RE: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?

Subject: RE: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?
From: "Rock, Megan" <Megan -dot- Rock -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com>
To: "'Kevin McLauchlan'" <KMcLauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com>, "'TECHWR-L digest'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, "Rock, Megan" <Megan -dot- Rock -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 13:16:01 -0500

I'll take the soapbox for a minute! Thanks!

Kevin McLauchlan said:
> For that matter, a lot of computers will become
> tiny little monoliths, purposely NOT upgradeable
> or part-swappable -- a function tied to their
> rapidly decreasing cost and the need to appeal to
> an ever wider commodity market. The little computer
> appliances will become so cheap that the only
> people who would do ANY kind of internal poking
> would be the same people who'd pry into a $13
> hair dryer. Most people would say "Why bother?",
> toss the dead one, and pick up a new one at
> Walmart.

I must humbly admit that I am the type of woman who would rather take the
danged thing apart, figure out what the pieces are, see if I can fix it, and
then, if I can't, throw it away and buy a new one. I'll do the same thing
with just about any applicance that conks out on me. But maybe that
compelling urge to know how and why things work or don't work is what pushed
me into this field in the first place!

I agree that computers will get simpler to use and parts will be as cheap
and easy to replace as batteries, but how many "typical PC users" do you
know who are still lost when it comes to changing the ink cartridge in a
basic home-use printer, or who don't know how to fix the paper jam in the
laser printer or copy machine? And how many people can't set the time on
their VCR or program it to record a show at a certain time? I think that
even as computers get simpler to use and to repair or replace, some people
will still be overwhelmed by technology or be embarrassed to admit that they
know more about it than they let on.




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