re Installation - separate book in documentation suite?

Subject: re Installation - separate book in documentation suite?
From: Mark Levinson <MarkL -at- gilian -dot- com>
To: 'TECHWR-L' <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 2000 13:10:52 +0200

I decided to try a book like that. I said to myself: when
the box arrives, the user's overwhelming desire is to see
it work. So after providing the installation instructions,
the book takes the user on a beeline-- not explaining all the
options along the way-- to the point where the user can see
something happen on the screen and say Hot damn, it works.
And on the last page I've written in invisible ink: "Happy?
Now throw the book away." The idea is that the installation
instructions and the demo are used only once, so there's no
reason they should add dead weight to the documentation that's
intended for day-to-day use.

The product is still relatively new and in the real world
there is a lot of hand-holding from service engineers still
going on, rather than brothers and sisters doing it for
themselves, so I can't report whether the book serves the purpose.
I admit, though, that some people in house have said "But it
doesn't mention X and it doesn't mention Y," and I've replied,
"that's right, because X and Y aren't vital to producing the first
results that will prove that the product is working." I suppose
that I should throw away the invisible ink and write a prominent
What This Book Is For page...

Mark L. Levinson
Herzlia, Israel
markl -at- gilian -dot- com

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