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"Life it too short to read the manual"
09-18-2018, 07:51 AM
Post: #21
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
(09-18-2018 05:13 AM)cyrille de brébisson Wrote:  Personally, I HATE the fact that products do NOT have user manuals. iPad, iPod, Windows... No user manuals. No getting started... NOTHING! not even the basis, you are supposed to "discover" everything!
Think about it for the iCrap, You have to do magic waving with your fingers at the thing for it to do things... But NOWHERE are they described! This is just such a pain!

Have Apple started making toilets now? Cool!

— Ian Abbott
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09-18-2018, 09:16 AM
Post: #22
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
(09-17-2018 04:29 PM)Jlouis Wrote:  Probably they will be bosses of the ones who have called them nerds.

Judging by the amount of incompetent bosses that get described around, I don't think so.

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09-18-2018, 09:17 AM
Post: #23
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
(09-18-2018 07:51 AM)ijabbott Wrote:  
(09-18-2018 05:13 AM)cyrille de brébisson Wrote:  Personally, I HATE the fact that products do NOT have user manuals. iPad, iPod, Windows... No user manuals. No getting started... NOTHING! not even the basis, you are supposed to "discover" everything!
Think about it for the iCrap, You have to do magic waving with your fingers at the thing for it to do things... But NOWHERE are they described! This is just such a pain!

Have Apple started making toilets now? Cool!

I thought they always did. :P

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09-18-2018, 09:25 AM (This post was last modified: 09-18-2018 09:27 AM by pier4r.)
Post: #24
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
(09-18-2018 05:13 AM)cyrille de brébisson Wrote:  But, it kind of does. It is called the On Calc help (that Help key on the top right next to ESC)...
Hidden under there you have hundred of pages of help, with example (including program example!) and all the 'see also' and similar things that you had in the AUG...
the in calc help, while good, it is really clumsy. Having a side PDF would be gold. Could you please export it? Otherwise there is the work of terje but would be cool to have the (semi)official version?
http://www.hpmuseum.org/forum/thread-2796.html


Quote:Personally, I HATE the fact that products do NOT have user manuals. iPad, iPod, Windows... No user manuals. No getting started... NOTHING! not even the basis, you are supposed to "discover" everything!
Think about it for the iCrap, You have to do magic waving with your fingers at the thing for it to do things... But NOWHERE are they described! This is just such a pain!
Dunno for apple - nor that I like them - but microsoft has them.
https://www.microsoftpressstore.com/stor...0735697942
Also windows has since long time a huge integrated help that explains a lot. But mostly one does not need it.

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09-18-2018, 10:49 AM
Post: #25
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
Hello!

(09-18-2018 05:13 AM)cyrille de brébisson Wrote:  Personally, I HATE the fact that products do NOT have user manuals. iPad, iPod, Windows... No user manuals. No getting started... NOTHING! not even the basis, you are supposed to "discover" everything!

This is not true for Europe because by EU regulations no product must be sold without operating instructions. So even Apple products come with a small "getting started" leaflet on paper in this part of the world. From then on one can either continue exploring for oneself or download further instructions (which Apple supplies plentiful) or follow the optional written (and/or) spoken guide which will explain your new product to you. We bought my mom an iPad some years ago when she was 78 or 79 years old. All I ever needed to do was to install her eMail account on it and answer two or three questions over the phone. Apart from that she has been using the thing every day. I wonder what would have happened if we bought her an HP Prime istead - even with the 1000 page manual that comes with it?

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Max
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09-18-2018, 02:45 PM
Post: #26
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
(09-18-2018 05:13 AM)cyrille de brébisson Wrote:  ...

But, it kind of does. It is called the On Calc help (that Help key on the top right next to ESC)

...

Thanks for pointing out the on-calc help, but the problem with getting old is also getting set in your ways.

I like the manual open to the appropriate page while creating my programs. I recently had to read the new ROTATE capability for GROB's in the on-calc help. It goes on for 6 screens. In the manual it would all be on one page.

With the on-calc help I can only see the one command, whereas in the user manual the other graphics commands would be right there, or a simple scroll wheel roll away.

I understand that it's difficult for HP team. Past calculators were essentially frozen at the start of manufacture and thus documentation was a one-off effort. However, the Prime is still evolving and keeping the documentation updated adds to the required work.

I guess I'll live with delayed documentation when I can get neat new features like GROB rotation.

Geoff
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09-18-2018, 02:59 PM
Post: #27
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
(09-18-2018 02:45 PM)Geoff Wrote:  I understand that it's difficult for HP team. Past calculators were essentially frozen at the start of manufacture and thus documentation was a one-off effort. However, the Prime is still evolving and keeping the documentation updated adds to the required work.

Ahhh, that is a very fair point!
With a limited (lean is the modern buzzword for "understaffed") team, the onus of user documentation for every functional change does slow changes / fixes / improvements somewhat. :-)
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09-19-2018, 02:28 PM
Post: #28
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
(09-17-2018 07:51 AM)Garth Wilson Wrote:  back when there were well-written manuals

That is the problem, IMHO. The lack of well-written manuals.

I just purchased a new 10G switch for my lab. It came with a folded sheet of paper with instructions on how to connect the rack ears and plug it in. Some info on the LEDs, how to correctly connect an SFP+ transceiver and fibre cable. The baud rate for the serial cable.

Online the admin and CLI guides are dated 2014 and 2015 and do not cover this exact model.
The manuals assume a context the user may not have, not working with these products. The vendor I used for routers is even worse.

In both cases, it is a trip to the forums to ask the community for direction, hints, suggestions, and to determine if a feature is missing or just not documented.

(09-17-2018 12:45 PM)Maximilian Hohmann Wrote:  But watching a professional at work and being able to copy his workflow is - for me at least - a great advantage over having to work it all out for myself, and possibly missing some important things just because they are not obvious. This is by the way for the video editing software "DaVinci Resolve 15", an incredibly powerful piece of code and totally free in the basic version. No way can I learn to use this code by reading a manual alone!

I just went through that same exact exercise myself. The YouTubers usually set some context I can relate to, then learning is not just about the product, but how people are effective using it.

I used to read the manuals end-to-end, when they were worth reading. The manuals assumed no prior knowledge about the product or its use. The manuals covered the common use cases as well. Today I think most manuals are for reference, perhaps things are more complex and it is not possible to write a well written manual. Software changes to quickly, etc...

Today in our goal oriented world people expect dumbed down experience (if consumer device), manuals will not be written or read. For myself, I'd read a manual if I could get a manual worth reading. Forums like this, IMHO, are better than YouTube, unless it is something completely new to me, then a gentle introduction to "video editing" (something I know little about) is quite effective for me to be productive quickly. I do not see how this is different than going to school and learning from a teacher. Most, I wager, cannot learn from reading a math book alone--sometimes you need a personal guide.
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09-19-2018, 10:00 PM
Post: #29
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
.
Hi, Egan:

(09-19-2018 02:28 PM)Egan Ford Wrote:  That is the problem, IMHO. The lack of well-written manuals. [...] I used to read the manuals end-to-end, when they were worth reading.

Absolutely. The Owner's Handbooks for the classic models HP-25, HP-67, HP-11C, HP-15C, HP-34C and the HP-41C were amazing reads and I devoured them from the first page to the last, enjoying every minute of it.

Do you remember those funny and enlightening examples featuring "lovesick sailor Odysseus", "Silas Silversaver", "Norman Numbercruncher", accountant "Polly Preparer", etc ? Not only did you understand the code and techniques discussed but would also remember them thanks to the cheerful mood employed throughout, as if the manual's authors were saying: "Hey, we've had a heck of a time developing this calculator and creating this manual for you and we really want you to join us in the fun and enjoy the ride as well while learning how to make the best of it."

Afterwards, the manuals for the HP42 and the HP-71B were reasonably adequate but you began to notice the downward spiral. By the time I looked at the HP35S manual I knew I didn't want to read it and I actually didn't.

As for devices other than HP calculators most manuals are extremely poor, let alone those terrible and unfathomable translations from Chinese, Korean, etc. to languages other than English, and at times even to English as well.

V.
.

  
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09-19-2018, 10:58 PM
Post: #30
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
(09-19-2018 10:00 PM)Valentin Albillo Wrote:  As for devices other than HP calculators most manuals are extremely poor, let alone those terrible and unfathomable translations from Chinese, Korean, etc. to languages other than English, and at times even to English as well.

Be glad you got some sort of manual ...

When I got my new Toshiba laptop, there is no manual, not even a restore CD.
IIRC, there is a piece of paper, with their customer service phone number.
But, the call is going to cost you after 90 days Huh

I called them the first day ! (laptop freezes)
BTW, the solution is remove the charger/battery, wait a bit, restart.
I had totally lost confidence with my brand new laptop ...

https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/toshiba-tech-support
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09-20-2018, 12:30 AM
Post: #31
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
(09-19-2018 10:00 PM)Valentin Albillo Wrote:  .
Hi, Egan:

(09-19-2018 02:28 PM)Egan Ford Wrote:  That is the problem, IMHO. The lack of well-written manuals. [...] I used to read the manuals end-to-end, when they were worth reading.

Absolutely. The Owner's Handbooks for the classic models HP-25, HP-67, HP-11C, HP-15C, HP-34C and the HP-41C were amazing reads and I devoured them from the first page to the last, enjoying every minute of it.

Do you remember those funny and enlightening examples featuring "lovesick sailor Odysseus", "Silas Silversaver", "Norman Numbercruncher", accountant "Polly Preparer", etc ? Not only did you understand the code and techniques discussed but would also remember them thanks to the cheerful mood employed throughout, as if the manual's authors were saying: "Hey, we've had a heck of a time developing this calculator and creating this manual for you and we really want you to join us in the fun and enjoy the ride as well while learning how to make the best of it."
V.
Yes I remember all of that very wellSmile My HP-25 manual is quite worn from being read many times over the decades.
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09-20-2018, 07:05 AM
Post: #32
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
It is felt that the old instructions were written by real people:
HP-15C AFH, "Appendix: Accuracy of Numerical Calculations", p. 211 Wrote:Subroutine "B" is like Grandmother's expensive chinaware, reserved for special occasions, leaving subroutine "A" for everyday use.

But modern instructions are just soulless computer compilations…
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09-22-2018, 10:44 PM (This post was last modified: 09-22-2018 10:45 PM by Eddie W. Shore.)
Post: #33
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
I am guilty of not reading the manual when I first get the product. However, I am grateful to have manuals. I usually use the manuals to answer any specific questions I have.

When I do use the manual beyond looking something up, I make cheat sheets or cheat cards, and I put them with the calculator so I always have a quick reference. I find this helpful especially with graphing and programming calculators.

I sometimes use baseball card holders to protect the index cards I used to make a quick reference. For example, I currently have six reference cards with my HP Prime.

I am eternally grateful for the Prime's on board help reference.
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09-23-2018, 07:36 AM
Post: #34
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
Hello,
You remind me that I do something similar.
I have a small notepad, half the size of the Prime where I write by hand programming commands with their basic sintax (like the booklet we all had with our previous RPL models). This helps me a lot and I usually leave some space to add the new commands.
Forgot to say that I write the commands by subject like List processing or String manipulation or drawing commands because I usually forget the name of the commands and get crazy to search in the online help without precise info. Hp forget that - some of us - are getting older...
I also have a pin into the booklet in case of reset after a crash but I think I used it once...
And an image of the screen with all the size and position of the different parts of the screen...

Thanks

Giancarlo
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09-23-2018, 10:51 PM
Post: #35
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
(09-23-2018 07:36 AM)Giancarlo Wrote:  Hello,
You remind me that I do something similar.
I have a small notepad, half the size of the Prime where I write by hand programming commands with their basic sintax (like the booklet we all had with our previous RPL models). This helps me a lot and I usually leave some space to add the new commands.
...
Giancarlo

Ah yes, I forgot that where I can, I install a help program (HLP49, and Casio's HELP from the 9860G Slim installs well enough on my 9750GII) so I can look up individual commands; that way I don't have to carry 1,300 pages in paper form around with me. It doesn't exactly help with learning concepts and "new-to-me" stuff, but it at least allows me to figure out how to bolt together stuff I do know. I've no idea how well the in-built help for the Prime works in that regard, but it's nice that it's in-built, and not an add-on.

(Post 288)

Regards, BrickViking
HP-50g |Casio fx-9750G+ |Casio fx-9750GII (SH4a)
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09-23-2018, 11:24 PM
Post: #36
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
(09-23-2018 07:36 AM)Giancarlo Wrote:  Forgot to say that I write the commands by subject like List processing or String manipulation or drawing commands because I usually forget the name of the commands and get crazy to search in the online help without precise info.

You can use the Prime menus to find the command and then press help to get the command description, syntax and examples : in the program editor under Cmds you'll find the String commands under Strings, the drawing commands under Drawing, Input/Output commands are under I/O... Lists commands are under the Toolbox Math menu.

One thing that puzzled me a bit is that the matrix commands are split between the Toolbox Math menu and the Program editor Cmds menu with matrix column and row manipulations in the latest.

With the Prime online help I don't have the need for a quick ref guide.
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09-24-2018, 06:23 AM
Post: #37
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
Can young people read at all apart from emojis and sms abbreviations.
???
Life isn’t too short (hopefully). However, people have become lazy. As a matter of fact the life expectancy has increased for the most parts; in the western world at least.

?

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09-24-2018, 12:32 PM
Post: #38
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
Hello,

In Prime, if you type a command on the command line, you can directly press the help key to get the help...
You can even do that after you have opened the parenthesis...
MAKELIST(I+1 Press Help here and you should go to the help for MAKELIST!

Cyrille

Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own. I do not speak for HP.
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09-30-2018, 12:30 AM (This post was last modified: 09-30-2018 12:38 AM by TravisE.)
Post: #39
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
I always felt I was the odd one out back when I was growing up for deriving a lot of pleasure in reading manuals to… just about anything. But especially electronic devices. The more information they provided, the better!

Manuals these days, when they exist at all, are generally getting “dumbed down” and typically lack the info I actually need. Another major problem is the increasing number of badly-written manuals, especially those written by people without much of a competent command of the language and which end up being barely decipherable (if at all) to a native speaker. I also hate the proliferation of “picture-only” manuals, which I often have trouble following without at least some verbal narrative. Also annoying are manuals they look really, really thick, only to find they're actually just a two-page manual written in a billion different languages, and then you have to spend more time finding each block of text in your language than it takes to actually read. Smile

The current record of the worst manual I've ever seen goes to our Samsung refrigerator. It looks like they took a machine translation of the Spanish version, left several words completely untranslated, and completely omitted some of the text that should have been there. It's virtually unusable. And the formatting is an absolute mess, like someone spent the whole day having fun fooling around with font and bullet sizes instead of actually, like, proofreading and translating the text. Ugh.

I've noticed that a trend in software-driven devices is to integrate the documentation into the application itself. This is fine as long as it's convenient to reach, well-designed and written, and doesn't get in the way of the user trying to accomplish the task. But a lot of apps have inadequate documentation in any form, especially with regard to features and functions which have technical names and aren't explained at all. And a lot of manuals with physical devices likewise don't explain all the functions well enough (if at all).

Ideally, devices (especially software) are designed with a UI intuitive enough that not much space needs to be devoted to explaining basic operation (at least, once the user has become familiar with similar UIs). But more sophisticated features that someone might not completely understand should certainly be properly documented somewhere.

As far as the amount of time needed to read a manual being a problem, a well-designed manual should be organized so that it's easy to find the specific sections for the features you actually use so that you don't have to read everything (unless you actually intend to use everything). I didn't have HP calculators back in the day, but I did have TI graphing calculators in the '90s, and I generally considered their manuals at the time (and still do) quite well-written and structured, easy to use, and easy to find information. Toward the late '90s, it seems the quality started going down, and their calculators started shipping with “incomplete” manuals, with the full information requiring you to insert a CD-ROM and dig through it in PDF form, which is about the worst possible format for anything being perused on a desktop computer system and read on a monitor (especially back in the 1990s–2000s).

Anyway, I never personally found the time spent reading the manuals to be that big of a problem, as I can read at a pretty reasonable pace. Smile And also because I enjoy it. Or did, at least, back when the quality of the manuals still made them worth reading…
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09-30-2018, 08:17 AM
Post: #40
RE: "Life it too short to read the manual"
I usually use the manuals when I don't know or remember the command syntax.
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