A Tech Writer’s Blog

Reviewing a document in the late 1990s. I still have all the books, knickknacks, and, I think, the shirt

A Fresh Start

2020 has been an awfully eventful year. I’ve been fortunate enough to work from home since March, and we’ve essentially been hiding in our home since then. I bought a new car in September and haven’t yet put any gas in the tank. (It’s a Prius Prime, but come on—it still shows the tank asContinue reading “A Fresh Start”

Screen capture from installation video on YouTube: a hand holding up a Nest thermostat, still in its box, near the thermostat to be replaced

Unboxing Day

The unboxing phenomenon lets us vicariously enjoy the process of receiving and opening a new product by watching videos posted by other people. Unboxing videos are very popular: Unbox Therapy has over two million YouTube subscribers, and this video garnered over two million views in less than two weeks. There’s a sensuous feel to unboxing videos, because some products areContinue reading “Unboxing Day”

My latest presentation: “Embedded User Assistance: Third Rail or Third Way?”

The STC New England InterChange regional conference was held 1–2 April, 2016 at the Inn and Conference Center of the University of Massachusetts Lowell. We had excellent attendance and we heard some great speakers and presentations. (We even had fine weather for our Friday evening perambulation to the Lowell Beer Works.) My contribution was “EmbeddedContinue reading “My latest presentation: “Embedded User Assistance: Third Rail or Third Way?””

STC Election 2016: Who I voted for

The 2016 STC election is currently open. If you’re a member, you should have received a link to the election website (send email to stc@stc.org if you have not). It’s important to vote! The Society needs your active involvement. You can find out more about the candidates here. Here’s who I voted for this year.

Making Sense of the Internet of Things

One of today’s hottest technical trends is the Internet of Things (IoT). The idea is to network together physical objects containing electronics, software, and sensors on the Internet so they can collect and exchange data, offering improved efficiency, accuracy, and economic benefit. Each “thing” is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system (that is, byContinue reading “Making Sense of the Internet of Things”

The Mac Plus User’s Guide, 30 Years Later

In 1986 I was already a veteran computer software technical writer, documenting applications with command-line interfaces on operating systems that were the grandparents, uncles, and aunts of UNIX and then Linux. (One of my colleagues wrote an entire manual for a sort utility—excuse me, the Sort. I tell you, those were heady days.) My division’s softwareContinue reading “The Mac Plus User’s Guide, 30 Years Later”


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