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RTFM! Maybe I would if it was snot written by Dogbert!


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What percentage of user manuals are actually helpful?  I would guesstimate down around 10%. Too often they are just boilerplate that reminds me of when Dogbert was writing website FAQs, he intentionally made them as irrelevant and obtuse as possible  :D

Google is usually the best resource. Do any of you bozos have an example of a good one?  The Mac Manual was always used as a good example, because at least it is thin and not 5000 pages long. 

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1 minute ago, Philander Seabury said:

What percentage of user manuals are actually helpful?  I would guesstimate down around 10%. 

Google is usually the best resource. Do any of you bozos have an example of a good one?  The Mac Manual was always used as a good example, because at least it is thin and not 5000 pages long. 

"Manual"??? Or online help?  I rarely if ever see a manual - even in PDF - that is worth much good.  Usually it is the 100 page disclaimers in a dozen languages that makes up the bulk of my "documentation".  Then there is a sometimes helpful "User set-up guide" but rarely an in-depth manual :(  Probably a car's user manual is still the most consistent, but really only for a basic level of info, but not for repairs. 

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4 minutes ago, bikeman564™ said:

To have a product CE marked, a user manual is required. I had to write a user manual for a safety valve :wacko:

Do you draw pictures like in chainsaw manuals, not to sit on a limb you are sawing off? :D 

So don’t put your face in the discharge when testing it. :D

 

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I get frustrated when I buy something and then need to go online to figure out how to set it up.

For instance, I have Jabra headphones.  They are relatively simple to use, I don't use the phone functions.  I only pair it to my watch or my treadmill for music.  It's not intuitive how to do that.  You can't give me a manual?

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5 minutes ago, Philander Seabury said:

RTFM

FAQs

Google

Pretty much the hierarchy of things in reverse.  I usually "UTFG", and that either leads me to a youtube tutorial or a forum or a FAQ.  The FM is usually lost or buried in a drawer, so rarely will be physically used, but if I am lucky, and still have questions, UTFG leads me to the page with the PDF manual to download, and if lucky, I can find the part number I need or some extra info that might help.

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10 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

You woulldn't want a dimwitted user setting up a safety valve unsafely, would you?!!??!?

There's nothing to set up, ya just screw it in :D Most of its like, don't do this, don't do that.

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12 minutes ago, Philander Seabury said:

Too often they are just boilerplate that reminds me of when Dogbert was writing website FAQs, he intentionally made them as irrelevant and obtuse as possible

At the start of our business (circa 1992) we were contracted to write a user manual (manuals) for a large custom ERP system.  We/I knew the system well because we had written it at our previous employer.  The client was very large with deep pockets and an audit required user documentation of this system.  I can't remember how many 10's of thousands of dollars they paid us but the finished product was well over 5000 pages, and to their specification, was virtually useless, but they passed an audit.  Another application developer worked on it all day, I did another project during the day and spent nights at home working on the manuals.  Weeks and weeks of work to fill 3 ring binders that sat on shelves at their numerous plants.

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5 minutes ago, Kzoo said:

Weeks and weeks of work to fill 3 ring binders that sat on shelves at their numerous plants.

Back in the day, documentation was a huge part of our software development lifecycle.  It was usually one of the last bits in the process, as it required a lot of the final screen shots and adjusted/revised specs.  It was BINDERS of stuff and later big bound books, and when we would ship out the whole package, it was a handful of CDs (later one or two DVDs, and eventually just a link to download), and a huge pile of the docs.  What generally happened, though, was that no one used the manuals and would just call our support desk.

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When you buy a Lynskey they assume you will know how to put it together. In one of the emails they gave me the torque specifications. I almost did a Walmart. To make it fit in the box they turned the headset backwards and tightened it down. I turned the fork around and then said nope. Turned the fork back around and loosened up the headset and reversed it. The front wheel had some kind of plastic dust cover over the bearing. I took it off and then put the thru axel in place. It didn’t tighten down. Went back to that dust cover and it had a bushing attached to the back of it. Pulled the bushing off the dust cover and put it on the wheel. Perfect. I shouldn’t be telling you this, it makes me look stupid. At least I didn’t try to ride it with a missing bushing and a backwards fork.

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1 hour ago, Philander Seabury said:

Yeah, I was gonna mention car manuals as snot too bad, once you get past all the lawyer language. 

Every buy a gun? You never get past the lawyer messages.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Longjohn said:

When you buy a Lynskey they assume you will know how to put it together. In one of the emails they gave me the torque specifications. I almost did a Walmart. To make it fit in the box they turned the headset backwards and tightened it down. I turned the fork around and then said nope. Turned the fork back around and loosened up the headset and reversed it. The front wheel had some kind of plastic dust cover over the bearing. I took it off and then put the thru axel in place. It didn’t tighten down. Went back to that dust cover and it had a bushing attached to the back of it. Pulled the bushing off the dust cover and put it on the wheel. Perfect. I shouldn’t be telling you this, it makes me look stupid. At least I didn’t try to ride it with a missing bushing and a backwards fork.

:D  We've all been there!

Looking at Ritcheys as other folks here bought them, I was interested in how the travel bikes broke down and were reassembled.  They have lots of videos.  It looks like Lynskey does too (6:55 is where they mention the stem) so my UTFG led right to my youtube option!:

 

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1 hour ago, Razors Edge said:

:D  We've all been there!

Looking at Ritcheys as other folks here bought them, I was interested in how the travel bikes broke down and were reassembled.  They have lots of videos.  It looks like Lynskey does too (6:55 is where they mention the stem) so my UTFG led right to my youtube option!:

 

That video would have helped. He mentioned the two things I had to figure out.

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