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Rob Spiegel
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Two mistakes save the day
Rob Spiegel   8/13/2012 4:26:25 PM
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That's interesting that the two mistakes (voltage and jumper) saved the day. If there hadn;t been the second mistake, the first mistake would have cost $1,700. Thanks goodness for the second mistake.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Two mistakes save the day
Ann R. Thryft   8/13/2012 7:28:18 PM
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The glue problem looks even more interesting to me. Why didn't the other people who troubleshot (is that a word?) this problem realize the conclusion that the author came to?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Two mistakes save the day
Rob Spiegel   8/14/2012 9:25:48 AM
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That is a great question, Ann. Yet, as we've seen with so many of these Sherlock Ohms postings, something as simple as the amount of voltage going to the unit gets overlooked.

We can expect Glenn to weigh in on this.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Platinum
Re: Two mistakes save the day
OLD_CURMUDGEON   8/14/2012 9:29:59 AM
Ann,

How about TROUBLESHOOTED??  That sounds even more grotesque!  Or, maybe the past participle TRUBLE SHOOTEN?

That's what's so perfect about the GERMAN language. They have a specific word to indicate exactly what they want to say, WITHOUT 99 exceptions of revery rule of language (as in English!)

GlennA
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Gold
Re: Two mistakes save the day
GlennA   8/14/2012 11:01:33 AM
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Ann R. Thryft;  Other than knowing the other techs were unsuccessful, I didn't know what testing they had done.  I did have the advantage of more experience with that timer from running laboratory tests.

I also have the bad habit of reading manuals and instructions.  Some technicians seem to believe 'real men don't read manuals'.  The solution may be hidden in an unrelated chapter, or only inferred to, but many times the answer is in the manual.  On the other hand, unless the manual is formatted to be printed, it may be useless.  An on-line manual needs to be formatted so that it can be flipped through page-by-page.  The example that I use of a poor manual was trying to find how to delete a chart in Excel.  You can't 'delete' a chart.  You can't 'erase' a chart.  But if you already knew how to 'remove' a chart, you wouldn't need the manual.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Two mistakes save the day
Ann R. Thryft   8/14/2012 12:29:07 PM
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Glenn, sounds like your predecessors didn't work as carefully or methodically as you did. I'm also a fan of reading instructions before proceeding with building, installing, or troubleshooting something, or using a new machine. First, I read through the procedures at least once to make sure I have all the tools and supplies I need, and to determine where I'll be doing a repair or assembly task: a table, the floor, outside on the deck, etc.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Two mistakes save the day
Rob Spiegel   8/14/2012 5:33:54 PM
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I wish I had your discipline, Ann. I usually just dig in and refer to the instructions when I run into trouble. I think the value of each approach depends on the quality of the instructions. I recently had a clogged vacuum. When I wasn't able to locate the area of clogging, I turned to the instructions. They were of no help. So I continued a trial-and-error approach until I found and fixed the problem.

Jon Titus
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Re: Two mistakes save the day
Jon Titus   8/14/2012 6:46:49 PM
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Debugged might work--it's not used solely for software.

Jon Titus
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Documents and manuals need an index
Jon Titus   8/14/2012 7:03:26 PM
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Manuals should have a good index with cross references.  What someone thinks of as a temperature sensor, someone else might think of as a temperature switch or temperature detector.  So listing all three in an index helps people get to the information no matter what they call something. Indexing requires patience and thoroughness.

I find the lack of cross references particulary troublesome in software books and documents.  In a C-language reference book I use often, I find two references to hexadecimal numbers and hex numbering in the index. But no reference to how to format data to display it in as hex values. In a perfect world, the index would include: 

hexadecimal, printing of

hexadecimal, display of

Under the heading of printf my book's index points to pages about printing floating-point numbers and strings, but nothing about other formats such as scientific notation or octal. An index makes or breaks documentation.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
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Platinum
Re: Documents and manuals need an index
OLD_CURMUDGEON   8/15/2012 8:42:59 AM
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Jon,

One of the BEST "books" containing an index is the McMASTER CARR SUPPLY catalog.  There is so much redundancy that it is almost sickening, but as was posted, one person's widget might be someone else's doohickey.  Nevertheless, they both exist in that index.  Sure makes life a lot easier when poring through a catalog of 5,000 + pages.

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