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Offline MktDirector

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150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [CLOSED]
« on: March 04, 2014, 02:30:11 PM »

We need to create the mother of all FAQ's for our new site.  I know we have some smaller ones here on the forum (like the great one on AGS by Que23).  Let's use that format to build a master FAQ. 

Start with the most basic questions a complete newbie would have like "What are BitShares?" and move out from there.  Please try to keep the questions and answers brief (as possible)...this will serve as basic Q&A, not as an in depth info source, which can be covered in the upcoming blog and here on the forum. 

Also, don't worry so much about technical questions like "How do I build a PTS mining rig for fun and profit in my mom's basement?"  or "How do I create a DAC on your platform?" Simple, basic questions that MOST people would ask.  We can always include more technical ones later. 

This is a high priority, so we'll pay out 150PTS.  If one person compiles it all and it's good enough to use as it,  they'll get the bounty, but if we have multiple submissions I'll try to make it as fair as possible when paying out.  It would be great if it were organized by subject (for example, the entire AGS FAQ would all fit under the "AGS" section). 

Also, please suggest questions you wish YOU had answered when you were first learning about BitShares.  What questions did you have? Post them here.

Good Luck,
B


« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 11:52:29 AM by MktDirector »

Offline toast

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Offline toast

Re: 150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [ACTIVE]
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 02:57:22 PM »
In exchange would you PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read this whole thread: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?topic=3349.0
People are *begging* to help you but the low communication bandwidth is really discouraging everyone.
Do not use this post as information for making any important decisions. The only agreements I ever make are informal and non-binding. Take the same precautions as when dealing with a compromised account, scammer, sockpuppet, etc.

Offline toast

Re: 150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [ACTIVE]
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 04:18:24 PM »
Everyone should know that you can edit documents in github via the web interface.
If you want to contribute, don't be scared, just use the github like a google doc.
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Offline ruletheworld

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Re: 150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [ACTIVE]
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 12:55:14 AM »
I'd like to help out here too. It seems like the message is too complex (for many reasons) and needs to be filtered down to attract a wider audience. Toast, if you're interested, please reach out to collaborate.
(As a reference, here's an old FAQ article on Bitshares: http://btcgeek.com/bitshares-guide/)
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Offline toast

Re: 150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [ACTIVE]
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 12:56:40 AM »
Of course, let's collaborate!
https://github.com/nmushegian/invictus-FAQ
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Offline betax

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Re: 150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [ACTIVE]
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 10:29:14 AM »
I'd like to help out here too. It seems like the message is too complex (for many reasons) and needs to be filtered down to attract a wider audience. Toast, if you're interested, please reach out to collaborate.
(As a reference, here's an old FAQ article on Bitshares: http://btcgeek.com/bitshares-guide/)

That is a great article, extremely informative, gives different perspectives positions of investments, this is exactly what we need. Once people understand on how they can make money, then they will move to the next step, "How do acquire BitShares?", wallet setup, trading etc. Then when that is understood, they will get interested in other DACs, and how to invest on them. PTS / AGS.

Up until now the focus has been on PTS / AGS, I believe now should be BitShares and then PTS / AGS.
 
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Offline biophil

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Re: 150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [ACTIVE]
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 01:56:03 PM »
I'd like to help out here too. It seems like the message is too complex (for many reasons) and needs to be filtered down to attract a wider audience. Toast, if you're interested, please reach out to collaborate.
(As a reference, here's an old FAQ article on Bitshares: http://btcgeek.com/bitshares-guide/)

That is a great article, extremely informative, gives different perspectives positions of investments, this is exactly what we need. Once people understand on how they can make money, then they will move to the next step, "How do acquire BitShares?", wallet setup, trading etc. Then when that is understood, they will get interested in other DACs, and how to invest on them. PTS / AGS.

Up until now the focus has been on PTS / AGS, I believe now should be BitShares and then PTS / AGS.

It is a great article, but not a good starting point for a FAQ. It's too verbose. :)

I started actually writing the FAQ this morning and there's a pull request waiting. Everything on the github repo so far seemed way too in-depth for a FAQ, so I created a FAQ outline and added a bunch of questions and answers. Many questions don't have answers yet, either because I don't know them or didn't have time to craft terse, yet informative ones. :)

Offline MrJeans

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Re: 150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [ACTIVE]
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 02:17:27 PM »
Below is what I have written for the FAQs. I have modified some of my previous posts and changed and added a lot of new information. I hope this satisfies what was required. I can expand/shorten/modify what I have written to suit the requirements :)


FAQ Invictus Innovations (I3)

This section will explain who I3 is and what they do.


Who/what is Invictus Innovations (I3)?
I3 is a flesh and blood corporation that started up in late 2013 and is located in Virginia, USA. I3 is in the business of creating open-source software that utilizes the novel technology known as the blockchain in order to create decentralized, autonomous companies (DACs). The novel blockchain technology (which allows people to reach a global consensus on information) is what allowed bitcoin to function as a means of exchanging value. I3 sees bitcoin as being the tip of the ice-berg and they aim to use the blockchain technology to change business the same way bitcoin has changed currency.


What is a DAC?
Distributed Autonomous Corporations (DAC) are now possible because of the novel blockchain technology (which allows people to reach a global consensus on information). (Bitcoin can be thought of as a DAC). DACs run without the use of human involvement because they are governed by a set of rules that are hard corded into the software. The software is distributed globally and is audited by everyone running the software. DACs can then be used as a tool for people to do business with. These are the same properties bitcoin has!

You can pay for the services the DAC provides using shares in that DAC, the shares in the DAC have value because they are needed to make use of the services the DAC provides (with the bitcoin DAC service; bitcoins are the shares used to gain access to the service of cheap, global, fast transfer of value). Just like with flesh and blood companies you can obtain shares in the company through purchasing them or through earning them by performing tasks (like mining, or processing transactions using your computer). The main differentiator between I3 DACs and other DACs (such as bitcoin, litecoin, namecoin, datacoin etc) is that I3 DACs are designed to be profitable for shareholders.


What does the I3 DAC pipeline look like?
I3 has been mainly focused on building the world’s first decentralized bank and exchange, BitsharesX. The open-source code for the ‘test version of the BitsharesX’ is scheduled to release sometime in March. Several different versions of BitsharesX are planned to be released after the test version. Other versions will experiment with various parameters in order to find the best service (chosen by the market).

Other DACs in the pipeline that are unrelated to BitsharesX include:
BitShares DNS, a domain name service similar to Namecoin, however this system has built in disincentives for domain name squatting.

BitShares Bingo, a bingo game held on the network where players will be able to buy into and sell stakes in bingo cards.

BitShares Music, a novel take on the music industry where artists IPO their music and the free market determines the success of artists.

BitShares Vote, a decentralized voting system designed to work along-side other voting systems (such as presidency elections). This system aims at creating greater transparency compared to scientific polls.


How do I get involved with I3?
You can invest in and support future DACs built by I3 by getting your hands on some protoshares or angel shares (FAQs below).
You can also earn protoshares by claiming bounties for certain tasks submitted to the community by I3. https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php?board=38.0




FAQ Protoshares (BitsharesPTS)

If you dont know anything about PTS, this will explain what they are, how to get them, how to use them to claim shares in new I3 DACs, as well as some info on protoshares wallet management.


What are BitsharesPTS?
BitsharesPTS is a minable cryptocurrency and has provided a way for developing a community around I3 and future DACs. What special about this crypto-currency is that for every BitsharesPTS you own I3 will reward you with corresponding shares in every new DAC that I3 launches (at least 10% of the shares of the new DAC will go to BitsharesPTS holders). This is done by forking the blockchain of a future DAC from the blockchain of BitsharesPTS. In this way your public BitsharesPTS address with be rewarded with shares of a new DAC and you can claim these shares using your private key.

Essentially BitsharesPTS functions as a social contract between I3 and BitsharesPTS holders.

The really cool thing is that this social contract can be used by DAC creators other than I3. Third party DAC creators would do this to gain the attention of the BitsharesPTS community. A good example of this is the launch of Memory coin where the Memory coin creators honoured BitsharesPTS holders with 1% of total memory coin money supply.


How do I get some BitsharesPTS?
The easiest way to obtain some BitsharesPTS is to purchase them through an exchange.

Currently https://www.cryptsy.com/ and https://bter.com/ offer BitsharesPTS exchanging services.

Cryptsy is a new exchange and can sometimes be slow to execute trades, there have also been issues with withdrawals and deposits where funds can take up to a day to show up. Cryptsy charges 0.01PTS for withdrawals.

Bter is a more established exchange. It is also faster to execute trades but charges a hefty 0.1PTS fee for withdrawals.

Important: To reduce exchange risk: Do not trade with high volumes of BTC/PTS on an exchange at any given time. Instead make a small deposit, trade it and withdraw. If this is successful, repeat.


Why must I withdraw my BitsharesPTS to a wallet?
There is risk in storing your BitsharesPTS on an exchange so its best practice not to do this.
In addition you won’t get any shares in DACs if you keep your BitsharesPTS on the exchange. This is because when I3 launches a DAC it will reward BitsharesPTS holders with shares in the new DAC by rewarding the addresses which contain the BitsharesPTS. If your BitsharesPTS is stored on an exchange, the exchange’s BitsharesPTS address will receive your shares.


BitsharesPTS wallet management

How do I safely store BitsharesPTS on a BitsharesPTS wallet/client?
You can download the client for MAC or Windows or download and compile the code from here http://invictus.io/bitshares-pts.php

Note: I prefer to use MAC as there are less security issues.

Run the client and allow it to sync with the network.

Before you send any BitsharesPTS to your wallet, you first need to encrypt the wallet. You can do this by clicking on the ‘settings’ tab and then ‘encrypt wallet’.

It will ask you to type in a password (encryption key) twice. Use a password of at least 32 characters. It is best to not use any real words or patterns but a random string of letters (in lower case and capitals), numbers and characters such as [email protected]^&*

Obtain the public key (receiving address) on your client. You can find this by clicking on the ‘receive’ tab on the client and copying the address shown. It will look something like this: PhVq6eidddft6Ut3dcC3RsFWYQskdmK7US

Withdraw your BitsharesPTS from your exchange to your public key. The BitsharesPTS should show up on your client’s balance after a short while.

Important: Do not save your password on your computer or type it into any program. Your password should be written down on good old fashioned paper. You write the password down twice on two different pieces of paper for storage in different locations. DO NOT LOOSE THIS PASSWORD OR YOU WILL LOSE YOUR BitsharesPTS.


How do I backup my BitsharesPTS wallet?
You can create a backup of your wallet by clicking on the ‘file’ tab then ‘backup wallet’.

Just to be 100% sure also backup your wallet by making a copy of your wallet.dat file found in %AppData%/bitsharesPTS on Windows and ~/.bitsharesPTS on Linux.

The .bitsharesPTS folder is a hidden folder.
To make it visible on mac check out this link: http://www.mikesel.info/show-hidden-files-mac-os-x-10-7-lion/
To make it visible on windows check out this link: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/show-hidden-files-in-windows-7/

Store your backups in multiple off-line, off-computer locations. You can store it on flash drives and cds which can be stored at different locations (such as home and work).

Once you have backed up your wallet. You can delete the wallet.dat file found in the .bitsharesPTS folder. This will remove your wallet from your computer making your wallet less vulnerable to hackers. Hackers may be able to get into your hard drive but they will find it a lot harder to get into your desk at work.

Note: Store your wallet.dat file and pass-phrase separately. So that if someone gets hold of one they still won’t be able to get your BitsharesPTS without the other.

Importantly: you should refresh this backup of your wallet.dat file at least every 99 transactions.  You need to do this because the wallet starts out with a pool of 100 key pairs that are used for transactions that require new key pairs.  Once you have used up the 100 key pairs your wallet can create new key pairs when syncing with the network. This new wallet with refreshed key pairs should then be saved. IF YOU DO NOT DO THIS YOU CAN LOSE PTS!


How do I restore my BitsharesPTS wallet from a backup?

If you need to gain access to your BitsharesPTS do the following:
•   Install the client
•   copy your wallet.dat back into the .bitsharesPTS folder (replacing the wallet.dat file that will be there)
•   Sync with the network and you should see your transactions and balance.

Note: Only keep your wallet.dat file in your .bitsharesPTS folder when you want to have access to your BitsharesPTS. Otherwise keep it offline for safety.


How will I claim shares in I3 DACs (like BitSharesX) using BitsharesPTS?
I3 is developing a user friendly piece of software where you would simply download the DAC client and then point it at your BitsharesPTS wallet.dat file to collect your new shares. Neat!


After collecting my BTS what do I do with my BitsharesPTS?
I would advise you keep them! BitsharesPTS has value because it functions as a social contract. Many more DACs are in the pipeline (see above FAQs about I3 DAC pipeling) and will honour the social contract, thus you are earning a stake in a new industry of DACs.

Note: Compare this to being able to buy a piece of every future internet based company when the internet just started out.



FAQ Bitshares (BitShares BEX)
This section will provide some information on I3’s first DAC to be launched.


First some NB terminology
Decentralized-autonomous-corporation (DAC): a general term used to describe an unmanned company whose shares are the crypto-currency and the value of those shares are backed up by the service the company provides. Bitcoins can be said to be the shares of the company ‘Bitcoin, DAC’ where the value of a bitcoin is backed up by the value of the service Bitcoin provides (fast, cheap, global, unregulated transactions of value). (see FAQ what is a DAC for more info)

BitShares (BTS): a general term referring to a crypto-equity based company, a DAC.

BitShares Bank and Exchange (BEX): The specific name of a DAC I3 plans to launch. (BitShares BEX was previously called BitShares, the renaming is part of a branding strategy).


What is BitSharesBEX?
BEX is a DAC which provides the services of storing value (like a traditional bank) and creates a speculative market (like that of Forex and CFD markets). BEX creates derivative assets that are representative of real world assets (stores of value) such as USD, gold, oil etc. The derivatives will exist in the form of bitUSD, bitGold, bitOil etc.

Users will be able to hold assets such as bitUSD in the BEX bank and thus use BEX as a savings vehicle through buying bitAssets or trading shares in BitsharesBEX for bitAssets, ‘buying long’. BitAssets can also be used as a means for transferring value.

Users will also be able to speculate on the value of bitAssets by ‘buying long’ or ‘short selling’ the assets.


How are these bitAssets (such as bitUSD) created?
Lets say Stacy believes the value of USD is going to drop and wishes to short sell bitUSD. She will need to put down collateral in order to burrow bitUSD (which are lent into existence). BEX shares are used as collateral. Once Stacy has burrowed some bitUSD she can sell it to another user, lets say Ben.

In this way bitUSD were lent into existence by BitShares BEX using Stacy’s collateral. And Ben could now purchase bitUSD and use them to store his value, speculate on USD value, save the money for a rainy day etc.


Why would someone short bitUSD?
Sticking with the example used above:
Stacy has shorted bitUSD hoping that it will go down in value and she will be able to buy it back from Ben at a cheaper price.

If the price of USD drops, Ben may decide he no longer wants to own bitUSD and may sell it back to Stay at the lower price.

Stacy can then return the bitUSD she lent from BitShares BEX. She can return the bitUSD at a lower price than she bought it and can pocket the difference!

When Stacy returns the bitUSD to BitShares BEX the bitUSD is destroyed removing it from existence.


How will the value of bitUSD track the value of real world USD?
The price of bitUSD is pegged to the price of USD by the same principles that peg a prediction market. A number of people will take long and short positions on bitUSD until a consensus is reached and spread is reduced to around the value that the market believes bitUSD should be priced at.

It simply wouldn’t make sense to buy bitUSD for 5USD. And it wouldn’t make sense to short bitUSD at a value too low under the current USD value. As people continue to take up positions the market will price bitUSD at a the price they believe it is worth.


Sounds good, how do I obtain some BEX?
When BEX launches you should be able to purchase shares through crypto-currency exchanges.
Before the 28th of February 2014 it was possible to obtain shares in BitsharesBEX through owning BitsharesPTS and/or BitsharesAGS.

On the 28th of February the snapshot for honouring addresses with shares in BitsharesBEX was taken so everyone owning BitsharesPTS and/or BitsharesAGS will be able to claim a stake in BitsharesBEX.


Why are we doing this/how is BitsharesBEX good for society?

It will provide an alternative banking and trading platform that is extremely cheap for users. Millions of people who could previously not afford banking services can now hold their value in stable, virtual asset classes (Bitcoin volatility makes it an unattractive store of value for more conservative users).

BEX allows for the creation of virtual assets (e.g bitUSD) which can be transferred quickly, globally and cheaply (like bitcoin). bitUSD will hold a relatively stable value as its value will be pegged to USD, thus resolving issues around price volatility in the cryptocurrency space.

Many banks claim this but BEX will be the first bank that was created by the people, for the people.



FAQ Angel shares (BitsharesAGS)
This section will help you to understand what BitsharesAGS are and how you can obtain some.


What are BitsharesAGS?
While DACs may function without the need of humans, large amounts of human power and funding is needed to get them coded and running. BitsharesAGS provide a way for I3 to crowd fund the development of new DACs and the development of tools that will allow others to create new DACs. Here 100% of the funds raised from BitsharesAGS will be used to help grow the DAC industry.

The BitsharesAGS crowd funding platform was launched on the 1st of January 2014 and is scheduled to run for 200 days.

Just like with BitsharesPTS, BitsharesAGS functions as a social contract between I3 and the donors. I3 will honour BitsharesAGS holders with at least 10% of the shares in new DACs created by I3.

Check out www1.agsexplorer.com view stats on BitsharesAGS and view details on how BitsharesAGS funding is being spent.


How does BitsharesAGS work and how can I obtain them?
I3 You can obtain BitsharesAGS by donating either bitcoin or BitsharesPTS to the bitcoin or BitsharesPTS angel addresses.

Each day a total of 10 000 BitsharesAGS will be given out to the supporters who donated that day. 5000 BitsharesAGS will be divided among persons who donated bitcoin to the bitcoin angel address. And 5000 will be divided among persons who donated BitsharesPTS to the BitsharesPTS angel address.

Each day the BitsharesAGS will be divided among the donating addresses according to the amounts each address donated.

You can obtain BitsharesAGS by donating BitsharesPTS to this address: PaNGELmZgzRQCKeEKM6ifgTqNkC4ceiAWw

Or by donating bitcoin to this address:
1ANGELwQwWxMmbdaSWhWLqBEtPTkWb8uDc

Importantly: BitsharesAGS  honour the address from which the donation was sent. Thus you should NEVER send donations from an address which you don’t own the private key to!
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 08:20:34 PM by MrJeans »

Offline betax

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Re: 150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [ACTIVE]
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 02:37:21 PM »
 +5%
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Offline xeroc

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Re: 150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [ACTIVE]
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 03:02:26 PM »
 +5%
Give BitShares a try! Use the http://testnet.bitshares.eu provided by http://bitshares.eu powered by ChainSquad GmbH

Offline jernau

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Re: 150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [ACTIVE]
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 03:17:37 PM »
@MrJeans:

That FAQ reads well, but I don't think it's good for the 'complete newbie'. For example, I don't think a newbie would know what these terms mean:

"lending into existence" , "short and long positions", "collateral", "market pegging", "prediction markets"

To be honest, these words were big barriers for my understanding of what I3 wants to do. In my opinion, these jargon words are not helpful without definitions.

I think the best FAQ would be something the average person would understand completely without having to refer to another document.
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Offline biophil

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Re: 150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [ACTIVE]
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 03:30:14 PM »
@MrJeans:

That FAQ reads well, but I don't think it's good for the 'complete newbie'. For example, I don't think a newbie would know what these terms mean:

"lending into existence" , "short and long positions", "collateral", "market pegging", "prediction markets"

To be honest, these words were big barriers for my understanding of what I3 wants to do. In my opinion, these jargon words are not helpful without definitions.

I think the best FAQ would be something the average person would understand completely without having to refer to another document.

 +5%

I heartily agree. I believe a good FAQ should have at most 3-sentence answers to questions. The FAQ should give me the briefest, simplest possible answer to my questions, and then give me a link to MrJeans's in-depth explanations for more information.

MrJeans, check out https://github.com/nmushegian/invictus-FAQ/blob/master/FAQ.md for the work we've already started on a terse FAQ. Those should be the kinds of questions and answers the FAQ should have. There are a bunch of unanswered questions still on the github version, you address many of these in your post; maybe you can work on filling in the blanks we already have.

At least, if I were I3, that's what I would want my FAQ to look like. I'd love for the Marketing Director to weigh in on which approach he prefers.

Offline MrJeans

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Re: 150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [ACTIVE]
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2014, 08:14:09 PM »
Hey peoples, thanks for the feedback  :)

I am happy to make changes. You right, I think there is value in having a short easy to read FAQ so that someone can quickly go through and get information. There is also value in being able to fully answer questions people may have. When writing this I was thinking about all the information I would have wanted when starting out. So maybe different versions in different places? or maybe a short answer and a 'read more' link to drop down some extra text?

Yep toast also told me about the github after I posted. Havnt used this before, but first time for everything.
Just going to wait for some feedback from Brian before I do anything.
I think they may be off to the conference atm.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 08:26:17 PM by MrJeans »

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Re: 150PTS - Comprehensive FAQ for new site [ACTIVE]
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2014, 09:02:43 PM »
Hey peoples, thanks for the feedback  :)

I am happy to make changes. You right, I think there is value in having a short easy to read FAQ so that someone can quickly go through and get information. There is also value in being able to fully answer questions people may have. When writing this I was thinking about all the information I would have wanted when starting out. So maybe different versions in different places? or maybe a short answer and a 'read more' link to drop down some extra text?

Yep toast also told me about the github after I posted. Havnt used this before, but first time for everything.
Just going to wait for some feedback from Brian before I do anything.
I think they may be off to the conference atm.

I really like the idea of the FAQ having lots of "read more" links to places where readers can get more information, because a good central repository of authoritative information is also severely lacking right now. It's just that "more information" is really daunting to someone who just wants to know "what is the difference between PTS and AGS" or some such.

This is also my first time using github, I like the opportunity to be paid to learn useful tools :)

 

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