noticed hostility on this board is due to the type of people that have come here lately. while many of the n00bs are just fine, this board has gotten a reputation from the dtv hacking boards (i won't mention people from this board who i have seen pumping ddb in the wrong light on them) where ddb is labeled as a pirate board akin to a dtv hacking board for tivos. as such, many have come here, with a freetv'er attitude and have asked for hacks which are explicitly against the rules. they have generally been dealt with politely, but when they strike back, they are smoten accordingly. now, how about you put your differences aside and spend your time contributing bubblelamp.
    Step one: search button!
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    Re: Re: Re: Perspective from a total newbe

    Originally posted by BubbleLamp
    That's a total cop out. If they want to develop and not support their code, then why not just leave it on sourceforge and be done with it.
    When did sourceforge turn into a Tivo development board? And when did they install a usable forum system? Mailing lists don't count.

    If a particular piece of unsupported software raises your ire, then start telling the newbies not to use it. Even better, create an alternative. For example, look at the various ways I help save people from falling into the insidious trap that is corbelli's guide.

    Until you start producing solutions to problems like myself and the other TIVO GODs have done, shove it. We don't need another whiner; we get a few dozen new ones every week.

    This board "was" about sharing, and to a reduced degree still is. But the hostility level exhibited by the mods towards many, new and old, has pushed this place downhill for a long time.
    Why are you still here?

    Oh, maybe you're still here because DDB is the only Tivo development board where you can talk about anything that won't get the site shut down. As opposed to the sites where talking about almost anything beyond installing a larger "A" drive will cause the thread to disappear overnight. You may hate the mods but you must acknowledge that they are not drinking from Tivo's teet.

    Or maybe you're here because there are no other good Tivo dev boards which see more than three posts in a month?

    Or maybe you're here because myself and the mods help keep the stupid questions and stupid people under control.

    We know you like it here despite your conspiracy theories and professed loathing of the mods. Enjoy your stay.
    Last edited by David Bought; 11-18-2003 at 01:25 AM.

  13. #13
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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Perspective from a total newbe

    Originally posted by mrblack51
    the hostility you are suggesting is a personal problem rather than a general issue.
    If it's a personal problem, then why does this thread exist? Could it be others notice the attitude? Why don't you dial it down a notch and see what happens.
    SpongeBob is not a contraceptive - Bart S.
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    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Perspective from a total newbe

    Originally posted by BubbleLamp
    If it's a personal problem, then why does this thread exist? Could it be others notice the attitude? Why don't you dial it down a notch and see what happens.
    Lines of code contributed by TIVO GODs like myself: tens or hundreds of thousands
    Lines of code contributed by newbies: zero
    Lines of code contributed by BubbleLamp: zero

    Tell me again why you think it is so appropriate for the two most useless groups to be dictating policy?

    Oh, that's right. It's not.

  15. #15
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    Lines of code contributed by TIVO GODs like myself: tens or hundreds of thousands
    Perhaps this applies to lines of code contributed by others but certainly not by you. Aside from the occasional Linux command line posted in response to a thread, you have contributed zero in the way of constructive software programs or scripts. If you put half as much energy into developing something useful as you do criticizing software that has become the widely used standard for Tivo hacking then perhaps you'd actually become the self-professed Tivo God you claim to be instead of the site's mascot Tivo Troll. This site used to be a great place for newbies and experienced hackers alike but it's taken a steady downhill turn since the first day you arrived here.
    Last edited by captain_video; 11-18-2003 at 09:28 AM.
    Please don't PM me or any other members looking for personal assistance. You'll do better by posting (after you've exhausted the search feature, of course) and taking advantage of the collective expertise of the membership instead of a single individual that may or may not be able to help you. Thank you and enjoy your stay at DDB!

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