RE: Tracking off

Subject: RE: Tracking off
From: "Brierley, Sean" <Sean -at- Quodata -dot- Com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 10:41:17 -0500


With all due respect, Windows 98 ships with a user manual that can best be
described as a short advertising brochure. Then we all go out and splurge
for the Developers Kit . . .. What I suggest is that maybe Apples
light-as-a-feather documentation does the job; maybe it doesn't. Maybe, 1.,
small manuals don't contain enough information. Maybe, 2., in enhancing the
simplicity, the book is useless. Consider, too, the expandability of the
typical Mac versus the typical Wintel box . . .. These computers are
inherently different and might be targeting different audiences . . ..

Of course, about the Mac book, I really don't know. Nonetheless, I'm not
sure the Mac-book-size analogy hits its target . . ..

sean -at- quodata -dot- com

(Please, no Mac/Wintel wars, I love both tools equally, and UNIX, and Amiga
. ..;?)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Baker [SMTP:mbaker -at- omnimark -dot- com]
> Mike Stockman wrote
> > I disagree. Too much information can never "lead" readers to fail to
> > absorb relevant info; poorly organized and presented information may,
> > however, hide the important information while emphasizing the stuff you
> > don't want.
> Do you remember the early Apple commercials? The first frame shows a PC
> and
> then a huge pile of manuals crashes down beside it, rocking the desk. Next
> frame shows a Mac (keyboard discreetly in the shadows) and then a tiny
> wafer
> thin manual wafts down beside the Mac, settling silently on the desk.
> Two lessons here:
> 1. Big manuals daunt readers (except the cognoscenti). All unnecessary
> information obscures necessary information.
> 2. Complexity exists to create simplicity. The Mac was simpler than the PC
> because it was more complex. It was the job of the manual to enhance the
> simplicity, not expose the complexity.

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