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Thread: Tutorial: What to avoid while writing a tutorial

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Well, to tell you the truth, I dont think there was much more research I could have done on that subject. I guess I could have added a thing or two on the subject, but it wouldnt have been relevant. I suppose I should write tuts in Word and copy and paste it from there. It might make it look a little nicer. About what you said...about my part where I say im not responsible...You mean that has no affect legally in any way? Im not lawyer so I dont know
    I am the uber duck!!1
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  2. #12
    HeadShot Master N1nja Cybr1d's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Boston, MA
    LOL, its just a way for you to cover your ass, but really...who's going to care . Yeah defenitely try word first then paste it..perhaps bullets will carry over too. The only tut i've written ended up screwy because the bullets from wordperfect didn't transfer over. Do a preview before you save it, and it check for any anomalities...sometimes the format gets messed up when you copy/paste.

  3. #13
    Ok, will you people stop arguing you guys sound like a bunch of nagging wives. Damn

    First duck, I am going to say whatevery one else is trying to avoind saying, your Tutorial blew ass. I seemed as if you put no time in it, as if you didn't care about what you were typing at all. I mean damn, I just skeemed over it and I can tell that. Dude I recommend that you delete it and rewrite it. Oh and for christ sakes, please put spaces between your paragraphs.

    If you need someone to send it to before you post it, send it to me, I will read it over and help you with it.

    Now that, I have said that.

    To be honest, how tutorials are on AO, is one of the reasons I don't even go in those 2 forums that much anymore, I go in them less then I go into Cosmos, and I am a rare sight in there. I have seen people really not care much about what they are writing, to me it seems as if SOME people just write tutorials because they think it will get them a greenie.
    Maybe I am wrong but, that is my reason for not going there.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Well, first of all, we werent arguing lol, just discussing .

    Thanks for your help, I will send it to you via PM so I can get your input and see what you think about it. I dont know when I will be done, maybe later on today or tomorrow.
    I am the uber duck!!1
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  5. #15
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Hi folks.... I'm back..... Saturday is yardwork and other odd jobs day.... Or wifey gets "miffed"...

    Couple of things I noticed from the responses....

    1. Just because a person's status is "AO Newbie" doesn't mean they know nothing... I'm pretty sure that when I came here and had 5 posts "under my belt" I knew a bit more than many here. "AO newbie" means you are new to AO, not that you are new to computer security. Let's say Ed Skoudis turned up and posted tomorrow.... He's going to get an "AO newbie" tag..... Anyone want to say that he knows nothing?

    2. I agree with not cutting and pasting unless you are quoting something like RFC's or technical manuals to make a point..... Cutting and pasting other people's work doesn't show that you understand the concepts held in it - just that you can "cut and paste".... I have a cat that can do that.... OK... I lied a little....

    3. Hmm.... I wrote this tutorial in the "submit" box.... OK, it was hardly difficult... But I followed my own principles, read it, re-read it, read every word etc.... and I spent the time to format it in "pleasing and eyecatching ways" <LOL> But UpperCell has a point.... We all have access to the more advanced word processors. Use them, format it nicely, spell and grammar check it and then post it. It makes you look a lot better in the end.

    Finally..... Duck..... I pulled the phrase "How to tracert an IP" out of the air..... I had forgotten that you had mentioned it in your tutorial..... However, you seem to have taken this to heart.... So, since it seems so important to you I'll do a review of your tutorial. I'm not doing it to flame you, make you feel bad or so that I can gratify myself by making you feel bad. That's not the intent..... The intent is for others to be able to see your tutorial, me to point out any deficiencies and hopefully learn from the experience.

    So lets start.... The original tutorial is here. Going through it one point at at time:-

    First before I go on, I want to say this tutorial is for the noob
    So I shouldn't read it? Was that your point? My reaction was "Does he know what he is talking about, or is he going to give me some good info", 'cos I hardly consider myself an expert. It comes across as pandering... It implies that the tutorial will be of little use to anyone who has past the basics and at worst it implies that you either don't know your stuff or that you can't be bothered to put too much effort in.

    Please dont flame me if you already know......
    What you were really saying was "please don't neg me".... It further implies that you are writing the tutorial in order to gain AP's rather than to actually write something useful. That's a plain waste of your time and mine....

    So now that we got that out of the way I ask you, have any of you noob's been getting spammed latley? Has anyone been emailing you threats and you want this to stop? Well, then this tutorial is just for you!
    Laying out a reason for the tutorial is absolutely necessary..... But do you need it to sound like a penis enargement salesman? There are computer professionals here, make the content of your tutorial professional, it makes you look better.... I'm not saying make it dry and boring, humor is good, but don't come across as a telemarketer...... Note also the spelling mistake... It was a typo.... You do alright in that category, along with your grammar....

    Now look for the "From:" or the "Received from:" line. There should be an IP address.
    That only really works if the sending machine has it's own mailserver built in. Otherwise, the sending machine will send to it's outbound mail server, that will send to the receiving mail server that will have the mail picked up by the recipient's client. So the way you describe it is not entirely correct.... We won't even go into the more complex situations.... You oversimplified a situation that would lead some to conclude that the email came from somewhere other than it did. If you had properly detailed the mail headers, with examples, then the tutorial would have been more complete.

    5. If you pull the ISP from the "From:" line then you are often on utterly the wrong track. Go into outlook express and take a look.... You can spoof the from field so easily... but the "reply to" address can still direct the mail to the proper account.... You were too quick to leave out important detail and you didn't warn the reader that it could be more complex. Read the headers from the bottom up.... That's where the ability to determine where the email actually came from is shown. Not all headers are a simple one step headers... some contain several steps.... You didn't mention it.....

    Hope this helps and sorry for the sloppy grammer
    So you think your grammar sucks..... So why not spend the time to check it..... Actually, your grammar is better than a lot of people's...... Don't take that as a reason to ignore it..... If you want to write a tutorial and be sen in a knowledgeable light your grammar should be good....

    To conclude... Your tutorial was deficient in several factual ways. It was preceded by statements that made it look like something that was less than useful and you came across as pandering to avoid neg AP's and hopefully gain pos AP's....

    If you want to write a tutorial make it professional looking, give _all_ the details, where possible give actual examples and explain them line by line....

    Do a good job.... People will respect you more for it.
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

  6. #16
    Doc d00dz Attackin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    In other words, if you don't mind Tiger Shark:

    "People will respect you more for it."
    In other words respect is more important than AP (AntiPoints). I have learned that the hard way in the past. Take my word for it, respect is gold.

    If I may add a few points.

    - Make sure your sources are true, most members believe it or not read your tutorials. Also, they may juge your knowledge within your tutorial and if it is false it may be hard of that person or persons to trust your wording. And they may over look your point or teachings.

    Keep in mind we read your tutorials and look into it as a source of knowledge.
    First you listen, then you do, finally you teach.
    Duck Hunting Chat

  7. #17
    AO Part Timer
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    You make some very good points Tiger. I agree with everything you say except this,

    4. Don't start a tutorial and after one screen of text write "more to come" or "to be continued". It implies that you are in a hurry. Tutorials written in a hurry are usually inaccurate or incomplete and, as such, they are of little use.
    While this may hold water 99% of the time. Espically the one screen part. There is a such thing as a tutorial that is too long, dry and broken. Therefore it can be split into a few shorter tuts so the reader actually finishes it. I have written a few tuts. Two all my own, one shared with an AOer. I am currently, and have been working on the last Identity theft tutorial for sometime now.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to step on your toes if you will. I just thought that this was a point worth mentioning.

    Be safe and stay free
    Your heart was talking, not your mind.
    -Tiger Shark

  8. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    I think thats really for all of us here... I'm new here and for me that one is a good reminder.
    If your curious, your probably interested.

  9. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Just wondering.. How many characters can you type out until your maxed and cant type in any more (like a character limit)? Is there a limit when your writing a tutorial?

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    a tut on writing a tut.. huh tiger ? what's next, a tut on how not to get banned ?
    (that'd be a good one for thespecialist to do..hehe)

    Fatphantom, I think the default character limit for vbulletin is around 10k.

    I'm pretty sure that it was changed (upped) quite a bit.. you'll have to ask mnstrgrl what it's set at.. I've seen some pretty long threads so it's probably at 50k or so.

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