Re: Can Online Documentation be Used to Increase the Usability

Subject: Re: Can Online Documentation be Used to Increase the Usability
From: Daniel John Brinegar <6545 -at- EF -dot- GC -dot- MARICOPA -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 07:26:24 -0700

> Author : "Bob Lord, DTN 522-6614," <lord -at- CXCAD -dot- ENET -dot- DEC -dot- COM>
> Subject : Re: Can Online Documentation be Used to Increase the Usability
> Written : 01/19/95.11:41am



Bob mentioned the big thing-- the delivery platform is a laptop the
"rep" carries around from site-to-site

I've run into several regional installation gurus who've mentioned that
they couldn't do their jobs (scattered across eight states) if they didn't
have the hardware documentation online with them wherever they were... the
big-screen laptop the company buys for them pays for itself the first
half-day saved not-wading-thru-a-bundle-of-new-change-pages (plant time,
client personnel pay, guru per diem, etc.)

As far as having, say, rifle-cleaning instructions online; I'm assuming
this is an exaggeration <smile> knowing intuitively how to clean yer rifle
in the dark blind-folded with one arm missing is a big big part of
becoming a soldier... just like walking in a straight line with 40 other
people... or like programmers intuitively knowing to grok a subjunctive
parable before a compile [-ac] < =rcw > (man=r,u,k,d,n,g) --ya gotta know
it...

(Now if the Bradley fighting vehicle came with online instructions on
exactly which foot to stick outta the commander's hatch while leaning
under the gun breach to disconnect the ammo chute power cable.. that would
be handy)

> Bill Amos et al,

> Thanks for your inputs. Your concern is valid in situations where the
> documentation is addressed to an individual who's setting up his/her own
> computer, and has no others around. The environment I'm in serves larger
users
> or field service personnel--folks with dedicated laptops or PCs laying around
> on
> which the online docs can be displayed.

> My question is more directed at the concept of using online docs in a hardware
> environment. That there is some way to display them is a given. What think
> ye?
> Are they more usable than hardcopy?

> Bob

Yes! more usable than hardcopy!

<smile>

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