Help Me Find the Information

Subject: Help Me Find the Information
From: Doug Timpe <dtimpe30 -at- MICOKS -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 08:41:39 -0500

This is a great list with one exception: it is difficult to find a specific
message when you want it, particularly in my case where the digest message
is usually split into two or more "mini-messages." I suggest numbering each
message as they are numbered in the "Topics of the Day" section.

At 12:00 AM 8/5/97 -0500, you wrote:
>Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 00:00:44 -0500
>Reply-To: "Technical Writers List; for all Technical Communication issues"
<TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
>Sender: "Technical Writers List; for all Technical Communication issues"
<TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
>From: Automatic digest processor <LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
>Subject: TECHWR-L Digest - 3 Aug 1997 to 4 Aug 1997
>To: Recipients of TECHWR-L digests <TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU>
>
>There are 70 messages totalling 2892 lines in this issue.
>
>Topics of the day:
>
> 1. R: Creativity (2)
> 2. HTML editor recommendations (2)
> 3. Idea for more graphics and better archiving
> 4. Missed creativity
> 5. Tips for agencies (2)
> 6. Salary info from Coopers and Lybrand survey (3)
> 7. Viable substitute for Word Master Document "feature"
> 8. Bomb Threats (3)
> 9. What Have You Done for Them Lately?
> 10. Background Colors (2)
> 11. One-step Procedures
> 12. Shorts
> 13. Creativity (5)
> 14. Salary Survey
> 15. Job Opening for Technical Writer/Editor
> 16. Auto TOC in MS Weird 6.0
> 17. The Long and Short of It
> 18. Humor: convoluted manual-ese (2)
> 19. WORK: Bomb Scares (2)
> 20. IMI methodolgy (2)
> 21. Providing Salary Info
> 22. Writing novels too? (3)
> 23. Homemade cure for Word macro viruses
> 24. Royalties on Information Mapping?
> 25. Salary info
> 26. suggestions for help authoring tool
> 27. Interview War Stories - Part Trois
> 28. Single-step procedures (2)
> 29. Warnings and Cautions
> 30. importing Excel to Frame
> 31. FWD: authors wanted
> 32. Writers vs developers salaries (was RE: Salary info from Coopers and
> Lybrand survey)
> 33. wanted: WordPerfect 7 Macro programmer (2)
> 34. Symbols on Web Pages (3)
> 35. Writers vs developers salaries
> 36. Information Mapping copyright
> 37. Latin vs. Germanic (2)
> 38. Re[2]: R: Creativity
> 39. What is documentum?
> 40. Viable substitute for Word Master Document "feature"-Reply
> 41. Advice needed: Creating on-line docs
> 42. File Management Software
> 43. From .DOC files to .PDF
> 44. One step procedures
> 45. Creativity--kinda long
> 46. Writers vs developers salaries (was RE: Salary info from Coopers
> 47. Coopers & Lybrand Report
> 48. Air force 1 in Australia
>
> 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: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 09:05:50 +0200
>From: Alessandro Bottoni <albo -at- CADLAB -dot- IT>
>Subject: R: Creativity
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

>
>Julie F. Hesselgesser[SMTP:jhesselgesser -at- OXMOL -dot- COM] wrote:
>
>I'd be interested to know how many of you have tried writing novels. I just
>started one this week after meeting a technical editor at the STC
>conference who was in the process of publishing a romance novel. (Thanks
>Colleeen.) I'm finding it's very easy to just let the words flow. The years
>of TW training have certainly helped me create nice readable sentences.
>Anyone else trying out their prose?
>
>I tried. Be aware that writing novels is not just a matter to let your
thoughts flow down to the paper. A real novel (or a short story) requires a
carefull design and has to be written keeping in mind the final result you
want to get, chapter by chapter and sentence by sentence. I would suggest
you to read a few book regarding creative writing technics before attempting
such a task.
>
>See you
>
>-----------------
>
>Alessandro Bottoni
>Technical writer
>Cad.Lab SPA
>Via Ronzani 7/29
>40033 Casalecchio di Reno (Bologna)
>Italy
>Tel Int+ 51-597357
>Fax Int+ 51-597120
>
>------------------
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 02:30:47 -0500
>From: A Watkins <awatkins -at- POBOX -dot- COM>
>Subject: HTML editor recommendations
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>
>Last week, I asked for recommendations for HTML editors and for
>converters from both Frame and Word.
>I read the responses very carefully; some replies talked about
>experience with different programs
>but no recommendations. There was interest in the results, so
>here they are . . .
>
>for editor
>the clear-cut winner is HomeSite -
>http://www.allaire.com/main.cfm - with 7 votes
>second choice=MS FrontPage - http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/
>- with 4 votes for and 1 against
>third choice=Adobe PageMill -
>http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/pagemill/main.html - with 3 votes
>
>for converter
>the no-contest winner is HTML Transit -
>http://www.infoaccess.com/products/transit/ht/htframe.htm - with
>7 votes
>second choice=WebWorks Publisher -
>http://www.quadralay.com/Publisher/ - with 5 votes
>third is a tie: Word to Web - http://www.solutionsoft.com/w2w.htm
>-and-
> Web Publisher -
>http://www.skisoft.com/#WEBPUB11 - each with 2 votes
>
>I like to avoid MS when I can, but it seems that FrontPage is
>best for site management. Its weaknesses, like
>text-wrapping and precise frame construction, are less important
>than the handling of tables and outline formatting.
>It seems that PageMill is great for everything except tables and
>managing large sites. Everyone says that HomeSite
>is easy to use and powerful, but no specifics were given.
>
>So now, I ask those of you who use either of the three mentioned
>above, what are the strengths and weaknesses
>you've experienced? On this intranet will be requirements
>documents, software design descriptions, file layouts and the
>like.
>Most likely, I won't have fancy graphics or Java applets running
>amok. And it will be a large site. One document alone will have
>about 175 separate pages of tables. We'll be using IE for the
>browser 'cause it's free (I prefer Navigator though).
>
>Thanks in advance for any responses. I'll post results after a
>few days.
>
>BTW, for converter, 1 vote each for Internet Assistant for Word
>and Doc-to-Help Help Site;
>for editor, 1 vote each for Netscape Composer and HotDogPro.
>
>Alfred Watkins
>GTECH Texas Software Engineering
>mailto:awatkins -at- pobox -dot- com
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 02:36:39 -0800
>From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- ROGERS -dot- WAVE -dot- CA>
>Subject: Re: Idea for more graphics and better archiving
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>
>On Thu, 31 Jul 1997 13:20:41 -0500, Eric Haddock wrote:
>
>> I was initially excited about the product because there has been
>>something like it on the Macintosh for years and years, but I haven't seen
>>the equivalent in the Windows world.
>
>Hmm, I dunno about Windows, but this certainly isn't a new concept for
>PCs in general. If I read the original post correctly, OS/2 has had
>this ability since at least v2.0 in 1991 - simply print-to-file with
>any PS printer driver. The outcome is a PS file.
>
>As for image cataloging, OS/2 has plenty of inherant options. A
>graphic tool such as PMView can assign a thumbnail of an image to that
>image's icon. A Details view of the folder displays such additional
>information as filesize, image creation and last-access dates, and so
>on. Since Warp 3.0 (late 1994), there's also been a special class of
>folder availabled called a Lighttable, which displays larger thumbnails
>of images as "slides"; thumbnails can be created automatically by the
>built-in multimedia. Images can also be sorted into folders and easily
>organized via Tree views. OS/2's use of "shadows" (like Win95's
>"shortcuts" but infinitely more powerful and flexible) allows easy
>inclusion of images in multiple folders without actually keeping
>multiple copies around. Thumbnail and icon data is stored with the
>file itself as an "extended attribute", rather that in a separate
>program's proprietary database, so the thumbnail is completely portable
>with the image itself.
>
>Basically, it sounds like everything this "Graphics Connection" claims
>to do, I already have built into my operating system.
>
><yawn> :-)
>
>
> Your friend and mine,
> Matt
> <insert standard disclaimer here>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> They say there are strangers, who threaten us
> Our immigrants and infidels
> They say there is strangeness, too dangerous
> In our theaters and bookstore shelves
> Those who know what's best for us
> Must rise and save us from ourselves
> - Rush, "Witch Hunt"
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 12:09:46 +0200
>From: Alessandro Bottoni <albo -at- CADLAB -dot- IT>
>Subject: Missed creativity
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>
>Warren Singer wrote:
>
>(... omissis...)
>>When I try (to write a story), I have this tendecy to fall into a rut of
producing bulleted
>>lists and procedures, for example:
>
>>John woke up in the morning, the first thing he did was:
>>1. Yawn
>>2. He stretched his hands up over his head and looked towards the
>>window. The sun was shining in his face.
>>3. He stood up, went over to the window and closed the shutters.
>
>>For further information, refer to chapter two, where John has breakfast.
>
>Funny! It would be a nice subject for a short story.
>-----------------
>
>Alessandro Bottoni
>Technical writer
>Cad.Lab SPA
>Via Ronzani 7/29
>40033 Casalecchio di Reno (Bologna)
>Italy
>Tel Int+ 51-597357
>Fax Int+ 51-597120
>
>------------------
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 06:22:54 -0700
>From: Buck Buchanan <buck -dot- buchanan -at- CITICORP -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: Tips for agencies
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>
>>
>> Hmmm. Well, you never know; what's a bad location to me might be
>> attractive to someone else--maybe the recruiter could cross his/her
>> fingers and hope someone is experienced, mobile, and enamoured of
>> extremes in climate.
>
>True. The Mideast is a perfect example. Tilly and I love working in
>the Arab World. We've been in Saudi Arabia when all hell was breaking
>loose. We just "low-profile" it when problems arise.
>
>It's probably one of the safest places in the world (crime-wise).
>
>Others, who cringe when we mention going to the Mideast, may have their
>priorities mixed up.
>
>My salary in Taif, Saudi Arabia was DOUBLE what I could get here, plus
>if I stay a year, there's tax exemption. Zero local tax there.
>Gasoline is $.30 per gallon. Cost of living on the local economy (not
>in a company enclave) is 25% less than in DFW.
>
>Other places which may be less desirable all pay hardship bonuses (they
>don't call them that). When a war breaks out (as it does about every
>two years), and if we're in danger, we re-negotiate or go home.
>
>We see "bad" places in the US in the same way. If the pay justifies the
>hardship, take it for a year.
>
>And there's always our "bucket theory." I've told the list about this,
>but perhaps you missed it:
>
>Two metaphorical buckets are carried throughout the contract; one
>contains honey, the other s---.
>
>When the s--- outweighs the honey, honey, it's time to go home.
>
>Thank goodness for the "Shangai law." They can't keep you there if you
>don't want to stay.
>
>Carry a minimum of $5000 in greenbacks when you go, just in case.
>
>IMHO
>--
>Buck Buchanan
>Software Documentation
>Citicorp Technology Center
>Westlake, Texas
>Speaking for me, not for them!
>
>buck -dot- buchanan -at- citicorp -dot- com
>Home: writer -at- wf -dot- net
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 07:45:00 CDT
>From: Tim Glasheen <2528 -at- MN3 -dot- LAWSON -dot- LAWSON -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: Salary info from Coopers and Lybrand survey
>
> The previous company I worked for recently advertised for a 2nd TW (not
> a Sr. position) for 40-45K.
>
>Jeez, looks like I should move. I had to struggle to get what I'm making now
>(a little over a year {1.5yrs} and I'm not even close to that working for a
>well to do company. I guess the upper Midwest MUST catch up. :)
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 08:56:09 -0400
>From: Jessica N Lange <jlange -at- OHIOEE -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: Viable substitute for Word Master Document "feature"
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

>
>
>Horace Smith wrote:
>0.5 If you have tables, be sure each has a tag such as Table Caption.
>1. Save the first chapter, section, whatever, in a new file and name it
>MASTER.DOC. If you going for double-side, be sure it has an even number of
>pages.
><stuff snipped>
>10. Go back to MASTER.DOC, erase the TOF, select whatever you called your
>Tables and do what you did for figures.
>11. Sometimes you have to reinsert a chapter to make it work, but it
>usually does. What you have done, of course, is what the Word Master
>Document should have done in the first place, but doesn't.
>
>Horace's method seems cumbersome to me.
>
>I've been using MS Word for the last 7 years to create and update a number
of very long manuals (from 120 pages to 500+), complete with TOCs and Indexes.
> 1. Each chapter is a separate document. Graphics are always linked not
embedded,*
> which keeps file size down
> 2. At the start of each file is a Seq field code.
> 3. The TOC and the Index are each separate documents. They are created using
> an RD field code for each chapter document, plus TOC or INDEX field code.
>
>o Saving files is never a problem: individual files are not too large.
>
>o Smaller files are quicker to open and scroll through. Quicker to get to
the location or information I need to be at.
>
>o Creating the TOC and Index are fast and easy. Caveat: Word opens each
file referenced with the RD fields to extract the headings or index entries.
You must have enough memory for all the files: i.e. if you have 16 meg of
files, you need at least 16 meg RAM (probably more: I have 32).
>
>The Downside:
>o You may need to manually specify the START AT page number for each file,
depending on your numbering scheme (Insert/Page Numbers/Format). This is no
problem for me: I only care about page numbers at final printing of the
master (original) document. The TOC and Index docs are printed last, after
I'm sure all page numbers in referenced chapter docs are correct.
>
>o You can't reference by page number across files. Instead I refer to
"Heading Title in Chapter #"
>
>
>*Note: I upgraded to Word97 in January, then reverted back to Word95
because of the graphics problem: scaled graphics were un-scaled and put in
at 100%. This occurred even when creating the TOC/index since Word opens the
files and repaginates them. By opening the files, the graphics were
un-scaled and the entire layout destroyed. MS has posted a fix for this (KB
ID: Q162579) but I haven't tried it yet.
>
>
>
>Jessica N. Lange
>Technical Communicator
>Ohio Electronic Engravers Inc
>mailto:jlange -at- ohioee -dot- com
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 09:03:44 EST
>From: Stacey Marner <marners -at- CORSAIR -dot- MANTECH-WVA -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: Bomb Threats
>
> Two years ago, when I was teaching, our building (trailer) was
> evacuated because of a threat. Turns out two students had (poorly)
> constructed a pipe bomb. It was placed about 15 feet from my door.
> I'm not sure how many threats the school typically got, but I think it
> happened at least twice in my five years there.
>
> Stacey Marner
> marners -at- mantech-wva -dot- com
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 10:05:32 -0400
>From: Beth Brooks <bbrooks -at- LCHOME1 -dot- BEASYS -dot- COM>
>Subject: What Have You Done for Them Lately?
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
>I don't believe I'm the only tech writer who has ever had to fight to get
>management to recognize that documentation is as vital a part of the product
>as any other component -- and in some cases an even more vital part. Where
>I've had success in this battle is where I've been able to tie documentation
>to the company's bottom line. I think it would be really useful to start
>gathering some statistical evidence that supports my view that documentation
>does (forgive me) "add value." So I'm appealing to TC professionals to
>provide me with case studies. Please write to me directly (and give as much
>detail and _hard evidence_ as you can) in answer to the following question:
>
>How has your work in technical communication saved money and created
>opportunities for your managers/clients and users/customers?
>
>I really want to hear from you if you have statistics to support the fact
>that you have done/are doing of the following things with documentation:
>
>(a) saved money for the employer (e.g., reduced support costs or product
>return rate, prevented injury or damage to equipment, eliminated lawsuits,
etc.)
>(b) made money for the employer (e.g., increased sales or made a product
>worth purchasing in the first place, etc.)
>(c) created opportunities for the employer (e.g., introduced a web page that
>enabled the employer to reach a wider audience, etc.)
>
>My aim here is to add this information to the Going2Rome page (
>http://www.giaco.com/~vr2link/Going2Rome/ ), but if that doesn't work out,
>I'll put it all together somehow and let anyone who cares to have a look.
>
>Thanks!
>
>Beth
>M. Elizabeth Brooks
>Documentation Specialist
>
>BEA Systems, Inc. Phone: (908) 580-3117
>140 Allen Road Fax: (908) 580-3030
>Liberty Corner, NJ 07938 Email: beth -dot- brooks -at- beasys -dot- com
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 09:03:46 -0500
>From: Vanessa Wilburn <vlwilburn -at- CPU -dot- COM>
>Subject: Background Colors
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
>This is coming in a little late, but...
>
>Many of the postings assumed that black backgrounds are the way to go. Not
>necessarily!
>
>At my company, we create PowerPoint presentations for many training
>*environments*. Dark backgrounds and light text do NOT perform well in
>training rooms (or elsewhere) that have large windows or other types of
>bright lighting. Often we encounter rooms (e.g. client site) where you can
>not close the blinds or dim the lighting. Alternatively, the projector may
>not be able to display the contrast well.
>
>For this reason, we strive to create presentations that use light
>backgrounds and dark text. We've found that this combination works well in
>any environment. Also, you can more easily print attractive transparencies
>with light backgrounds when in a pinch. (Dark color transparencies suck the
>life out of a desktop color printer.)
>
>Vanessa
>
>Debbie Molis <Debbie_Molis -at- freddiemac -dot- com> said:
>I was wondering if anyone working on presentations has a preferance for
>background colors, and perhaps text colors as well. I'm modifying a
>presentation that has a black background, and it's not very lively looking.
>
><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>Vanessa L. Wilburn vlwilbur -at- cpu -dot- com
>Computerized Processes Unlimited, Inc. http://www.cpu.com
>4200 S. I-10 Service Rd. Suite 205 Voice: 504-889-2784
>Metairie, Louisiana USA 70001 FAX: 504-889-2799
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 10:15:01 -0400
>From: "Marie C. Paretti" <mparetti -at- RRINC -dot- COM>
>Subject: One-step Procedures
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
>>IMHO, there are no one-step procedures. Either the one step should be
>>combined with another procedure or you should look to make sure you haven't
>>missed some kind of either/or situation that would result in more than one
>>procedural step. I would tend to think that the one step would be part of
>>some larger operation nearly all the time.
>
>
>I'd have to disagree on this -- in my experience, there are lots of
>one-step procedures. Case in point: The software I'm documenting at the
>moment has a variety of ways to issue the same command depending on what
>window the user has open -- sometimes it involves making a series of menu
>choices; sometimes it involves just selecting a pushbutton on the window.
>So I end up with procedures like:
>
>Eating All the Oysters
> [insert brief explanation here]
> You can order all the oysters from either the Walrus Window or the
>Carpenter Window:
>
> From the Walrus Window:
> 1. Select the Dinner Menu
> 2. Select Oysters. The food system will open a cascade menu
listing all
>the individual oysters currently available, along with the option All Oysters.
> 3. From the cascade menu select All Oysters. The system
will deliver the
>oysters to your beach blanket.
>
> From the Carpenter Window:
> 1. Select the Eat All Oysters pushbutton. The system will
deliver the
>oysters to your cubicle.
>
>Of course, I still haven't decided whether to number the single-step
>procedures. But it does seem to me that it's pretty easy to avoid the
>"where's the next step?" confusing by including the "The system will. . . "
>statement as part of the instructions. The user knows that the single step
>produces the desired results, so there is no "next step" to look for.
>
>And now I suppose I should write some real instructions. . .
>
>Marie
>
>
>Marie C. Paretti
>Department of English Recognition Research, Inc.
>University of Wisconsin - Madison Blacksburg, Virginia
>mparetti -at- facstaff -dot- wisc -dot- edu mparetti -at- rrinc -dot- com
>
> Sometimes I feel like a dog
> standin' on a tool box
> in the back of a pickup truck
> doin' 90 round a corner
> just tryin' to hold on for dear life.
> James Bonamy
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 09:16:43 -0500
>From: Julie Tholen <julie_tholen -at- CNT -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: Shorts
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain
>
>Aahemm - 'secuse me, but the West Coast (aka Silicon Valley) isn't the
>only place where shorts are the outfit of the day. Here in sunny, hot
>and humid Minnesota, at CNT we are allowed to where shorts. "Dressy" is
>a polo shirt and chinos. It doesn't matter what you wear as long as your
>work gets done. And guess what else? We can set our own hours, many
>folks come in as early as 5 a.m. to be out by 2 or 3, other folks work
>from 9:30 to after 6 - we have commuter traffic that can be pretty
>intense. It sure is nice to work for a company that treats it's
>employees like the responsible adults that they are!
>
>Cow-abunga- dude(ttes)!
>
>Julie T.
>
>> ----------
>> From: Elna Tymes[SMTP:etymes -at- LTS -dot- COM]
>> Sent: Friday, August 01, 1997 6:37 PM
>> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
>> Subject: Re: Shorts
>>
>> Cheryle-
>>
>> And here on a sunny Friday afternoon in Silicon Valley, half our
>> employees are in shorts and the rest are in jeans.
>>
>> Elna Tymes
>>
>> ~~
>> 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
>> Send list questions or problems to the listowner at
>>
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 10:16:47 EST
>From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
>Subject: Background Colors
>
>On Fri, 1 Aug 1997, "Molis, Debbie" <Debbie_Molis -at- FREDDIEMAC -dot- COM>
>wrote:
>
>> Please excuse me if this topic has been addressed at an earlier
>time. At the moment, I can't review the archives.
>
>It has, but that isn't a problem. Everything is cyclic. At
>least you didn't post the Dr. Seuss/TW thing!
>
>> I was wondering if anyone working on presentations has a
>preferance for background colors, and perhaps text colors as
>well. I'm modifying a presentation that has a black background,
>and it's not very lively looking.
>
>Others have posted their preferences, but I think what you really
>need to consider is people's actual tolerances. All this comes
>from others' research, BTW. I stand on the shoulders of giants.
>
>When we were developing an app a few years back, the developers
>were going hogwild using all the color combinations they possibly
>could -- chartreuse on lavender and other tasteful, easy-to-read
>choices. Some of their works of art were really hard for me to
>read, and my vision is pretty darned good, as is my ability to
>distinguish colors.
>
>If it was hard for me, how much harder must it have been for
>colorblind users? Those who are colorblind need to be able to
>work as efficiently as those who can distinguish all colors. Of
>the adult male population, 8 percent has some degree of
>colorblindness; 0.4 percent of the adult female population is
>colorblind. That's a _lot_ of users.
>
>In my research, I found that it's best to use color as an extra
>rather than an essential. There are several reasons for this:
>colorblindness, ambient light, and the availability of color
>monitors. You really don't want people to miss the point of your
>presentation because they can't distinguish colors.
>
>The best _backgrounds_ for screens are blue and black. The eye
>is not sensitive to blue, which tends to recede. This makes it an
>ideal background color and a bad foreground color. If you want,
>you can use more than one shade of blue as a background color.
>Brown is very bad as a background color.
>
>White and yellow are considered to be very good _foreground_
>colors. Bright white catches the eye more than off-white, bright
>yellow more than dull yellow -- but they're all good. Blue is a
>terrible foreground color -- if you have to say anything
>important, don't say it with blue letters!
>
>Whatever you use, make sure the foreground contrasts with the
>background. Don't use blue/gray or blue/red combinations. Be
>sensitive to color intensity -- a medium green on a medium blue
>background will be hard to read, too. A red/green combination
>may seem high in contrast to you, but a colorblind user might
>have trouble with it. (Besides, those are complementary colors
>and they hurt the eyes!)
>
>Don't use too many colors, or the user will get confused. It's
>good to use no more than ten colors, and it's even better to use
>no more than four.
>
>Some colors carry inherent messages that should be heeded. For
>example, green means go, so error messages shouldn't appear in
>green or users might become confused.
>
>To sum up:
>
>Best color combinations
> -- yellow on blue
> -- white on blue
> -- black on cyan
> -- yellow on black
> -- white on black
> -- black on white
>
>Acceptable color combinations
> -- black on light green
> -- black on gray
> -- black on yellow
> -- black on white
> -- black on cyan
> -- black on bright green
> -- green on black
> -- red on white
> -- white on red
>
>Hope this helps!
>
>Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
>mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
>(standard disclaimer)
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 08:27:45 -0600
>From: David Dvorkin <dvorkin -at- BOLIX -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: Creativity
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
>Alessandro Bottoni wrote:
>
>>I tried. Be aware that writing novels is not just a matter to let your =
>>thoughts flow down to the paper. A real novel (or a short story) =
>>requires a carefull design and has to be written keeping in mind the =
>>final result you want to get, chapter by chapter and sentence by =
>>sentence. I would suggest you to read a few book regarding creative =
>>writing technics before attempting such a task.
>
>Strong disagreement.
>
>Writing novels with their overall structure always in mind is something
>that generally comes a bit later in a novelist's career. With the first
>novel, often with the first few, it's best for most writers to simply write,
>to enjoy the act of creation and the putting of words on paper (or monitor).
>After the first book is done, the writer learns the crucial art of rewriting.
>
>Books and courses on creative writing techniques are to be avoided like
>the plague.
>
>David Dvorkin
>Qualix Group, Inc.
>Boulder Development Ctr.
>mailto:dvorkin -at- bolix -dot- com
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 10:30:25 -0400
>From: Beth Brooks <bbrooks -at- LCHOME1 -dot- BEASYS -dot- COM>
>Subject: Salary Survey
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
>Did someone recently post a message about a salary survey that is being
>conducted? I can't get access to the archives, so I apologize for this. If
>I'm not dreaming, would someone please repost the URL associated with that
>survey?
>
>The reason I'm asking is that my salary blows the curve on the salary survey
>results I've seen bandied about in the past few days. If my coworkers and I
>put our salaries into some of these surveys, maybe the averages will go up
>in our area and some of the woefully underpaid writers will be better
>compensated.
>
>Of course, I'll have to work here for a few more years before my average
>annual earnings over my career approaches the survey average . . .
>
>Thanks in advance!
>
>Beth
>
>P.S. I'll let you know when we're hiring.
>
>M. Elizabeth Brooks
>Documentation Specialist
>
>BEA Systems, Inc. Phone: (908) 580-3117
>140 Allen Road Fax: (908) 580-3030
>Liberty Corner, NJ 07938 Email: beth -dot- brooks -at- beasys -dot- com
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 10:31:37 -0400
>From: JIMCHEVAL -at- AOL -dot- COM
>Subject: Re: R: Creativity
>
>In a message dated 97-08-04 07:31:45 EDT, albo -at- CADLAB -dot- IT (Alessandro Bottoni)
>writes:
>
><< Be aware that writing novels is not just a matter to let your =
> thoughts flow down to the paper. A real novel (or a short story) =
> requires a carefull design and has to be written keeping in mind the =
> final result you want to get, chapter by chapter and sentence by =
> sentence >>
>Not entirely true, actually. More than one writer has discovered their
>'design' as they've written. It may have been semi-conscious from the start,
>but they revealed it to themselves incrementally, not in one preconceived
>plan.
>
>Il Gattopardo ("The Leopard") - for instance - was supposedly written
>straight through, in one uncorrected notebook, after Lampedusa returned from
>a writer's conference in Rome. I believe he died immediately after.
>
>Jim Chevallier
>Los Angeles
>=====================================================
>Visit Chez Jim: Jim Chevallier's Home Page - http://www.gis.net/`jimcheval
>======================================================
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 10:45:19 EST
>From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: Tips for agencies
>
>On Fri, 1 Aug 1997, Dan BRINEGAR <vr2link -at- VR2LINK -dot- COM> wrote:
>
>> What would ya tell a new agency recruiter regarding how-to-find
>experienced techwriters?
>
>> Assume they'd never recruited a techwriter in their whole
>careers, and don't know where to start.
>
>> Assume furthermore, that they need writers for
>less-than-popular assignments, say; on-site doing documentation
>for the South Mobbefrenian Ground Self Defence Forces' SAP
>installation on soviet-made mainframes (It's winter now in South
>Mobbefrenia, about -40F, and the summers get up to +120F).
>
>This is a terrific question, IMO. The last criterion makes this
>search so much more interesting than the usual Search for Red
>TechWriter.
>
>It's a pity one can't hire current military folks, because
>they're used to moving to icky places at short notice. (I can
>say this, folks; I'm an Army brat.) I wonder if one can recruit
>those who are about to leave the service? Bev, you got any ideas
>on this?
>
>Failing that, I liked the idea somebody (sorry! don't remember
>who!) had of recruiting from campuses. Of course, you _might_
>not get experienced writers that way, but you have a good chance
>of finding somebody who is mobile.
>
>I think if I were the recruiter, I would go to an STC meeting or
>two and hand out poopsheets (now I'm really in Army brat mode!)
>about the job. The poopsheet would have to mention the pay rate,
>which would have to be very high, I'd think. And the position
>would have to include relocation expenses, per diem, etc.
>Otherwise, who would take the job?
>
>Also, the recruiter might want to call every tech writer on the
>agency's books and ask for recommendations. We're the best
>source any recruiter has.
>
>> What tips can you offer this new recruiter to help him/her find
>out about a writer's qualifications?
>
>Oh, heck, the usual. Ask for references, ask tough questions
>about how the writer accomplished the impossible in next to no
>time and under hellacious conditions. We all have war stories we
>can tell.
>
>> I, for one, am pretty hard on recruiters from time-to-time:
>here's a cluefull recruiter who's willing to own up to knowing
>what she doesn't know -- what would ya say?
>
>I say she's more precious than gold. Cherish her!
>
>Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
>mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
>BNA and I do not speak for each other. The company also does not
>speak for fortune cookies. Today's message:
>
>Wisdom is the principal thing.
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 09:23:16 -0600
>From: Adele Higgins <adele -at- INSURQUOTE -dot- COM>
>Subject: Job Opening for Technical Writer/Editor
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
>
>Convert complex technical information into accurate and concise
>user-friendly documentation for client use. Must be able to manage a
>project from start to finish; including, but not limited to, interacting
>with developers, deciphering design specs, writing online help, and
>designing/creating user guides. Self-starter with good organizational and
>communication skills. Need a comprehensive knowledge of DOS and Windows;
>prefer experience with Microsoft Word, Adobe FrameMaker, and Help Magician
>Pro. Other minimum qualifications: English, Journalism, or related
>degree, with emphasis on writing, or minimum two years current proven
>experience. Submit a current technical writing sample (mininum 5 pages)
>with resume to Human Resources Dept./ InsurQuote Systems, Inc. / 517 East
>1860 South / Provo, Utah 84606
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 11:34:11 -0400
>From: William Meisheid <meisheid -at- EROLS -dot- COM>
>Subject: Re: Auto TOC in MS Weird 6.0
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>
>Bridgett,
>
>Word uses internal bookmarks to update the TOC but due to a failure in
>design does not delete them after each update so they grow and grow and
>grow.As a result the almost infinate number of internal bookmarks use up
>the available stack space, and you get out of memory errors. That is why
>D2H has a TOC fix.
>
>The other option is to open a new document and paste all the text, minus
>the TOC and Index fields, from the original document into the new
>document. This usually fixes the problem.
>___________________________________________________________________
>William Meisheid "Thoughts still and always in progress"
>Certified RoboHELP Training email: wgm -at- sageline -dot- com
>Sageline Publishing 410.465.1548 Fax: 410.465.1812
>WUGNET/Help Authoring Forum - Sysop for: Style/Concepts/Etc
>CSi email: 70713 -dot- 2225 -at- compuserve -dot- com
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 09:48:09 -0500
>From: Lisa Ann Miller <Lisa_Ann_Miller -at- MASTERCARD -dot- COM>
>Subject: The Long and Short of It
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
>
>Bryce Byfield quoted Orwell:
>
>"Never use a long word where a short
>one will do"
>
>Mark Twain
>
>"If I had had more time I would have made it shorter."
>
>My 2 cents again.
>
>Lisa Miller
>Sr. Technical Writer
>MasterCard International
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 11:20:36 -0400
>From: Redick Kimberly <Redick_Kimberly -at- EMS -dot- PRC -dot- COM>
>Subject: Humor: convoluted manual-ese
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain
>
>Hi all -
>
>My officemate is editing a manual and keeps snickering. Here are two of
>the gems she found.
>
>
>> "...Depending upon the nature of the problem, the corrective steps to
>> fix the problem may be quite obvious or not so obvious..."
>>
>" The ping command, when used in combinatio with the rup command
>(Section 4.1.2., The Rup Command (rup)) enables you to ensure that
>communications are functioning between all CPUs on the LAN."
>
>
>-K
>Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 08:45:52 -0700
>From: "Parks, Beverly" <ParksB -at- EMH1 -dot- HQISEC -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
>Subject: Re: WORK: Bomb Scares
>
>I've worked for the Army for over 20 years, so I've experienced my share
>of bomb threats. They come in clusters. We'll go years without one, then
>have two or three in less than six months. They usually coincide with
>internatonal tensions.
>

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