As much as you have time/interest/motivation for.UFO wrote:how much of reading or how many tries and how technical does one want me to do?
The usual reason people say "RTFM" is a perceived unappreciation for the people who spent their free time writing the documentation. (or lack of effort or whatever)
Different people need different levels of boiling it down. You're probably not the only one who is suffering from the same problems, so step 1 is to look for articles and so forth about the same problems. Step 2 is to write these articles to help others.
These minor contributions go a long way. Remember, these projects are free time things for everyone involved (including the users). I am sure the projects themselves will appreciate these how-to articles that are written with non-technical folks in mind.