Re: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?

Subject: Re: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?
From: Tracy Boyington <tracy_boyington -at- okvotech -dot- org>
To: Sharon Burton-Hardin <sharonburton -at- earthlink -dot- net>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 17:02:42 -0600

Sharon Burton-Hardin wrote:

> Actually, I am not assuming that we all write about computers. I really
> think, since we all - god, I hope we all! - are writing on computers, must
> know how to use our tools. And as someone else pointed out, it is really
> handy to know how to add memory when tech support can't do it for a month.
> Or how to swap out a hard drive if needed.

Then perhaps I'm the only one who's not *allowed* to do those things. Systems
would have my head on a platter if I tried to swap out my hard drive.

> You don't have to know how to
> program the thing, but you better understand how generally it works so that
> you can figure out why the Help compiler is reporting it can't find files,
> for example. or why Word lost all your formatting from yesterday for the car
> user's manual you are writing. Or the policies and procedures you wrote
> yesterday. Or whatever.

I agree. But I sure don't think it's necessary to be able to build a computer
just to know how to use it. Or were you using a hyperbole that I took too
seriously? I consider myself pretty computer-literate (I'm not the alpha geek
around here, but maybe the 2nd beta geek) and I've never opened my CPU case, let
alone swapped parts. I don't have to get in it to make it bow to my will. Going
back to the car metaphor again, I need to know how to put gas in it, change the
oil, maybe change the battery and fill the radiator, but I can use the car
pretty darn well without being able to fix the transmission.

> Regardless of what you are documenting, you must be technically savvy. We
> use the computer all day long. If we can't copy files from a floppy, we have
> huge problems! How the hell do these people every back up their computers,
> for example?

"Um... the computer guys do it for me, don't they?" ;-)

Happy weekend...
Tracy
--
=======================================================
Tracy Boyington mailto:tracy_boyington -at- okvotech -dot- org
Oklahoma Department of Vocational & Technical Education
Stillwater, Oklahoma http://www.okvotech.org/cimc
=======================================================






References:
Re: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?: From: Tracy Boyington
Re: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?: From: Sharon Burton-Hardin

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