What did people do back in the day? (how ever long ago that is for you.) Where did you get your information from, technical manuals and trial and error? I'm talking like back in the days of punch cards and computers only universities and governments could own. You couldn't just go ask someone because no one would know what the heck a dip switch was.
Point: It's paradoxical, how can you determine if a piece of information is correct if you are the one searching for the correct answer?
Point: I think, ultimately, it shakes out those types of people who are prone to tinker with technology. Let me try it then log my results, learn, evaluate, then make a slight change and try it again, then document, then share what I learned.
Anecdote: When I first learned from the Internet about low level formatting of hard disks I promptly ruined my 10GB IDE drive. (although it did work the first couple of times.)
Can someone offer up a story from more than 15 years ago?