I’m really surprised that no one has acknowledged the updated versions of the software manuals that have accompanied each firmware update. That was always a sore spot with the 3000/5000 radios. Thank you!
I prefer having a printed manual, so I’ve been printing each update. Something to consider - would it be possible to also offer an addendum that only contains those pages or sections that were updated from the previous version? You can just print the new pages an update the previous version. In addition to much less printing, we can also save a few trees!
Also, should it be just the added pages based on the previous version? or have the added pages separated from version to version? so 5 pages if you go from manual 1.3.8 to 1.4.0, 8 pages if you go from 1.3.8 to 1.4.3, 2 pages if it is 1.4.0 to 1.4.3?
I liek having each manual with each version of the software, and appreciate the electronic copy which I can search really quickly. I even carry all the manuals to all of my gear on my cellphone. I also save it in a Dropbox folder which I can easily access from anywhere with internet access.
I also think not printing at all saves even more trees :)
you just explained why I HATE printed manuals and why most of the world has long ago abandoned them...
The process you are describing is incredibly labor intensive to produce and maintain. I also leads to an inevitable confusing and difficult process for updating and makes it unnecessarily difficult for the end use to be sure that he has the latest version.
It's just so much easier to have the latest version of the complete manual in .PDF form which is easy to search for the answers you need.
Saves a lot of more trees...
You are preaching to the choir!
I've been asking the same questions since the PDSR days and met the same objections that you are currently experiencing.
This suggestion has been brought up over several times and never received the approval of the majority of the group.
I volunteered to put them in order if "FlexRadio System" would tell me how they like the page arranged.
You are not going anywhere with this question. Just continue printing; like I do.
Same manual at Office Max/Office Depot and Fedex was over $100.00
The Staples print shop put a spiral metal binder on it plus a clear plastic cover.
We had to dedicate a person on staff Not to write them.. that was done by my professional staff but rather just to maintain the manuals, figure out where pages needed to be inserted, change the pagination of the other pages, insert the pages into the manuals where they were go and keep everything up to date. The process was labor intensive and rather prone to errors. It was a real PIA to update anything outside of head office.
It was a management nightmare and resulted in dangerous situations. You could never be certain that the physical manual you were using was actually up to date or if the field staff actually had the corrected manual.
Fast forward to the modern world.. Paper manuals have effectively disappeared from most critical situations. Even airline pilots carry iPads now with their life critical flight manuals rather than paper.
Manual maintenance can now be done by the professionals who author them. A simple click on a button causes pagination to be corrected and indexes to be updated automatically. No more expense of people to manually keep track of places to insert pages. No more confusing page inserts. No more uncertainty as to whether the manual is up to date. Much less life at risk situations because you were using an outdated manual. No more flipping through pages to find a topic but rather a simple digital search to get to the right page immediately. No more trees to die unnecessarily...
Yes I can understand that many of the older generation have trouble using digital documentation. Heck... many of my contemporaries never got used to computers and used to have their secretaries (yes they could not type) print out their emails for them.
But i would suggest that those are now a very tiny diminishing minority. Instituting a Paper Manual Simplification Process would not only be an expensive process for Flex to undertake just to cater to that minority's desire to save paper but the unnecessary complication that could diminish the usefulness of the online manuals.
Bottom Line.. It costs time and $ to do what you ask. It will only benefit a very tiny diminishing minority. That time and $ could be much better spent on developing 1.5 or 2.0
Specifically, "A simple click on a button causes pagination to be corrected and indexes to be update automatically." That's is exactly what we like to have. Instead of reprinting complete revised manual with only few pages of update or additions.
Our generation grew learning about computers since it's inception; please do not tell me that we have trouble using digital documentations. We developed it!
Perhaps, your comrade may had problems but not my.
Finally, our suggestion would not cost Flex any more than what you think. As a matter of fact; it would be the opposite. The gains would be immense and the manual would not be the halter skeletal mess we have; directing you to page so and so to check what they are referencing in page x y and z. Or just tell us what pages are new or revised so we can insert then were we feel they should go.
Howard, I still consider you to be my friend. Hope to see you down here someday.
Yes Howard, you make a good point then frack it up. The biggest loss in productivity was giving everybody word processing software on their 'new fangled' computers. They couldn't type, couldn't spell, and couldn't write a proper business document. Yet they spent their entire day trying to do their secretary's opps admin's job not their own. Which I think is hauntingly similar to giving everybody their own free compiler.
If you agree, like the idea, if you disagree, do nothing.
I'd appreciate if anything changed/added/deleted was also indicated in whatever format the updated manual is offered.
Whether a cloud, a side-bar or font-enhancement, it makes changes stand out and improves the user's ability to best respond to updates.
Not sure if you are aware that you can compare 2 documents and find out the differences. Of course, that requires a computer and an electronic manual....
But we must be considerate of those computer manual challenged folks who gain comfort from thumbing through reams of paper...
I drag my radios out to no-Internet/cell coverage islands.
"Murphy" seems to always accompany, so I take spares and manuals along.
And I use a checklist so I don't head out missing something crucial.
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