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The "all or some" thing made me think, and I assume the manuals are pretty sizable...In addition to a PDF that gives the entire manual, you might also set up separate PDFs for each chapter. That would give them user the option to download only a chapter at a time. There are bound to be cases where a guy has spilled sugar-laden coffee and glued together the pages of the last chapter, but the rest of his manual is still usable. It would be a blessing to the user to be able to download only the one part he really needs instead of the whole thing. I know that would complicate document management, so I don't know if you could get away with it.
--- On Thu, 1/21/10, Ken Poshedly <poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net> wrote:
> From: Ken Poshedly <poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net>
> Subject: Re: website tech pubs, etc.
> To: "Keith Hood" <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>, "Techwr-l" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Cc: "Ken Poshedly" <poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net>
> Date: Thursday, January 21, 2010, 4:07 PM
> Hi Keith,
> Thanks for the reply. And yes, I agree that user's
> should let us know what they think of future help resources.
> But right now, there are none.
> The idea for having downloadable manuals is really for
> those who lost their's and need a quick replacement of
> all or some pages. If they have the time for a download, so
> be it.
> And I also agree with the comments about videos, that
> is, that they would be used for workbench-type (or similar)
> procedures. But something is better than nothing, and at
> this point, whatever I get placed on that website is bound
> to help the company's image.
> -- Kenpo
> From: Keith
> Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
> To: Techwr-l
> <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>; Ken Poshedly
> <poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net>
> Sent: Thu,
> January 21, 2010 3:50:28 PM
> Subject: Re:
> website tech pubs, etc.
> First, I'd suggest finding something other than PDFs
> for downloads. There's got to be something. I find PDFs
> almost always take way too long to download.
> Apologies if you've already thought of this, but for
> videos, it seems to me that you should talk to the end users
> about what coverage they need. And, I think video
> presentations would be more useful for training in shop
> maintenance and management procedures, than for equipment
> use. Video instruction is most useful when the viewer can
> put his hands on the thing and follow along at the
> same time. A mechanic can set up a monitor next to a test
> bench and unbolt things on the real item as he sees it being
> done on the monitor. A manager can practice filling in the
> new form as a video shows him how. But a forklift driver
> would have to watch the video all the way through and then
> try to remember it when he goes into the motor pool and
> starts the machine. That time gap between seeing and doing
> makes video less useful in that venue.
> --- On Thu, 1/21/10, Ken Poshedly <poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- -dot- net>
> > From: Ken Poshedly <poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net>
> > Subject: website tech pubs, etc.
> > To: "Techwr-l" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Date: Thursday, January 21, 2010, 12:04 PM
> > Fellow tekkies,
> > I'd like to introduce the presence of my
> > technical manuals on our website and need some advice.
> > First, some background. I'm one of two tech
> > for Sany America, makes heavy equipment similar
> to that of
> > Caterpillar, Komatsu, etc. It's just getting
> started in the
> > U.S. with a sales and engineering office in Peachtree
> > a southwest suburb of Atlanta; a full-blown assembly
> > is currently under construction a few miles down the
> > from my office. Even though we are a wholly-owned
> > of Sany Heavy Equipment in China, the plan is to
> > "Americanize" Sany America with a great and
> useful website
> > that includes all the bells and whistles needed to
> > get across to our current and prospective
> customers that we
> > want to be a
> truly American business venture.
> > While I'm not directly involved with the website
> -- except
> > for occasionally spotting errors and such and
> reporting them
> > to the powers-that-be -- I want to offer to our
> > various forms of technical publication assistance
> > including:
> > 1. Downloadable pdf files of our tech pubs
> > 2. The ability order printed&bound tech pubs
> > 3. Videos of specific technical procedures
> > 4. A method of suggesting improvements, reporting
> > etc. (i.e, customer feedback)
> > Our audience consists of equipment owners and
> operators who
> > use our hardcopy materials in the field (noisy, rough
> > very busy construction sites); as such, our manuals
> > simply three-hole drilled, perfect-bound books with
> > text and line art graphics on white paper. At this
> time we
> > don't see a need to
> do online (html) versions of our manuals
> > because it is simply not practical for an operator to
> > position a laptop in the cab (or elsewhere on the
> > then view and run through procedures. Videos might
> work to
> > augment what's in a manual and be viewed in an
> > setting.
> > My question is really what process and software is /
> > are required to go from digital video camera to
> > video? What digital editing software is required? (We
> > currently use Windows Vista.) Do I simply upload a wav
> > whatever) file directly to our website or is Flare or
> > somesuch intermediate program required?
> > Obviously, I'm totally ignorant in this area, so
> > pointers, ideas, or suggestions about other websites
> > whatever is appreciated.
> > -- Kenpo in Atlanta
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