April 22nd, 2009


The Rhodamine Solution?

What's Wrong With This Description?

From a techie guy I know, here's a description of one team's effort to set up one of those fancy $17,000 Microsoft Surface large touchscreen computers. Read it and then come back here...

Now, the funny thing is we've all been there. Just before I went to Clarion in 2004, one of my 17" Micron VGA monitors burned up. And I was obliged to buy a 15" ViewSonic LCD monitor, which I had shipped to the Physics Dept. and then just took the box to the sorority house in East Lansing. The night I got there, I started setting up everything. And I couldn't get the damned cover off the back of the unit to plug in the cables. There was a sketchy little diagram on some sort of a Quick Start sheet, but the manual was on a CD-ROM. If there was a better explanation in the manual, it was going to be tough to read when the machine with the CD-ROM drive... needed a working monitor!

Eventually we discovered that the "arrow" shown on the diagram was completely misinterpretable, if that's a word, before I resulted to actually breaking the cover off. Come on, it was midnight and I wanted a working computer for six weeks!

Later I replaced the 17" Micron VGA monitor at the office with another, slightly newer model of ViewSonic 15" LCD panel and they'd not improved the installation process one twit. But at least I knew what I was up against.

Get With The Program

Sometimes I am convinced that the tech writers who write manuals believe the press that no one reads the manuals, so they just go messing with us. But I certainly have seen my share of manuals waxing on poetically about everything BUT setting up the machine and getting it to work.

Dammit, that's the point of all this, isn't it? Getting the damned thing to work? At least that's what I always thought I was spending my money on.


Dr. Phil