RE: Pray for me

Subject: RE: Pray for me
From: technical_writer -at- rte -dot- com
To: techwr-l
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 11:11:0

Barb wrote:
>I don't believe it is possible to have much more
>than an outline with imported text by next Thursday, l
>et alone a FDA ready version.

Um...that was THIS Thursday. Yesterday.

I gave 'em context-sensitive Help for the 6 major screen tabs and two other
windows, 1 page per tab, available by pressing F1 (no right-clicks
allowed). I also had the first 6 chapters of the Users Manual in HTML-Help
format, with TOC/Index/Search, available as a menu item under the Help menu
at the top of the screen.

It's ugly, but technically accurate (barely, in spots) and it works. I
didn't have time to do any real editing on the manual itself. It was
written by a stressed-out contractor and two managers last April. They all
have different writing styles, and the product has changed a wee bit since
then. I'm itching to get in there and clean up the print version. Maybe
next week.

And I now know why people bitch about RoboHelp!
Learn something every day, around here...

Quit? Moi? Nah. I'm having way too much fun.

Kat Nagel
(Still haven't had a chance to catch up with my email. Sorry, guys. It
doesn't usually take me this long to respond.)

-----Original Message-----
From: Barbara Stuhlemmer [mailto:barbara -at- wanware -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2000 1:24 PM
To: 'technical_writer -at- rte -dot- com'; Winhelp - List (E-mail)
Subject: RE: Pray for me


When I wrote manuals for a medical device company, the manuals spent more
time at our lawyers than you have to write the whole thing. The FDA is a
very, very rigid stickler about following guidelines. Guidelines that we
didn't even know about until our lawyer would send back memo's with
requests for changes. I don't believe it is possible to have much more
than an outline with imported text by next Thursday, let alone a FDA ready

Maybe if you approach them with all the facts that the listers have sent
you, you can make them see the light. Otherwise, I would seriously start
looking for another job. We all have some crap we have to put up with but
no one needs that kind of demeaning enslavement (like you are a
stenographer that only has to press a button and all the pre-written
documentation will just fall into place).

Best of Luck

Ignorance is only bliss to the Ignorant.

On Sunday, July 23, 2000 6:42 AM, technical_writer -at- rte -dot- com [SMTP:technic
al_writer -at- rte -dot- com] wrote:
> I have a new assignment: "Do a context-sensitive HTMLHelp system for
> Product X [an automated medical device used in hospital operating rooms].
> The 400-page user manual needs to be in HTML, too. We need a working
> prototype of both, complete enough to satisfy the FDA, for the next
> product
> build on Thursday afternoon."
> Wrinkles:
> * I've never done HTML Help.
> * The last version of RoboHelp I played with was v1.
> * I can't use right-clicks for context sensitivity because loading the
> Robohelp dll with the product disables many of the product features.
> * The manual has been done entirely in Normal style;
> font/size/style/justification changes for headings and captions and lists
> and stuff were all done manually for each word or paragraph.
> I've already reassigned my other active projects, and informed my
> supervisor
> that there will be no progress this week on our internal quality
> documentation. I still don't see any way to accomplish this on time
> without
> serious supernatural intervention.
> Thanks in advance for all prayers, incantations, candles, amulets, and
> GoodThoughts(tm).
> Kat Nagel
> Real Time Enterprises, Inc.
> kat_nagel -at- rte -dot- com

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