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Thread: forum culture debate :/

  1. #11
    Super Moderator lupin's Avatar
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    Default Re: forum culture debate :/

    OK, a lot of people so far seem to be agreeing with me. Does anyone disagree, and can you argue for that position? (Preferably without resorting to profanity and childish name calling...)

    Quote Originally Posted by Snayler View Post
    (Let me point out that I consider myself a newbie at Linux and even more newbie at Pentesting/Network Security)
    Yes, it can be incredibly painful. I myself had spent hours, days, even weeks searching for answers for specific problems/projects I had, and for some of them I reached nowhere. But even in that kind of situations, I learned somethings that I'm certain that will be useful in the future. And when I reach the answer I'm looking for, even if I have been researching for weeks, the feeling I got paid off all the trouble I went through. More, my searching skills have improved at a level that I can solve my own problems faster and without asking for help.
    So, my point being: Yes, the experts could spend 3 minutes explaining the basic concepts, but the troubled newbie would probably become dependent of that help for the rest of his journey, or he would get tired of BackTrack very quickly (because there would be no challenge). Not to mention the flood it would cause in the forums (for some reason, most of the new members I see here have a huge laziness towards searching before asking. Imagine if the mods didn't exist... It would be a total chaos).
    This is a good point, learning to search for answers on your own is like a right of passage, and a skill that I believe is crucial to being a penetration tester. Are there any penetration testers here who cannot do this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gitsnik View Post
    So my brief take on this whole thing has been garnered from various forums around the internet, many of them "elitist" in some way, and from private IRC channels and the like.
    Yes, I have heard the elitist label being applied to this forum (and the old remote-exploit forums) before. And that label may have been at least a little applicable, especially in the past. New posters who made posts that didn't meet the standards of the forum used to get a somewhat abrupt, perhaps even rude reception, maybe with some light mocking thrown in. I don't think behaving like that reflects well on the forum however, and I think we have moved away from this mode of behavior. Because of this, Id like to think we are less deserving of the elitist label (thats the aim at least). However not being elitist does not mean that we don't have standards - we still turn down a lot of posts that don't meet the standards - we are just a lot nicer about it now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gitsnik View Post
    For me the big issue with any request like this is not that I am or am not helping a user - anyone who has spent some time under my tuition and/or support "banner" knows that I quite happily answer most questions, so it's not like I never help - it's the constant requests for the same pieces of information. I find it insulting to both the mods excellent work, and to my own post count, that so called newbies show up, ignore the sticky posts at the top of the thread and then say "help I can't type in the password field" or "my integrated wireless doesn't work in my VM". The people who make such a phenomenal effort in keeping these forums clean are constantly looking at information they have written before being re-spouted out.
    This is a good point too. If you spend a lot of time here on the forums answering posts its a safe bet that you actually like something about the process of helping people fix problems. That especially applies in the case of moderating. If there wasn't something I enjoyed about this, I wouldn't bother putting up with profanity and insult filled private message rants from new posters who don't like the fact that I told them to search Google for information on how to install a driver under Linux instead of posting here.

    Specifically what I enjoy about being a member here is being able to offer input on new and unique problems I have not have seen very often before. Thats what I enjoy, and thats why I'm here. What I most certainly do not enjoy, is being made to repeat myself multiple times, answering the same question over and over. If that was the majority of what I was doing here, I wouldn't bother with this any more, because as a choice of leisure activity that sucks.

    I do put up with being asked the same questions regarding computer problems in only one area in my life - my job. Because there, they pay me to put up with it (and even then I'm not particularly happy about it, but the desire to keep the electricity on and buy cool toys can do wonders for my ability to cope).
    Last edited by lupin; 07-05-2010 at 01:55 PM.
    Capitalisation is important. It's the difference between "Helping your brother Jack off a horse" and "Helping your brother jack off a horse".

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  2. #12
    Super Moderator Archangel-Amael's Avatar
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    Default Re: forum culture debate :/

    Quote Originally Posted by lupin View Post
    I do put up with being asked the same questions regarding computer problems in only one area in my life - my job. Because there, they pay me to put up with it
    Coffee ( and of course the pay) helps me cope with "stupid questions" at work. If it gets real bad I could even possibly throw the cup at someone.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: forum culture debate :/

    Well when I first booted to bt4 in VMware it was first time I used linux. and now im using only linux.

    I think that its important to help people to get started.

    My biggest problem is that I didnt know correct terms do googling was no good. but most of times after knowing correct terms google have helped a lot.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: forum culture debate :/

    Well there isn't much left to say other than hacking/pentesting isn't for everyone and if your not going to spend a couple minutes researching and finding a solution to a problem them it's not for you. Lots of people want to hack but they refuse to learn how these systems work. They then learn about software such as backtrack and think someone will spoon feed them the info. This is how the "newbie" questons come about and we just get tired of awnserng the same questions over and over again because someone is too lazy to take 5 minutes to use the search function.
    pureh@te said: Our goal is to be a fearsome pentest distro not a windows replacement OS where we are trying to convert the world to Linux.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Thorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: forum culture debate :/

    Quote Originally Posted by ejang View Post
    At any rate, searching for answers by oneself (especially when one is new to all of this) is incredibly painful. An expert spending 3 minutes of their time explaining a basic concept may save a newbie hours and hours of trouble.
    Check your assumptions. None of the alleged experts owes anything to you specifically, or to any generic newbie. (Or anyone else, for that matter.) I don't come here to answer newbies' questions; in fact, I specifically avoid it, these days and mainly stick to the expert areas. Could I answer a lot of the newbies questons? Probably, but I don't is because it means answering the same questions over and over and over and over, ad nauseum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I'm pretty sure I've heard Thorn say, information is free, but sometimes you gotta pay for the delivery, or something like that.
    Did I say that? If I didn't, I should have! It sure sounds like my attitude.

    Quote Originally Posted by thorin View Post
    It's also not just 3m helping a newbie. It's 3m for each for the 25 (or more) newbie posts every day. 75m is more than an hour, do you have an hour or more free in your day for people would couldn't even be bothered to type a few terms in a search engine and click a button? Now add the fact that you're not being paid.
    Exactly!

    Quote Originally Posted by lupin View Post
    Specifically what I enjoy about being a member here is being able to offer input on new and unique problems I have not have seen very often before. Thats what I enjoy, and thats why I'm here. What I most certainly do not enjoy, is being made to repeat myself multiple times, answering the same question over and over. If that was the majority of what I was doing here, I wouldn't bother with this any more, because as a choice of leisure activity that sucks.

    I do put up with being asked the same questions regarding computer problems in only one area in my life - my job. Because there, they pay me to put up with it (and even then I'm not particularly happy about it, but the desire to keep the electricity on and buy cool toys can do wonders for my ability to cope).
    Well said!
    Thorn
    Stop the TSA now! Boycott the airlines.

  6. #16
    Very good friend of the forum Gitsnik's Avatar
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    Default Re: forum culture debate :/

    Quote Originally Posted by halfdone View Post
    Well when I first booted to bt4 in VMware it was first time I used linux. and now im using only linux.

    I think that its important to help people to get started.

    My biggest problem is that I didnt know correct terms do googling was no good. but most of times after knowing correct terms google have helped a lot.
    This is great, and it is a bit of an argument against lupin's side of things, which is great because it's what he asked for. More on this in a sec, but I just want to argue the other side for a moment.

    We (that is this community) put out a huge "reputation" as being the best pentesting distribution around. Trying to back that claim without supporting the noobs is not going to help. It's like Steve claiming that the Zune is an iPod killer - without the backing of the community, without the support for the new users, there's no way in a frosty hell that it's going to happen.

    So, I see what you (halfdone) are getting at here, you had some problems and you needed someone to help you out - that's cool. One of the problems that I (or perhaps we as a community) have is actually exactly this though, Backtrack is meant to be an advanced user distribution. It's great that you have learned to use it, but it's also indicative of the willful ignorance of so many new users. That sounds a little harsh but I can't think about a better way of saying it. There is no reason that as a community we should be helping people get started - because the team who put out this distro specifically tout it as a not-for-new-users distribution.

    The move to ubuntu was an agitation for me (but still a good thing!), because we have an influx of new users who expect the same laxness as the ubuntu forums, and expect just everything to work the same way. People keep, continuously, asking why we can't update to hoary or whatever the latest version is (Debian user here where possible).

    Also, lupin, yes I agree that this community has lost the elitist edge, but having those standards makes us seem a little stuck up apparently, or we wouldn't have the 3 month cycle of "senior members are rude"




    These comments are all my own and in no way reflect the general attitude of the backtrack community. Caution is advised. Prolonged exposure may cause skin irritation, headaches, nausea, dizziness or stomach upset. If symptoms persist see your local general practitioner.
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  7. #17
    Junior Member dromar421's Avatar
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    Default Re: forum culture debate :/

    As a newbie I can see from both sides of fence here. Being a newbie, and going through the forums when I started and seeing google it,search for it and the posts not even being replied to, I became real uncomfortable about even wanting to ask for help for fear of being shut down or my post going off to the the darker regions of the forum so came the struggle of learning but more to this later. I'm not a psychiatrist or anything, but every human learns differently, some need to be shown, some can do it for themself and yes it may sound like a weak point but it is true.

    I have even told people myself to google it, because I have seen the problem solved within the first 5 pages of the forum. Here is were the understanding comes with the older members of the forum ya a lot of the questions get answered over and over, to the point the subject is ran into the ground.It seems every four pages or so its how do I crack wep, how do I crack wpa-wpa2 and its painful when you have to search 63 pages into the form 1 by 1 to find what you are looking for when the answer could of been found in the first 30 pages. If it was not for every few pages going over the same question, and I hate to say its not kindergarten when it comes to BT4.I am pretty sure that no one was standing there like, Lupin, this is not how you do that,you do it like this, or here Thorin, let me hold your hand while you transfer this data across the network. It was more like, here is a book, read it, take notes, if you still have trouble bring me what you have and we will go from there. Now to finish up from before, by reading as a beginner, google it, search for it,look harder,even hey let me google that for you.Ya it was frustrating. It took 3 hours, a week, a month to find what was needed to fix the problem I was having,even though It took forever once I had figured it out I felt I had accomplished something for myself and learned a whole lot more then here is the answer go and find something else that you will come and ask about in a day or 2, when if only I had done the google search it would have been right there with what I was looking for originally. That is only being spoken out of my own behalf to this debate as of now.
    Last edited by dromar421; 07-06-2010 at 09:28 PM.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: forum culture debate :/

    I am pretty sure that no one was standing there like Lupin this is not how you do that you do it like this or here Thorn let me hold your hand while you transfer this data across the network it was more like here is a book read it take notes if you still have trouble bring me what you have and we will go from there.
    Exactly!

    Hey I got one of those Hak5 pineapples (They're just a rouge AP that Darren put inside a pineapple). I flashed all the necessary software on it but I could not get Internet connection sharing to work in BT4. Eventually after much testing, me and another guy on the Hak5 forums, who coded the script to automate SSLStrip and ICS got it to work but only after 3 months and I don't even remember how many revisions to the script. The point is, even though something looks good on paper it may not work 100% in real world conditions, this is were you need to start troubleshooting and doing research.

    BTW I highly recommend buying one either from the open-mesh website or the pre-built/flashed one from the Hak5 store.
    Open Mesh Store
    Hak5 Store
    pureh@te said: Our goal is to be a fearsome pentest distro not a windows replacement OS where we are trying to convert the world to Linux.

  9. #19
    My life is this forum Snayler's Avatar
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    Default Re: forum culture debate :/

    @dromar421: Don't take me the wrong way, but the lack of punctuation/formatting on your post makes it really hard to read. Especially the lack of commas, that you should use to separate sentences, like I just did.

  10. #20
    Very good friend of the forum killadaninja's Avatar
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    Default Re: forum culture debate :/

    Quote Originally Posted by lupin View Post
    Yes, I have heard the elitist label being applied to this forum (and the old remote-exploit forums) before. And that label may have been at least a little applicable, especially in the past. New posters who made posts that didn't meet the standards of the forum used to get a somewhat abrupt, perhaps even rude reception, maybe with some light mocking thrown in.
    This is/was surely the greatest thing about the forum, being a nerd should at least come with a few props, one of them being the satisfaction gained from the "mocking" of n00bs. Here is a thread similar to this one, my opinions shared within, perfectly, apply here.
    Sometimes I try to fit a 16-character string into an 8–byte space, on purpose.

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