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  1. #1
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    A comment for the Editors of this Magazine.

    If after reading this you find it useless, forget about it. If on the other hand you think it may have some relevance then I'm sure you will know who and where to convey the information. I just posted a question on a forum that was caused by the problem I am now going to share with you. Several years ago I bought a copy of Acronis in order to back up my hard drive I never really got it to work. I assumed it was my fault and went on, as it turned out, to more important things. Last week an article in your magazine suggested, as a starting point, backing up my hard drive. I decided that I was going to do that. I uninstalled Acronis and re-installed it. The external hard drive that I had was to small so I got a new one and went to do what was required. Let me say that I know just how smart I am and it is enough. A life spent in some complicated phases of business has taught me that if someone describes something to me and I attempt to understand it but can't, then that person is either purposely engaged in obfustication or doesn't know what they are talking about. A third possibility is that they never really intended to convey the information at all, were merely going through the motions. I put it to you that an automobile company would not hire a Poet or a Novelist or a Historian to design an engine. Likewise a software company would'nt hire any of those people to write a software program. Why then do both of these types of firms allow engineers to write manuals to instruct users how to actually use the product. The engineers, undoubtedly charming people (I play golf regularly with three of them) speak acceptable english so that they can be understood (to wit, pass the salt or you're away), but when it comes to writing instructions they haven't the talent or the training or in my opinion the impetus to do the job successfully. I think the main motivation other than a lack of talent in writing is that they are not going to be accused of failing to include everything. If it is badly arranged or overly verbose, they believe that is someone else's problem. If you are going to spend the money to design something, why would you not (for probably the same cost) get someone that knows how to do what you need done.

  2. #2
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    An addenda to my original post. The Editors and Writers of this Magazine that the original post was addressed to are adept at written communication, they are in fact Writers. They may be also Engineers and or Software Constructors, but they are capable at written communication. Many of the articles that appear in the magazine suggest methods by which problems with computers may be solved. Those articles include instructions that if followed on your computer will solve the problem addressed. The obvious intent of the writer is to clearly state the steps to be taken to solve the problem. I have frequently followed those instructions with the result being the desired result. I have rarely had the sort of problem that I described with the instructions included with Software (or for that matter with the ability to find the solution to a problem in a Car Manual). The difference, as I suggested earlier is the difference between material written by engineers and material written by Writers. This is all I have to say on this subject. An idea occurs to me, that I am sure will occur to all of the writers of this magazine, either individually or collectively.

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Miv, I have been using Acronis True Image [since v 2012], Acronis Disk Director [since v 2011] -- and yes, the software is not the most friendliest, intuitive, to beginners! There is phone, email, forum support for these paid programs. I figured out how to effectively "Disk-Go-Tech" with DD, and effectively backup & restore with ATI. Like professors who publish their thesis as books, it appears that brilliant techs developed Acronis, however, such could be a little more friendly to beginners.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
    Miv, I have been using Acronis True Image [since v 2012], Acronis Disk Director [since v 2011] -- and yes, the software is not the most friendliest, intuitive, to beginners! There is phone, email, forum support for these paid programs. I figured out how to effectively "Disk-Go-Tech" with DD, and effectively backup & restore with ATI. Like professors who publish their thesis as books, it appears that brilliant techs developed Acronis, however, such could be a little more friendly to beginners.
    Congratulations. You have missed the point, completely.

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    WS Lounge VIP Browni's Avatar
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    TL;DR

    Using paragraphs may engage the reader more.

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    I'm gone from this thread, have a good day, miv.
    Last edited by RolandJS; 2015-01-31 at 10:01.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

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    Hello Miv,
    Are you suggesting that one of the contributing writers of Windows Secrets ought to explain Acronis True Image in a future article?

    Best, Kathleen Atkins, one of the editors

  8. #8
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    Frankly the idea came to me, while I was writing the addenda, that the writers and editors should individually or collectively offer their services to the various software producers to write the instructions that they give out with the software you buy. As I said, like the automobile manufacturers, they keep assigning engineers to do something the engineers haven't a clue about or the motivation to really write understandable instructions. Any fool can see that by engaging writers to do the writing, the buyers of the software will get better value and the software vendors will save money (and retain the customers good will) by eliminating a lot of the calls for help. Just a suggestion. If you do it, I will benefit the next time I buy software. Bye the bye I am not suggesting you do this for nothing.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miv View Post
    Congratulations. You have missed the point, completely.
    Miv, it takes a lot of effort to read what you have written. Perhaps it would help if you would come down to the level of us common folk.

    Perhaps you were illustrating your point by your own style of writing in your post, to wit, writing with such technical jargon and "lofty" words that it is hard for people to understand what you have written. If so, your point was well taken.

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  11. #10
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    I apologize. I never considered that what I was writing was difficult to understand. I will make an effort in the future. I was also called out on my lack of paragraphs. I can see that also. It may be that in my effort to get it all down I forget about the mechanics, but I'm no writer either.

    Two respondents to my original post mentioned Acronis. Acronis was not the issue. I happened to run into the problem with the instructions for Acronis and began thinking about it. Acronis is an example of the problem. If someone got into a discussion with you and in order to make your point you began drawing a diagram and perhaps including some math examples to prove your point and the person that you were talking to says, "Do you always use a ballpoint with blue ink"? If you see what I mean.

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    The fact that half the respondents, including one of the editors you were actually addressing, mentioned Acronis shows that you did not make it sufficiently clear that it was merely an example of greater shortcomings on the RTFM front.

    At least two of the newsletter editors have written numerous software manuals, and the others have done tests and reviews for magazines or newspapers; so it's not as if your idea is anything new to them.
    Last edited by BruceR; 2015-02-04 at 11:04.

  13. #12
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    I admitted my shortcoming as a writer. As far as the lack of novelty in my idea, that doesn't disturb me either. What could disturb me is the idea that I could have encountered the manuals that they created and found them as incomprehensible as the rest. The conclusion to be drawn from that are obvious.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miv View Post
    What could disturb me is the idea that I could have encountered the manuals that they created and found them as incomprehensible as the rest. The conclusion to be drawn from that are obvious.
    Your conclusion is in no way obvious to me.

  15. #14
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    Well, there you are then.

  16. #15
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    I am afraid that I am beginning to detect a slightly abrasive tone in this exchange. I have read over what I have written here and can see that it certainly didn't start with me. Please excuse me from getting involved in that kind of exchange.

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