TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Good Manuals - Why Rare. From:Jo Francis Byrd <jbyrd -at- byrdwrites -dot- com> To:Kat Nagel <katnagel -at- eznet -dot- net> Date:Mon, 20 Mar 2000 07:56:47 -0600
The Dell I bought a year and a half ago has most of the connector ports color
coded and the corresponding cables coded with the same color. And a chart to
show what goes where. Piece of cake to set this sucker up. And the user's manual
for the CPU has detailed drawings showing what's what inside the thing.
On my original Dell, when I upgraded the memory, I looked in the user guide,
followed the excellent written instructions, augmented by beautifully detailed,
accurate drawings, and voila! Worked perfectly the first time. Learned a lot
about hardware from that manual.
GOOD illustrations are a wonderful communication/teaching method.
Kat Nagel wrote:
> My husband just bought an iMac. He set actually it up himself.
> Now, I've set up every piece of computer hardware he's ever used because he
> started whimpering whenever he saw a cable. I also do all his troubleshooting
> when things go wrong. He is very bright, but he isn't
> interested in hardware or software. This is NOT a geek we're talking about
> here. He just wants his computer to do stuff.
> As I said, he set this one up himself, including all the peripherals.
> (Remember, this is the person who routinely puts floppy disks in his Zip
> drive.) Why was he able to set up his computer without help? Because the
> installation guide is a little brochure with 5-count'em-5 photographs, each
> with one little arrow showing what connector goes where.
> Now, I like words. Heck, I make most of my living with them. But the next
> time I'm hired to do an installation manual, I'm gonna remember this.
> Five pictures.
> No words.
> 'Nuff said.