What's THAT for?

Subject: What's THAT for?
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 10:35:26 -0400

In documenting a hardware product that uses a chassis
common to several other of your company's products,
how do you refer to unused physical features like (say)
an electrically live USB port or a specialty port that
doesn't have a function in the current product.

My default reaction is to just stick arrows and letters
on such items in the diagram, and then in the call-out
list say (for items "e" and "f" in this case):

a. ....framistan
b. ....doohickey
c. ....thingamajig
d. .... network ports 0 and 1
e. (Not used in this application - do not connect)
f. (Not used in this application - do not connect)
g. Hot-swap power supply 1
h. Hot-swap power supply 2
i. ..........

There's no danger of loss or damage. If you connect something
to those ports, simply nothing useful happens, and whatever
you thought might happen... probably doesn't, not even a bad
smell... probably.


Is it cool to have curious little items like that simply
ignored? Not acknowledged in the docs at all? (I vote "no"
on that, but I would be happy to learn counter-arguments.)

Kevin McLauchlan
Senior Technical Writer
SafeNet, Inc.

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