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Old Firmware, want Homebrew, want 3.4 for wiiware, what's the best option/approach

Posted by kaerlis 
I'm on an old version of the firmware and haven't updated in at least 6 months,
I want to get homebrew channel running, but i also want to get wiiware games using points i was given for xmas which needs 3.4
whats the best option/most stable/advantages of:

-installing HBC on old firmware, then update
-updating to new firmware, then installing HBC
-downgrading from 3.4 afterwards/later
-is there any file to upgrade to 3.4 without the security measures, as was made with some earlier updates,
or are the old files doing this to 3.3 enough? and how stable are such files with future updating/can you remove easily.

Thank y'all very, very much for my complex questioning in advance.
i don't know the details and stability of various approaches so i thought i'd just ask.
I am in a similar situation. I still have firmware 3.1E (although Ravin Rabbids TV said it needed to install an update), and although I own freeloader, I am not too keen on playing games with another firmware, so I'd like to upgrade to a recent firmware if possible (but still use HBC). Does the HBC survive an upgrade from 3.1 to 3.4, or should I upgrade to 3.4 first and then install HBC? Of course I'd like to do either of that rather soon before Nintendo releases 3.5 ;) Or are there any benefits of the 3.1 firmware so that I should keep it?

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