Default T-Mobile G1

What is OpenHome,cupcake,and I would really like to tether my G1.
Yes I'm new to the Android OS,just started 2days ago.Its market is okay but I know there has to be some Trick stuff like being able to run Firefox on it/Cooliris/and does anyone have a solution for a higher version of Opera than itsy bitsy 4.2 Opera Mini.Steel kinda sucks. Do I need to go root to make my G1 Behave??????????????? any Suggestions