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a bittorrent guide for anybody's mother!


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Thanks for all your help, guys!

I have written and brief simple one-page guide called, "How to Download Everything you Want for Free".... here: http://brucewagner.com/free

I wanted to create a simple page, with simple 1,2,3 instructions... that ANYBODY'S MOTHER could follow effectively...

Unfortunately, I am not an expert. Could you please proofread it for me, and point out any/all corrections, inaccuracies, glaring omissions, etc....?


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I have read your guide. It was poor. Who exactly is "we". Do you that there was a team invloved in your writing of this guide, or maybe you simply decided to refer to yourself as we which would suggest you consider yourself an expert on this subject. Let me tell you, you really aren't.

Someone writing a guide to help beginners should really know what they are talking about. You clearly have no idea. Your guide is likely to never be read by anyone so it's not much of a problem but still.

Judging by the content of your posts on this forum (I was drawn to the humour that reading your work provides after seeing a topic where you complain about the lack of product support for uTorrent) you seem to have a knack for writing nonsense so possibly instead of asking people to proofread your document you could ask them to rewrite it?


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"We" refers to my little production and testing team here. There are three of us. We are all involved in writing (and re-writing) this guide -- as well as everyone who makes a positive contribution or suggestion for improving it -- including contributors from here in this forum, and other forums.

I've said many times that I am NOT an expert on this subject. That's why I am asking for feedback and suggestions for improvements to the simple 1-2-3 guide.

As of today's site statistics, our little guide page is getting 425 unique visitors per day, on average. And it's only been up for 7 days, as of today. That's why it's so important to me that it be accurate, complete enough, and very importantly -- extremely simple to follow.

So, if anyone has any positive contributions, we're happy to hear them, and incorporate them into this little guide -- to improve it for us ALL to use... to give it to your techno-illiterate friends who want to get in on the bittorrent bandwagon.... and save YOU the time of holding their hand every step of the way!

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Well, I must say that your attitude in previous posts is bound to get you the "fuck you" treatment here. It's certainly nice that you're trying to help, but some of us are probably afraid we'll be talking to a wall as soon as we tell you to do something different, or put something somewhere. Perhaps you could start by apologizing for being a complete and total asshole in your first posts and actions here?

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Actually, I don't have an attitude. Everyone who knows me will tell you that I'm a very down-to-earth cool guy.

People read things the wrong way sometimes...

And, in fact, I have very little time for people who DO cop an attitude. But, 99% of the time, I simply ignore them.

As you can see, if you look at the guide page, I have implemented all of the suggestions people have made -- almost as fast as I have been able to read them..., and as soon as I have researched a little to verify what they are telling me is correct...

For example, I'm pretty sure that the suggestions about the VLC Media Player section, the ImgBurn program, and even putting an asterisk ("*") on the word "legal"... were all suggestions from this forum.

Thanks, and keep the improvements coming!

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Based on the amount of questions and the type you ask it would seem to most that you had little or no idea about bittorrent and your entire "guide" is just a collection of things people have told you. Personally I don't see much point in someone putting those together and using them as a superior tool for learning because you have little grasp of what exactly your talking about.

Perhaps you should leave it to the professionals (we already have a beginners guide for utorrent) and concentrate on that excellent chat show you do!

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Perhaps you should take a look at the guide itself, and base your opinion on that... rather than on my questions in the forum.

It is intended to be a guide for total novices... So what better perspective to write it from... than that of a total novice?

You tell me if anything in it is not technically correct...

The "Beginners Guide for uTorrent" ( http://utorrent.com/beginners-guide.php ) is... the REASON why I decided that a guide for beginners NEEDED to be written...

It is totally incomplete.

It's really NOT a "Beginners Guide for uTorrent" at all...

It's really "An Introductory Explanation of How BitTorrent Technology Works"... which is Quite a different thing.

Much of what it does cover is technical... and nice... but completely irrelevant to new users.

In general, most new (non-technical) users want a simple 1,2,3 recipe for, "How do I do this?" They couldn't care less about HOW it works... just THAT it works...

The most valuable part of it is the external links, under the "Where can I find out more?" section...

Among many many things it is missing... It does not even MENTION what I call, "Step 1, 2, or 3".... in my simple how-to guide...

It also does not even mention what I call, "Most Common Mistake #2"... which I talk about in my simple guide...

So, anyone who has actually READ the guide... have anything positive to contribute?

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"It is intended to be a guide for total novices... So what better perspective to write it from... than that of a total novice?"

Bruce you are confusing something; while it is a good intention to write guides targeted to the total novice and having that reading target in mind while writing manuals, guides ect., it is not a good idea that total novices write such things!

As an example what I mean, see the "...For Dummies" books. Targeted to novices at that particular topic, but definetly NOT written by novices. Thats why they are so well sold (and "pirated" as ebooks of course!)

And with regards to your wish to contribute positive: Good Boy, Bruce. You did a great job by wasting your (hopefully for the society otherwise) valueable time to reinvent the wheel!

There are dozents of beginners/novice writeups by really competent guys out there in teh wild.

(Some are even linked in here and on the µT frontpage) But probably you started your project without doing some google search for these novice guides before you started. Seems this kind of spontanious not well organised behaviour pattern is typical for you looking at it how you did NOT read the FAQ, did NOT search the forum ect. before asking your novice questions for example)

Executive Summary: your work is useless for real novices that want to read guides to do better (then you yourself for example).

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I admit that I have posted questions, in haste, without COMPLETELY digesting every word and phrase of every guide and faq that exists on the internet.

But, in my defense, it is often much more efficient to do so... And besides, that IS the PURPOSE of a forum... Getting MULTIPLE PEOPLE'S OPINIONS and INSIGHTS... on a topic.... rather than just ONE -- the guy who happened to write the faq... (Not to mention, many faq answers are poorly written and easily misunderstood... especially by the novice, techno-illiterate new user...)

Actually, I think I did read all of those guides, linked from the main page, before I started. That's why I decided a new guide was definitely needed!

As of this moment, I have yet to see one that is SIMPLE, straightforward, and COMPLETE... as the one I've put together is.

I wrote it by simply taking good notes about what one REALLY needs to do... to get started... from all those guides and FAQs...

Of all people, I am one who NEVER wants to reinvent the wheel... Nor waste my time. My friends will tell you that I am extremely adamant about both of those things.

And, as I said, I have yet to see a good simple guide like the one I've put together.

If one exists, please, please... post the link here.

Those guides linked to on utorrent are all written by techno-guys who are not seeing things from the perspective of an ordinary non-technical person -- anyone's mother -- perspective.

They are too technical. What they discuss is largely irrelevant to techno-illiterate new users. And they completely FORGET to mention those few critical things that new users need to know how to do. Certainly, they just take for granted that the reader already KNOWS those things...

So, by the way, have you even READ my guide?

It has received 470 unique visitors so far today. And that number appears to be increasing by about 10% per day...

Apparently, some people like it.

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yes Bruce, I did, and i was frightend how you trivialise things and how plainly wrong and dangerous some things are:

Just 2 points: 1) how you handle the issue with "free" and "copyrighted" and "take it if you want to" is silly: a) stuff can (and is) copyright protected and it still can be downloaded totally legal (Creative Comments stuff IS copyrighted!) B) stuff that says "take me" must not necessary be free and legal to be taken without beeing asked later to pay "a settlement" if you do take/try to take!

2) your advice with regards to safe and unsafe extensions is plain dangerous BS! No extension is per default safe. Your advice that .doc for example is safe is just the most outcrying example why "guides for novices" that contain technical or legal advice for example, should not be written by novices in the field they are referring about!

(even pictures that you claim are safe fileextensions can be extremely dangerous (see old jpeg exploit in connection with windows OS or the newer WMF pictures exploit.)

EVERY extension is possibly dangerous, there is no such thing as safe extension given the fact that todays computers don't have 100% protection against buffer overflow exploits.

Please Bruce, make the world a safer place by stopping to give advice about stuff you have no clue about to guys that believe you and think that you know what you are talking/writeing about just because they are even more novice then you! Your actions are dangerous!

Edit: just because a number of visitors x does Not prove any kind of "people like it" or that it must be good!

<rant> Million flies fly on shit, shit must be good therefore <endrant>

Edit2: you want a link? how about the "net for beginners" section ones in the about domain? for example beside others http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/peersharing/a/torrenthandbook.htm

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Is Your Son a Computer Hacker?

By T Reginald Gibbons

Posted on Sun Dec 2nd, 2001 at 11:00:21 AM PST

As an enlightened, modern parent, I try to be as involved as possible in the lives of my six children.


To this end, I have decided to publish the top ten signs that your son is a hacker.



1. Has your son asked you to change ISPs?

2. Are you finding programs on your computer that you don't remember installing?

3. Has your child asked for new hardware?

4. Does your child read hacking manuals?

5. How much time does your child spend using the computer each day?

6. Does your son use Quake?

7. Is your son becoming argumentative and surly in his social behaviour?

8. Is your son obsessed with "Lunix"?

9. Has your son radically changed his appearance?

10. Is your son struggling academically?



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It's very simple.

I clearly state, in the guide, that it is the downloader's responsibility to be sure that they are downloading only material that is either:

(a) not protected by copyright.... OR, that is...

(B) licensed with a Creative Commons license which allows sharing.

The part about "Safe and Unsafe" file extensions comes directly from an article by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, author of "The PC Doctor" series of books.

Of course, doc files can contain macro viruses... and there are ancient jpeg file exploits... But what I describe as "Safe File Extensions"... ARE relatively SAFE. They are NOT executable files.

I may be a novice when it comes to being a bittorrent user, but I come from 26 years of experience in IT -- mostly networking, network design, and technology migration projects.

The novice internet and bittorrent user does not know the difference between an executable file and a non-executable file (a document or image or video file).

I've been getting loads of positive feedback from the participants of many other forums, by the way.

Yes, Paul Gil's article, "How Torrents Work" is one of the many I read before I started. It's good.

Unfortunately, it is primary about... just as the title states, "How Torrents Work"...

My guide is NOT about How Torrents Work...

My guide explains almost NOTHING about How Torrents Work.

That's because it is my belief, and my experience, that most people don't give a rat's behind How Torrents Work.

They just wanna use it to download what they want.

So my guide is: How to Download What you Want... in 3 simple steps.




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Your guide, quite simply put, is about nothing! It has no relevance to anything and is really quite useless. If I was reading it as a newcomer to bittorrent I wouldn't have a clue what to do. It gives bullshit advice and lists some really rather unsafe torrent sites, in comparison to many of the much safer private sites.

Just because you got x views today thats nothing to be proud of. The majority will be people in this forum interested in laughing at the crap you put together and the rest will click it and go oh look this is shite, lets keep googling

Edit: And anyway, who ever said a 1,2,3 guide like you say you wrote is wanted. IMHO that sort of thing only brings along more leechers who won't seed to public trackers and helps to downgrade them further. Bittorrent should be left to the people who know about it and are clever enough to do their own independent research using the guides already available on sites like this. Your just asking for trouble making a guide that as you so wonderfully put is "for anybody's mother". Anybody's mother is gonna be leeching and won't be hanging around to seed.

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Matt, you make it very obvious that you have not even LOOKED at the guide.

I list as, "Most Common Mistake #1".... Not continuing to seed torrents. And I explain why that is important.

Also, by definition... the more people participating it bittorrenting, means faster downloads for everyone... since everyone is uploading at the same time they are downloading.

The number of hits that the page is getting is a very very clear indication of how many people ARE actively searching for this simple, straightforward information. They are searching for it on Google, and they are forwarding the link on to all of their friends... all over the world. The number of hits TODAY, so far, is 517.

The point is not to be "proud" of it. The point is... How many people are SEEKING this information.

So, anyway...

Anyone have any positive contributions? ...suggestions for improving it?

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punlman, great work.

Good 1-2-3 guide for total noobs. I will pass the link to some of my non-technical friends so even they can start using torrents. I'm too lazy to explain it to them by myself. It's easier to teach them rest after they've used the guide than start from the beginning. It's easy to remind about seeding over im/irc/irl.

"Bittorrent should be left to the people who know about it and are clever enough to do their own independent research using the guides already available on sites like this."

Bleh, you are just being elitist mattm591. If we want cyber, we get it by changing the whole world. There aren't many guides like this in the wild.

Btw, I made this account just for this. Don't be so mean to a person who still tries. :(

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