Cell Phones and Planes: A Bad Mix?

Written by Arnie Jacobsen

Cell Phones and Planes: A bad mix?

If you have spent anytime flying you are aware thatrepparttar use of cell phones on planes has been taboo. The reason given is that aviation authorities are concerned that cell phone transmissions will somehow interfere withrepparttar 133510 proper operation ofrepparttar 133511 airplane. The question has always been though, do cell phones really cause a disruption. "...Many (including pilots) ... question whether a genuine problem exists,"repparttar 133512 CAA says in a cell phone safety study. There have only been a few reported incidents of mobile cell phone radiation, and these were very minor like setting off a smoke detector in a baggage compartment.

Well, now that stance is changing, at least when it comes torepparttar 133513 British Civil Aviation Authority. Recentlyrepparttar 133514 CAA changedrepparttar 133515 rules recently to allow wireless communications devices on airplanes.

Tech-writers – a necessary evil

Written by Glenn Murray

New to tech-writing, or thinking about starting? The key to success is recognising that tech-writers are a necessary evil.

Tech-writers are necessary because someone has to writerepparttar user doco. The programmers and managers sure as hell don’t want to. This is actually part ofrepparttar 133509 reason that you’re evil, too. In my experience, most programmers and managers think that they could writerepparttar 133510 manuals if they wanted to… they just don’t want to. They might not write all “flowery” likerepparttar 133511 tech-writers, but what they write is correct.

Unfortunately, that’s quite often all that’s important to programmers and managers. There is a feeling withinrepparttar 133512 software environment that accuracy = quality. Audience analysis, doco readability, consistency, usability, active and passive voice, commas in a list of three or more items… All of these things are relatively unimportant to everyone butrepparttar 133513 tech-writer. Oh… andrepparttar 133514 user.

In a world where accuracy is all important, a lot goes overrepparttar 133515 head ofrepparttar 133516 dummy. I don’t know if it’s intellectual snobbery, but programmers and managers seem to think that if they understand it, so shouldrepparttar 133517 user. It doesn’t matter whether or not they do… they SHOULD! Stupid users! Maybe it’srepparttar 133518 geek’s ultimate revenge…

Your document can be 100% accurate, but ifrepparttar 133519 audience can’t read it, you’ve wasted your time.

So why doesn’t anyone acknowledge this? They do! That’srepparttar 133520 weird part. In theory, everyone agrees with you, it’s just in practice that you find yourself out inrepparttar 133521 cold. I don’t know why this happens. Maybe it’s because most of these guys have never done tech-writing.

So tech-writers spend too long worrying about unimportant things. And they bother programmers and managers with unimportant things. But they’re necessary things. Otherwise why would you be employed. Mayberepparttar 133522 absence of simple logic short circuits their brains. Who knows?

What we can get out of this is that there’s a feeling that tech-writers waste time, and as a result, they’re pretty much atrepparttar 133523 bottom ofrepparttar 133524 heap inrepparttar 133525 software world. I think a good analogy isrepparttar 133526 way some rich seerepparttar 133527 poor. Dirty little creatures… if only we could do without them…

But there is an up-side. I don’t want you thinking it’s all bad.

Being atrepparttar 133528 bottom ofrepparttar 133529 heap has its advantages. You can go unnoticed for years if you want. If you haven’t seenrepparttar 133530 movie, Office Space, you should hire it. There’s a little ferrety bloke in that who was “let go” years ago. Problem is, no one ever told him, and because of a glitch in payroll he still got paid. No one ever noticed.

Being a tech-writer’s a bit like that.

When I was managing doco teams, my favourite saying was “All we have to do is manage their expectations and our commitments”. Because programmers and managers resign themselves torepparttar 133531 fact that they don’t know what’s going on inrepparttar 133532 doco team, there’s sometimes a temptation to slacken off. Don’t give in to this temptation!!! If you ever get caught, doing it, it’ll be likerepparttar 133533 boy who cried wolf – they’ll never believe your estimates again!

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