0) Choose a good title for your thread. Today's classic example is "Help".
1) We don't do your homework.
2) Demonstrate your working so far as possible.
3) We don't do your coursework.
4) If you don't understand a concept then we will try and explain it. But, you are expected to have researched it first.
5) Our time is generally valuable. Don't waste it. In particular write in proper English. Yes, I did begin a sentence with a preposition. These rules apply to you, not me.
6) Please suggest improvements to this FAQ rather than just downvoting it. Or downvote it, frankly I don't care, but it has no effect.
Good and Bad Questions
How to ask questions in a smart way by example; pairs of questions about the same problem, one asked in a stupid way and one in a smart way.
Stupid: Where can I find out stuff about the Foonly Flurbamatic?
This question just begs for "STFW" as a reply.
Smart: I used Google to try to find “Foonly Flurbamatic 2600” on the Web, but I got no useful hits. Can I get a pointer to programming information on this device?
This one has already STFWed, and sounds like there might be a real problem.
Stupid: I can't get the code from project foo to compile. Why is it broken?
The querent assumes that somebody else screwed up. Arrogant git...
Smart: The code from project foo doesn't compile under Nulix version 6.2. I've read the FAQ, but it doesn't have anything in it about Nulix-related problems. Here's a transcript of my compilation attempt; is it something I did?
The querent has specified the environment, read the FAQ, is showing the error, and is not assuming his problems are someone else's fault. This one might be worth some attention.
Stupid: I'm having problems with my motherboard. Can anybody help?
J. Random Hacker's response to this is likely to be “Right. Do you need burping and diapering, too?” followed by a punch of the delete key.
Smart: I tried X, Y, and Z on the S2464 motherboard. When that didn't work, I tried A, B, and C. Note the curious symptom when I tried C. Obviously the florbish is grommicking, but the results aren't what one might expect. What are the usual causes of grommicking on Athlon MP motherboards? Anybody got ideas for more tests I can run to pin down the problem?
This person, on the other hand, seems worthy of an answer. He/she has exhibited problem-solving intelligence rather than passively waiting for an answer to drop from on high.
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