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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bet some hard times have occured as a result of that approach. I know they have to me.


Why don't they add a page in the front of the manual to tell you the three tricky things you probably need to know, rather than hiding everthing in systematic sleep inducing blah blah.
 

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Shoot I didn't even read the post before I responded. Could you summarize what you are trying to say in one sentence or less.
 

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Some devices are just too complex to sum up in three tricky things, because they have many interacting settings and many options due to their flexibility. It is nice to have a set of bullet points to read up front telling the reader the key concepts to keep in mind, but that won't help much in many cases. What really bugs vendors is when they provide an excellent manual and people call up with questions that show that they obviously haven't even cracked the thing open. This raises the costs to the vendor and hence to the product that they sell, which people who do the right thing and read the manual have to pay despite the fact that they aren't causing that extra cost burden on the vendor.


Or course, some vendors provide crappy manuals, but I think that most people don't read the good ones either. The Lexicon MC-1 manual is a good example of an excellent manual. It's not huge, it covers everything well, and is nicely laid out and organized. Anyone who would spend $5000 or so on such a box, and not even read the manual in order to get the most out of it, is kind of crazy, IMHO.
 

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I love reading manuals. The problem with most manuals is they are worthless and dont give you any meaningful information. I like to read manuals so that I can use, if wanted, every function available to that particular piece of equipment
 

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Whether it's helpful or not, I always read them.
 

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I read the manual for a VAX system once. ONCE. It's kinda big. It's called UNIX.


It comes in two pieces. Each piece is too big to lift. Even with the supplied metal handles. Now there's a manual....
 

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Well I didn't read it, but I photocopied not just the VAX system manuals but all of the associated library and programming language manuals. It was a few 4 foot'ish wide shelves worth. This was my first exciting job in the software world. It was a huge amount of stuff. I thought I was never going to finish that job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, that's 4 of you.
 

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The problem with most manuals is they are worthless and dont give you any meaningful information. ......Danial

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Some of the older manuals are wonderful replacement's when you run out of Sears catalog pages. Two wrinkled pages together offer the best in comfort and reliability.

The very best for some reason are 'warranty' or 'trouble shooting' pages.

If you must, it's best to read them first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Exactly!
 

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As one who, among other things, writes and edits technical manuals for the company I work for, I'm well aware of the problem. It depends upon the nature of the technology. With things that have a graphical user interface, 99% of the users expect to figure things out themselves, then they will rely upon the on-line help when they have a question. With other technologies it's a very mixed bag.


One problem is that each user is looking for a different answer. There's an audience of adept, technically proficient users who are after tips and tricks to get the most out of their equipment, and then there are the neophytes who don't understand the jargon and need help in the technology --well beyond the product that the manual is trying to cover. Making a manual, we try to cover these extremes, guiding the advanced users to the proper technical point without losing the novice in paragraphs of information that bury her in confusion,


I'm not defending shoddy manuals, just trying to identify the challenge. If the manual writers could identify and index every user's concern so they could immediately find out the information each and every user needs in that particular situation, those manual writers would be gods among technical documenters.
 

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I always read all the manuals. Unfortunately they are often very bad. VERY very bad. I think they should make the CEO's of these companies have to unpack and read the manual and make it work before they ever ship anything. My guess is if they did that the manuals and the shipping containers/packaging would be a lot better.

Paul
 

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Why is this thread in this forum? If people keep posting thread that are not directly related to the forum subject (bulb projectors higher than $4999 US) .... So continue. Hey let's all do it.


We need a thread pollling why does House do it? Maybe another on tires for your car when you transport theater equipment home. How about what soap to use in the bathroom nearest to your home theater? We can really fill this forum up if we all pull a House and put 1 totally irrelevant but funny subject thread a day under this forum. We can bury all bulb related posts to the 2nd or 4rd page and make it really difficult for forum members to find them. Maybe we can force those wanting bulb projector info to post their questions and thoughts under a general ht discussion forum since we are hijacking their forum here.


Hey I got another one. What is the funniest thing your wife has ever said about your HT? What is the nastiest? Let's get out there and fill this forum up.
 

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Manuals remind me of IC companies' datasheets...

They're ...ahem... useful if you want to get yourself in trouble.

Designers who know what they're doing, never believe TYPICAL specs. They're called typical because nobody wants to be held responsible for disasters...

Written myself a few dozen of those... was as honest as they would let me :D

RTFM alright but also THINK!
 

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I'm sad to say that I have had to read the manual on my past few purchases. There was a time when it was so dang easy that they were insulting to the intelligence to read. But man, I had to refer to the manual a couple times on different things now. I think I'm getting old.
 

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Yes.


Often I will download the manual of a product I am thinking of purchasing if it is available on the net as a .pdf.
 

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Yes, I always read the manuals.


What bugs me is when I call customer service with a question, and they haven't read the manual, then they read it while I'm waiting only to tell me what I already know!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by mark haflich
Why is this thread in this forum? ....why does House do it?
Cause this is the group with the people I know in it. Cause this board can get really boring. Cause I want to know what my "friends" think. Cause if I posted in miscellaneous no one would read it.


Are we not drawing neatly enough within the lines?


Sorry. But not very.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mark haflich
Why is this thread in this forum? ..... why does House do it?
Because it's funny and it IS relevant to many people that read this forum (as is the dumbest things thread).
 
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