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Old 27-04-2010, 04:55   #1
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
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Electronics Manuals - Maybe Telling You Not to Get it

Have had my boat a year and it came with a Garmin 192C GPS/Chartplotter. So after a year I decided maybe it was time to get the manual for it and read how to use it. So I went on-line and found it. To my surprise it was 124 pages long! 124 pages for something that I figured out how to operate just fine!

Here's the thing; a piece of gear for the boat that needs 124 pages to tell you how to operate it is maybe something you shouldn't have on the boat. Anything that complex is way beyound what I can add to my brain along with what it takes to think of all the other things needed to operate the boat. Now I really am in fear of getting the manual for my radar!
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Old 27-04-2010, 05:48   #2
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Well, 124 page manual is not much for a piece of electronic. I bought a simple four slices toaster a few weeks ago and it came with a 8 page manual.
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Old 27-04-2010, 08:21   #3
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keep in mind, half those pages are no-doubt in a different language than english. LoL
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Old 27-04-2010, 10:34   #4
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Also, there are typically sections on unpacking, setup, troubleshooting, interfacing, and so on... more than are needed for day-to-day operation. In my environment, with lots of geekery, I keep a library of PDF versions of full manuals, and make (or find) "cheat sheet" quick-references where a product is not sufficiently self-documenting. Some are worse than others.

Famous for being awful in this regard are ham radios, with tons of obscure settings buried in menus. You can find laminated cheat sheets and mini-references on eBay and elsewhere.
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