When you're learning to crack, there's a short list of things that you have to do first, and a similar list of things NOT to do.
First of all, the list of things to do (in order):
1) Learn assembly language. You'll see something else so rarely that you can easily become a good cracker without ever learning another language. Apparently it isn't an easy language. It is very demanding and precise. Screw up once, and expect things to go wrong spectacularly (but hell, that's nothing new). You only need to know enough assembly to be able to figure out what's going on in program, but the more you know the better.
2) Get the tools of the trade. These would be SoftICE, a disassembler, and a hex editor at the very least. There are a couple of others that you probably should get, namely Registry Monitor, File Monitor, NuMega Smart Check, and what the hell: anything else that sounds interesting/useful.
3) RTFM!!! For those who do not know, this acronym means Read The Fucking Manual. I am dead serious. So many people have been flamed in #c4n because they didn't know the basic SoftICE commands, or didn't know how to use such and such vital feature of some program. Save yourself from the onslaught of several very clever people, and try very hard to answer your questions with the manual before you go and ask something that we will think you could have looked up.
4) Get some tutorials. Get their target programs. Go through as many tutorials as you need to get a good grasp of what you're doing. If neccesary, ask for help on #cracking4newbies on EFNet or any other similar channel.
5) Get some programs that you dont have tutorials for, crack them. If you can do that, then you're set. You are a cracker, congratulations.
6) Now that you're a cracker, maybe join in the community. There are plenty of places where crackers congregate that you should be able to find fairly easily. #cracking4newbies on EFNet is my personal favorite.
Please note this: Everything you need to learn to program ASM (assembly language) and crack is available from the links in the Cracking Section.
And now the things NOT to do:
1) Don't show off knowledge you dont have, especially in front of other crackers. Your lack of knowledge glows like the afternoon sun.
2) Don't go to #cracking4newbies or somesuch other channel and ask for tools, keygens, tutorials, etc. There are wonderful things on the internet called "search engines" that can find you anything you need. If you can't, then you're probably never going to be a good cracker. As sad as it is, many people who would love to join our noble cause simply dont have what it takes.
3) You've probably encountered a pirate slang, aS iS u$3d bY 411 7h0$3 kr@d 3133+ W@r3z d00dz. Don't use it. Warez sites are generally run by a bunch of exceptional idiots, they use this slang to make themselves look like they're big nasty criminals. They're not. Talk like them and we will assume you are one of them. We aren't pirates. We REALLY dislike them; in fact, we dislike them so much that we will mock them brutally every chance we get. If you want to earn some respect, don't give us a chance to do that.
4) I mentioned that we aren't pirates. So it follows that if you ask us for cracks, keygens, serials, warez, etc., Bad Things Will Happen. If you want an idea about what these bad things are, see the last point.
5) Keep the ego toned down unless you're a really big famous ubercracker. Egotistical crackers are eventually treated just like egotistical people: they are pretty much avoided and ignored. If you happen to be a really big famous ubercracker, it is understandable that talking to some little newbie asking you what functions to set breakpoints on may not be your idea of a good time; remember that you were once a newbie too.
6) Unless you really need enemies, don't make them. Crackers are generally exactly the type of enemies that you do not want to have.
is message when we start the program. We gonna try to change it so we never see it.