Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 31 Mar 1997 to 1 Apr 1997

Subject: Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 31 Mar 1997 to 1 Apr 1997
From: Sonia Isotov <sonia -at- MAUI -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 10:03:00 -1000

Can someone please send me the instructions for unsubscribing? Thank you. Sonia

>------------------------------
>Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 00:00:08 -0600
>Reply-To: "Technical Writers List; for all Technical Communication issues"
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>Subject: TECHWR-L Digest - 31 Mar 1997 to 1 Apr 1997
>To: Recipients of TECHWR-L digests <TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
>
>There are 62 messages totalling 2769 lines in this issue.
>
>Topics of the day:
>
> 1. Word '97 vs. Frame 5.1.1 (3)
> 2. Creativity in Technical Communications
> 3. Word 7 to Framemaker 5
> 4. managing document revisions? (2)
> 5. Medical and scientific writing
> 6. <No subject given> (4)
> 7. novelist wannabes (2)
> 8. Freelance/Contract Opportunity--San Diego Area
> 9. Technical adj. stack question (2)
> 10. Printing an incomplete manual (2)
> 11. Hiring Practices (14)
> 12. e-prime info
> 13. novelists part II (6)
> 14. Re[2]: Hiring Practices
> 15. Job - SF Bay Area - Programming Documentation
> 16. Chat: Creative writing after techie writing
> 17. Product packaging
> 18. Summary: "The dialog box appears"
> 19. How many PCs does (7)
> 20. Desktop Publishing Advice
> 21. First Jobs (2)
> 22. Is it a good job? (4)
> 23. Is It a Good Job?
> 24. Seeking advice for a senior English majo
> 25. Advice on Tech writing jobs
>
> TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
>to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
> to LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU (e.g. HELP or SIGNOFF TECHWR-L).
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>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 02:02:57 EST
>From: Gregory D Drew <gddrew -at- JUNO -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: Word '97 vs. Frame 5.1.1
>
>On 3/31/97 Melonie wrote:
>
>> If compatibility ended, I would either spend a large amount of my
>> time typing or I would be creating manuals in Word. Either way,
>> it is alot easier just to port docs between programs.
>
>If push came to shove, try saving the Word document as a .txt file.
>You'll lose all your formatting (including tables), but it will still
>save you hours of retyping. Plus Adobe should be able to import ASCII
>text.
>___________________________________________________________________
>Greg Drew
>gddrew -at- juno -dot- com
>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 10:38:41 +0200
>From: "M. Dannenberg" <midannen -at- SI -dot- BOSCH -dot- DE>
>Subject: Re: Creativity in Technical Communications
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>
>Shlomo Ramon wrote:
>
>> Hello Mike,
>> you wrote: "technical writing requires creativity, otherwise the engineers
>> could do it..."
>> I beg to disagree with that statement, without starting a new major war.
>
>Yet another sorry attempt at humour tragically misfired ...
>
>My point was that most engineers I know can't write worth a damn, I
>would of course not claim that engineers are not creative per se, i was
>juzst trying to be funny.
>
>> It just occurred to me that many good engineers lose the interest in their
>> tasks once the design is completed and just could not be bothered to write
>> proper user documentation because of lack of interest and because most were
>> not taught the basics of how to..
>
>Exactly. Here are two things that really piss me off:
>
>Engineers who wouldn't recognise a good manual if it hit them on the
>head, and yet think they know everything and can tell me how to do my
>job.
>
>Engineers who think that writing manuals is some kind of menial work far
>below their dignity. (Again this is due to cluelessness)
>
>To avoid the predictable flame-war: I don't think all engineers are like
>that, but many are and they get on my nerves.
>
>Mike
>
>Mike Dannenberg
>ETAS GmbH & Co.KG
>midannen -at- si -dot- bosch -dot- de
>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 16:37:42 +0200
>From: Benzi Schreiber <benzi -dot- s -at- SAPIENS -dot- COM>
>Subject: Word 7 to Framemaker 5
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>
>To all who are having trouble converting Word 7 files to Framemaker 5:
>
>It helps to rename your Word styles with the Frame style names before
>importing.
>Most things import OK, but tables sometimes disappear during
>conversion. In addition, heading numbers can become corrupted (a
>heading 2 may become heading 3, for no obvious reason), and on occasion
>a heading may actually disappear.
>
>Moral of the story: You have to check the Framemaker file for problems,
>but it's still a hell of a lot better than typing it all in again, or
>importing as an ASCII file!
>
>--
>Benzi Schreiber
>Sapiens Technologies Ltd
>Rehovot, Israel
>benzi -dot- s -at- sapiens -dot- com
>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 07:02:00 -0600
>From: Mitch Berg <mberg -at- IS -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: Word '97 vs. Frame 5.1.1
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
>At 02:02 AM 4/1/97 EST, you wrote:
>>On 3/31/97 Melonie wrote:
>>
>>> If compatibility ended, I would either spend a large amount of my
>>> time typing or I would be creating manuals in Word. Either way,
>>> it is alot easier just to port docs between programs.
>>
>>If push came to shove, try saving the Word document as a .txt file.
>>You'll lose all your formatting (including tables), but it will still
>>save you hours of retyping. Plus Adobe should be able to import ASCII
>>text.
>
>Not to start a holy war (pleeeeeeeeeeease!) but:
>
>If I'm doing a large, complex project, I'll drop Word before I drop Frame.
>If push comes to shove, I'll tell people to submit stuff in Notepad format.
>
>I don't think it'll come to that - there's always a back door, so far,
>between Word and Frame, as we've seen on this list.
>
>I'm getting ready to junk Office and buy SmartSuite in protest.
>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 08:35:29 -0500
>From: Dan Tripp <dtripp -at- PERI -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: managing document revisions?
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>
>Doug,
>
>Thanks for your input. I'm downloading the DOCS Open demo right now.
>
>> In the environment you're describing, you could use versions to
>> designate software-driven documentation changes, and the sub-versions to
>> represent maintenance of the old-version document. You can have up to
>> 99 versions of each document, along with up to 26 sub-versions of each
>> version available in the document database at any given time.
>That sounds ideal, but I don't think we have the personnel or disk space!
>
>> I'm administering a document
>> management system here (ironically, not for technical communications as
>> such) and will be happy to talk to you about it.
>We are having some meetings over the next few days... I may contact you for
>more advice!
>
>>One brief word of
>> warning: Doc management is much, much harder than it looks,
>Ouch. It looks very hard!
>
>
>
>T. Daniel Tripp
>Senior Technical Writer
>Periphonics Corporation
>dtripp -at- peri -dot- com
>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 07:38:00 PST
>From: "Ivie, Guy" <GuyI -at- CORPMAIL -dot- FOLLETT -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: Medical and scientific writing
>
>I'd suggest you take some pre-med classes or classes in the sciences in
>order to gain some background knowledge and become familiar with the
>language. Then check with biomed companies in your area (medical software
>companies might be a good choice, since they would make use of the
>training you have with computers) and try to set up an internship. Also
>check with your school. I got my first "real" tech writing job via my
>university's co-op program. The 3 month co-op turned into a full-time job
>that lasted 4 years.
>
> ----------
>From: TECHWR-L[SMTP:TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU]
>Sent: 31 March 1997 12:39 pm
>To: TECHWR-L
>Subject: Medical and scientific writing
>
>I am a student studying English at BYU. I am hoping to write for a
>company in the medical industry when I graduate. Unfortunately, the
>technical writing class that I am taking now focuses much more on the
>writing of computer manuals and the like because that is the are of
>my instructor's expertise. I am seeking any information you can
>offer on possible internships or even pharmaceutical or biotech
>companies that might hire a recent graduate. Are there any
>significant differences that I should be aware of between scientific
>writing and technical (or computer manual) writing?
>
>Thanks,
>Suzanne Taylor
>
> TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
>to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands
> to LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU (e.g. HELP or SIGNOFF TECHWR-L).
> Search the archives at http://www.documentation.com/ or search and
>browse the archives at http://listserv.okstate.edu/archives/techwr-l.html
>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 09:04:54 EST
>From: "Mohammad K. Alam" <D62CC -at- CUNYVM -dot- CUNY -dot- EDU>
>Subject: <No subject given>
>
>Hello,
>I am having difficulties in writing a computer manual for CUNYVM. If anybody
>has a valid copy of this type of manual or if anybody knows how to write it
>please send it to me.
>
>
>
>
> Thanks -
>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 14:06:08 GMT
>From: Barb Philbrick <caslonsvcs -at- IBM -dot- NET>
>Subject: Re: novelist wannabes
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
>
>On Mon, 31 Mar 1997 13:35:52 -0600, you wrote:
>
>>I can't quite see the difference between that kind of "experience" and =
>the
>>kind of "experience" that leads other managers to conclude that women =
>tend
>>to be "too vested in their families."
>It's something you have to look at realistically, though. My degree is
>in English, and some of my early work makes me shudder - I wrote as if
>everything was a literary critique. I am very conscious of the process
>I went through to become a technical writer. I've met technical
>writers who have not yet transformed their writing process. (Anecdote
>time: One writer I worked with overintellectualized to the point that
>she decided that "to obtain data " was better than "to get
>information" in an online help system for a high school educated
>audience.) I don't think the original poster was saying she
>automatically discounted an English major, just that it is a point
>against if two equally qualified candidates show up at the door.
>
>If you hire, you do have to look for someone who isn't personally
>attached to every word they write. I've worked with several writers
>and engineers who are, and it's sheer hell editing them. I've wasted
>hours massaging egos because of minor edits. (I had a particularly bad
>experience with an engineer last year. Even when I asked questions
>about what he'd written, he'd come back with "You must think I'm a
>terrible writer" instead of answers to my questions.)
>
>The face-to-face interview and samples are still the most important
>indicators.
>
>>Frankly, working for someone who would search
>>out information of that type and exclude candidates from consideration =
>on
>>that basis sounds horrible.
>IIRC, the thread started by discussing managers checking out web pages
>that were listed on resumes, not actively seeking the information. As
>with all things, if you list something as accessible as a web site in
>your resume, make sure it sends a message you want sent to a potential
>employer. For example, if I wrote _Using Mail Bombs to Threaten People
>Who Edit Your Books_, I sure wouldn't put it on my resume.
>
>Barb
>
>
>=20
>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 09:04:54 EST
>From: Kamran Notghi <U07CC -at- CUNYVM -dot- CUNY -dot- EDU>
>Subject: <No subject given>
>
>Hello,
>I am having difficulies in writing a Computer Manual for CUNYVM system.
>If anyone has valid information in writing a Computer Manual for CUNYVM
>system please send it to me.
>
>
>
>
> Thank you
>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 08:16:37 -0600
>From: "Engstrom, Douglas D." <EngstromDD -at- PHIBRED -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: managing document revisions?
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>
>Dan:
>
>This is written in response to:
>
>>> In the environment you're describing, you could use versions to
>>> designate software-driven documentation changes, and the sub-versions to
>>> represent maintenance of the old-version document. You can have up to
>>> 99 versions of each document, along with up to 26 sub-versions of each
>>> version available in the document database at any given time.
>>That sounds ideal, but I don't think we have the personnel or disk space!
>You can also limit the number of versions or sub-versions by work group
>or document type. However, making those kinds of decisions is the sort
>of thing that makes document management difficult. Deploying a document
>management system is essentially like developing and deploying a small
>client-server app. It's a project, and needs to be treated as such.
>>
>>> I'm administering a document
>>> management system here (ironically, not for technical communications as
>>> such) and will be happy to talk to you about it.
>>We are having some meetings over the next few days... I may contact you for
>>more advice!
>Feel free...
>
>Skoal,
>
>Doug Engstrom "It's hard not to rock the boat
>when you're
>engstromdd -at- phibred -dot- com sailing against the undertow."
> --- The
>Indigo Girls
>
>#######################################################################
>My opinions only, not those of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.
>#######################################################################
>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 08:36:09 -0600
>From: Barry House <bhouse -at- CREATIVE-HOUSE -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: novelist wannabes
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
>I hold an English degree, and I once (no, twice) attempted to write a novel.
>So I initially reacted with horror when I read Doreen Mannion's original
>post in this thread.
>
>After all, I know that anyone who can write well can be trained to be a good
>technical writer--I was trained by a good boss, and I helped train a few
>good writers to be good tech writers.
>
>But I've never been in the position of HIRING tech writers, and I've never
>been in the position of having to hire someone who has to become productive
>immediately. You can lose a lot of productivity helping someone learn that
>every red mark (or blue, if you prefer) on their copy is not a personal
>attack. You can also lose productivity getting a writer to understand that,
>although their personal 'voice' is clever indeed, they need to fit their
>style to the needs of their audience.
>
>Come to think of it, I don't WANT to be in the position of hiring tech
>writers. Or any other kind. Doreen has found the parameters that work for
>her organization, so more power to her.
>
>Doreen, if you ever need an English major and failed novelist who overcame
>those handicaps, give me a call! ;-)
>
>
>
>Barry House
>The Creative House--Helping Businesses Communicate
>301 Oak St.
>Quincy, IL 62301
>217-222-9800
>217-222-9844 Fax
>http://www.creative-house.com
>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 06:53:00 PST
>From: "Spontelli, Ramon" <rs11 -at- ELSEGUNDOCA -dot- NCR -dot- COM>
>Subject: Freelance/Contract Opportunity--San Diego Area
>
>I got a call yesterday from a woman with a consumer products company in El
>Cajon. They have been going through an agency for all their
>technical/marcom materials, and now want to use in-house resources for the
>design/production work and vend out the writing. They are looking for a
>technical writer with some marketing communications experience. It sounds
>like a nice opportunity, but just a tad far from home for me.
>
>Any interest from the San Diego area?
>
>E-mail me, and I'll put you in contact with them.
>
>Ramon Spontelli
>rs11 -at- ElSegundoCA -dot- ncr -dot- com
>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 15:26:34 GMT
>From: Barb Philbrick <caslonsvcs -at- IBM -dot- NET>
>Subject: Re: Technical adj. stack question
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
>
>On Mon, 31 Mar 1997 13:20:22 -0800, Sella wrote:
>
>> Here's how that particular sentence went out : Objects
>>are stored in a multi-tiered, dynamically hashed, persistent subsystem,
>>creating fast scalable access to any size object. (my contribution was
>>to put commas in the adj. stack and delete the word "storage" before
>>subsystem.)
>
>This made me remember (misremember?) something I learned from a
>professor long ago: that commas are placed in an adjective series if
>the type of the adjective is the same. I was trying to find a source
>for this, but I'm failing. The only reference I can find to adjective
>order is in _A Survey of Modern Grammars_, by Jeanne H. Herndon, and
>she makes no mention of comma use.
>
>(Sella: Your sentence is correct in my (mis?)remembered analysis,
>since the adjective clumps seem to fall in the "other physical
>features" category.)
>
>The adjective types are (this list is in the order they appear in a
>normal English sentence):=20
>Determiner, ordinal number, cardinal number, general impression, size,
>other physical features, color, Nationality, Material, subcategory.
>
>Example sentence that uses one of each type: These first two elegant
>large curved gold French brocade antique chairs were my grandmother's.
>
>To use a shorter example, you'd be unlikely to say "We have a white
>fuzzy cute little kitten." Instead, you have a "We have a cute little
>fuzzy white kitten."
>
>Chicago says don't use commas in this series if you use the "open
>style" of punctuation, but says nothing of adjective order. Does
>anyone have a more definitive source?
>
>Thanks!
>
>Barb
>
>P.S.:
>>in "worth their metal") should have been mettle. I learned something
>>new.
>You weren't flat-out wrong - "mettle" is a variant of "metal" (I
>learned something, too - I didn't even know the words were related).
>In this context, though, it's typically spelled mettle. Isn't English
>great?
>
>------------------------------
>Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 09:39:40 -0600
>From: Melonie Holliman <mrh -at- ABMDATA -dot- COM>
>Subject: Printing an incomplete manual
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text
>
>Howdy, Yall:
>
>I am in a quandry. I wondered if anyone else has experienced
>this. I am the only technical writer working for a small
>company producing a database which will be used by mostly
>computer illiterate individuals. Our software is changing
>daily. However, I have been asked to provide a "Limited
>Edition" manual which will be printed soon. The manual
>will be outdated almost as soon as it leaves the office.
>
>In the past, this company provided manuals long after
>completing the software; they really want to change
>this by providing a manual with the software. I agree
>with this. I plan on providing an updated version of
>the manual (in help format) regularly as we continue to

--------
Sonia Isotov, Researcher
Business Research Library
Hawaii Small Business Development Center Network
590 Lipoa Parkway, #128 Kihei, HI 96753
http://www.mrtc.org/~brl
--------

TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message
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