RE: Consequences of inadequate docs/training

Subject: RE: Consequences of inadequate docs/training
From: "Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes (EAA)" <Sean.O'Donoghue-Hayes -at- ericsson -dot- com -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 10:13:34 +1100

Sounds like a daunting assignment - to create documentation in such a

Perhaps - without changing the working of the device to much they cold have
added two more features.

(1) When "restarted" a message is displayed stating "This unit is now set to
YOUR current position" - or words to that effect - you would think that
would be an easy message for the software engineers to incorporate.....

(2) The GPS locator comes back blank. Okay so the incoming bomb/missile no
longer knows where to go (perhaps that causes a warning on the incoming
aircraft to go off...), but isn't that better than landing friendly fire on
your spotter's position.
Or blank with message - "Please select either current GPS device location or
enter GPS co-ordinates of target."

(3) A big red indelible message next to the on/off switch, or on battery
cover - or both.
"WARNING: If this device is powers off. On restarting the GPS location it
sends is YOUR current position!"

The first two are likely to work as the human eye, the human being, tends to
glance at what is displayed when it first "blinks" on. The third should work
as people tend to look at what they are doing and RED is always a danger
colour. An audible sound might be good as well - however in combat
situations this might obviously be dangerous....

Number two seems the safest for combat situations - as long as the
bomb/missile hasn't been released - I guess it would just fall where it is
if it loses GPS directional co-ordinates?

And on a less serious note:

Of course this would destroy the plot conclusion to many a James Bond the evil scientist sends off his missile a little message pops
up stating that "This system has target set to this GPS location!".
Realising that Bond, damn that 007, has played with the guidance system -
the evil scientist resets the missile co-ordinates and Washington, London or

Since so many of the TWs on this list say that they would not work for
"unethical" companies - is this why evil scientists and villains have such
bad user documentation and general useability?

....(and let's not talk Change Management - how often has the chief henchman
decided to kill the hero, his way, rather than the using the standard
processes - "No I won't use my gun, I will use this whirring chainsaw device
that is unwieldily, and may, at any moment get caught up in those hanging
chains that you can then use to strangle me......")

regards and thanks,
Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes

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