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Introduction:

As the thread title implies, the purpose of this thread is to create a more comprehensive guide for newcomers and old friends alike. I'm sure everyone is getting sick of flaming noobs and being flamed, but more importantly, I am sick of the huge waste of time we all spend re-answering questions, or just plain looking up threads to point someone in the right direction. I certainly know I could be using my time in a better way. Before posting in the forum you MUST complete the required XDA101 courseware. I will try to keep things light hearted, while still preparing you for the jungle out there. I am adding more elective courses in the future...guiding you through your pubescent journey from total noob to full fledged productive member of the human race. If you only have 5 minutes before your wife beats you over the head for working 8 hours at a computer, then coming home and sitting at the computer, you can skim and just read the bold text.

XDA101:

Lesson 1: What is XDA?
As implied by the name this is technically a Developers forum/community. Now what does that mean? Well first off it means that there is an expectation that if you are here then you want to a) customize your device and b) rather than just installing something that someone packaged you want to understand how it works and maybe even enhance it yourself. XDA was created long before the prevalence of mass market smartphones and as such many of the members are developers and have been here since back in the days when PDA phones were not embraced by the general public because of the expense and complexity. Now we have a flood of new users who are asking not "How can I do this myself" but more like "Give me the quick fix" without caring to understand the process. See if you read the threads then you get to experience the learning process, you see how the issues were investigated and confirmed. Then you get to watch the different attempts at resolution and learn why some failed while others worked. That is called Development.

The noob backlash is coming from users who have walked in the development shoes and is directed mainly at those who don't care for the journey but just want the end result or destination. As a Development Forum we are just as much (if not more) about the journey. I've read so many comments like "I don't have time to read all of the threads" or "I don't care how it works, just that it does". These very statements are contrary to the heart & soul of XDA-Devs and that is why the backlash is so strong. Let me be very clear on this: IF YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT UNDERSTANDING THE JOURNEY THEN YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN'T BE HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

XDA-Devs is about developers & hackers helping each other and working together to get the most out of our devices by understanding them better than most. XDA-Devs is not about helping everyone who wants a "Kewl bit of kit" make their phone better than the guy next to him. Now do we go kicking users off who never contribute anything, NO. We tolerate it to an extent. Where the toleration ends is when these users start diluting the usefulness of the forum by repeating the same questions over and over again. There are many friendly developer here that spend a considerable amount of time and energy doling out their knowledge and skills for the betterment of the community...for free at that! Technical consultants regularly charge $100-$200/h for the kind of expert support provided in these forums. If you had to spend $20 (12 minutes of support time) every time you posted to this forum, I guarantee there would be a lot less repeat questions and useless threads. You ask us to understand your position. Well if you want to benefit from our experience and time, then I think it is only fair that you understand our position.

Lesson 2: Rules and Regulations
Before posting you must know and abide by the Rules. Failure to do so could result in a temporary/permanent ban...or in rare occasions castration. Following these rules will create a much happier forum and build strong bones...

#1: Search before posting
Use one of our search functions before posting, whether you have a question or something new to share, it's very likely someone already asked that question or shared that news. Since there are many many Epic 4g users and you are just now reading this thread, it is highly unlikely that you are the first person to have experience whatever issue/question/thought you may be wanting to post on the forum. Any member who posts an unnecessary thread, or threads which have already been posted before will be warned, and his/her thread will be closed immediately. Repeated offenders will be castrated. If a neutered member commits a third offense, they will likely be shunned.
#2: Member conduct
Language: XDA is a worldwide community. As a result what is ‘ok’ to say in your part of the world may not be ok in someone else’s part of the world. Please think about who is reading what you write. Keep in mind that what you think of as acceptable use of language may not be acceptable to others. Conversely, while reading member posts, remember that word you find offensive may not be to the writer. Tolerance is a two way street.
No Nudity: XDA is used by people of all ages, including minors. It's not acceptable to post nude/pornographic imagery, which includes exposure of the male or female genitalia or of female breasts.
No Flaming: XDA was founded as a group of people sharing information about certain mobile phones. Sharing does not involve virtual yelling (flaming) it does involve working together to solve problems in an environment of mutual respect and understanding. Losing your temper and flaming another member, or group of members, is not acceptable behavior. Flaming while nude is even worse.
No Personal attacks, racial, political and/or religious discussions: XDA is a discussion forum about certain mobile phones. Mobile phones are not racial, political, religious or personally offensive, therefore none of these types of discussions are permitted on XDA.
#3: Do not post warez
If a piece of software requires you to pay to use it, either pay or find your cracks and serials somewhere else. We do not accept warez nor do we permit any member to promote or describe ways in which Warez, cracks, serial codes or other means of avoiding payment, can be obtained.
#4: Do not spam
If you wish to advertise a product, contact us we provide ads. But do not post it in the forums, it will be removed and you're likely to receive a ban. You are however allowed to sell used goods like your own device, parts of your device or accessories for your device in the marketplace forum, please read the rules there before posting. (This rule includes signatures, if you use a signature it will appear in your post.)

Lesson 3: Searching
So you've made it to lesson 3. You've spent 10 minutes reading this, and you are still waiting for the interracial midget porn link Bing promised. You have two choices...you can either go back to Google or use XDA's in-forum search.
1) Use XDA's internal search: http://forum.xda-developers.com/search.php
Or click here...

You can even search just in a particular thread...

2) Use google to find your answers: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=304582

EPIC101:
...Gathering course material.
EPIC201:
...Gathering course material.
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