Re: New writer looking for advice

Subject: Re: New writer looking for advice
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L Writing" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2015 22:31:12 -0400

Fifteen years ago, I went to work for a company that gave me a 20 inch monitor. It was huge for the time compared the 15" used most places. I thought I was in heaven with the ability to put two full pages side by side for comparison and editing when needed and still be able to read them. a few years later, they had changed to flat screens and the standard issue was 17 inch to replace mine that quit. I balked, complained, and pushed back until I got a 21 inch.No one could understand the "need" for such a big screen to do documentation. After all, I wasn't coding or doing accounting spreadsheets. Somehow documentation wasn't as important as those other professions. But after summiting that it would be business impacting (remember those two words), and could show that the amount of time flipping between documents, the need to print instead of view onscreen, and other issues would increase costs and slow delivery, they relented. Within 6 months, everyone had 21 inch flat screens or larger.

Eight years later, I was working at a simulation company. I was working on a simulator operator's manual and so got the privilege of having access to a video game to end all - a trainer aircraft flight simulator. However, while flying it was great, I often needed screen shots that were awkward by having to schedule a session, drive 4 miles to the building with the sim, and hope that I wasn't overridden by either maintenance issues (downtime) or those with higher priority (engineers or managers showing off their project to higher managers or customers). The software team decided for much of what I was doing, I could use their desktop simulator simulator (yes, really double words). This required one full monitor for the flight view and half a monitor in the final version, so I had one monitor for my documents, one monitor for simulator operator screens, and one monitor for pilot screens.

And I got a joystick to fly it. Naturally, I used to get a lot of looks from people passing through who thought I was playing video games on company time.

Since then, I have run dual monitors almost all the time. currently, I have FrameMaker running the book structure, and two full pages on one 22 inch monitor, and all the pods and structured view on the other monitor, along with email, browser, IM, and such that is needed.

The days of a 14 inch monochrome monitor in documentation were decades ago. Once you end up working this way, you will get almost resentful if you have to work on one small or regular sized monitor. I can't imagine using only a laptop screen except as a temporary status such as in a meeting.



----- Original Message ----- From: "Robert Lauriston" <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L Writing" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Friday, April 17, 2015 3:21 PM
Subject: Re: New writer looking for advice


Why would a tech writer need two monitors, let alone three, which
sounds like an ergonomic nightmare?

I can only look in one place at a time and I can context-switch with
keyboard shortcuts and my KVM switch as fast as I could look at a
different screen. Large displays with 16:9 aspect ratios provide such
huge desktops that I can treat them like two displays anyway.

On Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 11:13 AM, Paul Hanson
<twer_lists_all -at- hotmail -dot- com> wrote:
If you are using 3 (or more!) monitors, I'd be curious about the specs for
that device. My current laptop graphics card only supports 2 monitors. I am
in the market for a new laptop for my daughter to take to college in fall
2015. I'd like to get her one that supports 3 monitors in case she finds out
she needs that capability.
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References:
Re: New writer looking for advice: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: New writer looking for advice: From: carolyn223 palo
Re: New writer looking for advice: From: Mike Starr
RE: New writer looking for advice: From: Paul Hanson
Re: New writer looking for advice: From: Robert Lauriston

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