I'm buying a samsung epic 4g and want to get it flashed to my cricket account and I have some questions about wifi-tethering and mms.

First, I am new to the android world so please forgive my ignorance in advance.

Id like to enable the free wifi-tether option on my epic so I can connect my laptop to the Internet via the phones wifi-hotspot capability. As I understand it, this feature is disabled in this phone by default with cricket. What is the best/easiest method for enabling free wifi-tether with cricket, and should I do this before or after I have cricket flash the phone to their system?

I'd also like to enable MMS messaging as I've heard others have done with their epic and cricket, but have no idea how to do this. How is this done? Again, should this be done before or after the flash to cricket?

My concern is that I'll mess up the cricket flash by rooting the phone and enabling the free wifi-tether. is this a possibility?

I'm just too unfamiliar with how it all works so any clarification would be greatly appreciated!

FYI, I am a coder and have fairly decent knowledge of high-end programming so understanding the code and technical details shouldn't be an issue.*