urgh lay off the find/replace
so they did this before releasing the manual;
Find: Hard Disk
Replace With: Solid-state Disk
case sensitive search: Off
Urgh! Did anyone proof read it before they published this!
Did Asus originally plan to release its elfin Eee PC mini laptop with a magnetic hard disk drive? A snippet from the computer's manual suggests that the company did. "To prepare the Eee PC for transport, you should turn it off... The solid-state disk's head retracts when the power is turned off to prevent scratching of the …
Having seen many translations of manuals in the past few years, I can believe that it's just a lazy translation, involving cut and paste from previous lap top manuals.
My favourite was the Japanese translation into German into English which read on the lines of:
flick switch 'a' and the red light comes on, flick switch 'a' again, and dark comes on.
I also like the way the manual says it's OK to wash the display panel with water, without giving any definite guidance as to how much or whether the device should be powered down at the time. Now that could be a useful "cure" for the dead pixels Asus apparently refuse to warrant against since the Eee is officially not a laptop.
The third, and most logical conclusion would be that a technical writer / translator used a canned text (one possibly required by the Asus lawyers in every user's guide), and then did a search and replace some time later.
A simple copy-paste error. But a drunken Reg "journalists" makes this into a big discovery. As a hint: Your readers aren't as stupid as you think they are.
...the manual (especially the boring, standard warning sections) was created largely by cut and pasting bits together from the manuals for other products, and no-one caught that including this one didn't make a lot of sense on a system with no hard disk.
I'm fairly sure most of the pre-release discussion of the eee - even months back when it was initially going to be released - talked about solid state storage.
This is standard warning text, taken from a content management system / translation database and updated by a Technical Author (not necessarily an Engineer).
To save translation costs, it is common practice to re-use as much existing content as possible. This excerpt looks exactly like the kind of text that could be common to the user manuals of all Asus notebooks.
Of-course the updated text should be subject to a formal review before release, but it may be possible that this one slipped through the net.
Anyone who has tried using an Eee on their lap will instantly know something is wrong - the balance is completely off. The base of the laptop is too light and lifts up, making 'lap top' use well-nigh impossible. Add a hard drive and hey presto the sucker would keep itself firmly planted where latops are meant to go.
Back in the day, there were many more British exam boards than the "big three" that now exist in England. One, the Midland Examining Group (or MEG) was responsible for many Physics papers. This board amalgamated to be become Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (or OCR), and all the old syllabi were duly converted to the new name. So we Physics teachers had to teach (if we were to follow the syllabus to the letter) that electricity was counted not in Megawatts, but Ocrawatts....
"I have nothing to add - just wanted to post from my lovely little Eee..."
For Christ's sake whaterver you do, Mmm, remember that to prepare the Eee PC for transport, you should turn it off. The solid-state disk's head retracts when the power is turned off to prevent scratching of the solid-state disk drive surface during transport.
Nice computer, shame they have to market it like beer. My partner in IT gets quite peeved that computer marketing droids still think the average IT user is a 15-year-old male with a fixiation on stroke mags.
The 'EEE picture' is not the way to market to women, thats for sure. Nor does The Reg help by peddling it.
Does your partner really expect marketroids to entertain anything as dangerous as (gasp!) "a new thought"?
(Or any thought, for that manner.)
They've all seen War Games (or Hackers if they're too young) and that's it - All computer users are 15yo wankers -err - "Solo Sex Aficionados". Plus, all the other marketroids advertise IT with mammaries, and who are they to buck the trend?
Now slap a campaign together ASAP, so we can get back to sniffing the Bolivian Marching Powder out of the navels of the models.
OK, I apologise for offending any real marketroids who might be reading this - my comment is obviously a grossly distorted and sweeping generalisation. It's just that my objectivity goes out the window when sex is used to sell *anything*, but especially in the IT arena.
"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"
Robert Pirsig’s excellent novel "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" is in part about alienation of people from modern technology, and had a very funny account of how instruction manuals are written, from a character (based on the writer himself), who used to be a technical writer. As he tells it, the company needs to write a manual for a new product. They go down to the production line and ask the manager there to relapse someone to help them with writing it. The manager gives them the biggest goof-off on the shop floor, as during the time they are absent, the rest of them might actually get some work done. Goof-off knows little about the product, and the manual is a mess. Public gets even more alienated from technology…
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