1 EAGLETON NOTES: Do You Read The Manual?

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Saturday, 16 August 2014

Do You Read The Manual?

Spesh has been having a go at the cat for (allegedly) having a go at the new rug.  It's a very opulently sculptured rug in pure wool.  A few days ago she discovered that it says very clearly on the label on the bottom that it should not be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner but simply with a hand brush.  Who does that nowadays?  Anyway the cat has been exonerated.  I think that not reading the manual is generally regarded as a man thing.   That's what I'm told by my female friends anyway.  Spesh is quite open about the fact that she's too impatient to read manuals.  (and even more open now that I've written this!).  

However it made me think that perhaps I should read the manual for the new microwave/convection oven and grill that I've just bought to replace my ageing microwave oven.  It's amazing what one learns when one reads the manual.  I never knew, for example, that you can use aluminium foil in a microwave to stop certain parts of something you are cooking from being overdone.

One of the reasons I bought it was to bake the occasional potato without having to put the main oven on for a single potato.  I had rather hoped to be able with this splendid piece of equipment to produce a baked potato faster and more economically but with a nice fluffy inside and a well-cooked crispy skin.  However the manual assumes that you will microwave your potato.  That's quick but the skin is far from crisp.  So I think that, despite being a good boy and reading the manual, it's still going to be down to experimentation for my perfect potato.

Do you read manuals?  Now, come on, be honest.

34 comments:

  1. Very rarely do I read a manual...and then usually only (or is it only usually?) when something has gone wrong!

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    1. I think you are in the great majority Serenata.

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  2. So, my guilty secret is out! I never have time to read manuals that do not seem to be in my language. A good swipe with a hammer usually does the trick or failing that, find a man that can!

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    1. The problem, Spesh, is when one is a man.

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  3. Absolutely not ~ manuals are usually impossible to read anyway. Have a wonderful Sunday GB!

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    1. Thank you Carol. It's been good so far.

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  4. Sometimes I have good intentions. I grasp the technical manual and begin to read but by the third sentence I am both confused and bored to tears. Why are they called manuals and not womanuals?

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    1. Why, YP, not perkinuals. One can't use person because of it's male connotations of course.

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    1. Andrea I have discovered that when all else fails it's usually something for which I cannot find a manual anyway.

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  6. I always read the manual, since I want to get it right from the start. Maintaining the diligence with the appliance, is another thing :)

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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    1. Interestingly Mersad that doesn't surprise me. I would aspire to that if I wasn't so..... Do you know I can't think of a reason nor of an excuse for why I often don't read the manual.

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  7. I read manuals but I find that they've been poorly translated from another language. At least that's my excuse. I've been baking potatoes on the barbecue. It's better than the micro wave.

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    1. It's a good job, Red, that we don't have to translate manuals from English into Mandarin or many of the other 6,500 world languages.

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    2. PS Red. BBQ in New Zealand perhaps but rarely in Scotland. It's a summer's day today and the wind is around 40mph.

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  8. I used to like Manuel but I have only seen him on TV. I didn't realise there was a book.

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    1. Adrian he was a darn sight funnier that his boss.

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  9. I write manuals. It is part of my job. Therefore, I have a professional interest in reading other people's manuals to see how good or bad they are written. A good manual is invaluable - a bad one can get the user so frustrated they'll never open another manual again.
    The year I turned 40, I gave my bedroom a complete makeover, not keeping a single piece of furniture (all ugly hand-me-downs from the late 1980s and early 1990s). All my new furniture I assembled myself, only needing help with the large wardrobe doors because they were too heavy for me alone to hold in position. Without the instructions, it would have been a lot more difficult and taken a lot longer - but with the very good and clear IKEA manuals coming with each piece of furniture, it was fun!

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    1. I agree with you about the IKEA manuals although I find their excellent furniture pretty intuitive to assemble anyway. If you don't read the manual and get it wrong you are in trouble though. I too, used to write manuals of a sort (on, for example, how to apply for planning consent from a local authority). It's quite interesting because I frequently come across forms that need to be filled in and where the instructions are ambiguous. I used to try mine out on people (usually unwilling I have to say) first.

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  10. I do read manuals. Sometimes they're helpful - sometimes the translations are so bad that they're confusing rather than clarifying things though. Often I'm glad I know three languags (Swedish, English and German) because perhaps at least one of them got it right...!

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    1. ...and I had to make a spelling mistake in the word "languages" of all...

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    2. One of the problems I have come across in a manual today, Monica, is not that I couldn't understand it: it's very well written. However it did not tell me the one very basic piece of information I needed: how to turn it on after a power cut (It has no on/off switch).

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  11. It's rare I'd read a manual thoroughly, although I might scan a quick start section just to make sure I'm not doing something stupid. Having said that I'd never read a manual/label on a rug unless I was trying to see how to clean it. I'd certainly not look at it when it was brand new.

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    1. That's about where I stand in reality Mark.

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  12. I do read the manual -- but usually not until I get myself into a muddle. Mea culpa -- with the disasters to prove it.

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    1. Oh DeeDee I fear that so many of us could save many an irritation if we read the manuals when we were supposed to.

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  13. Reading the manual is like reading the Terms and Conditions. I tick the box, but don't bother. Actually, manuals now seem to come in 63 languages and even the English is incomprehensible.

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    1. I believe, Frances, that ticking the 'I've read the terms and conditions' box is regarded as the most universally told lie in the modern world.

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  14. I have a drawer full of manuals. I keep them all, including the French versions. Some are still in their hermetically sealed plastic coverings. Many are for electronics I no longer own and barely even remember owning. But the answer is No, I do not ever read any of them. Which is a shame, as I'm fairly certain my phones can do so many more tasks than I give them credit for,

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    1. Like you, VioletSky, I have two lever arch files of manuals for everything I've ever owned that came with a manual. There are only two boxes because I had a clear-out not long ago.

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  15. A while ago I decided that it would be fun to have an electronic microscope which attaches to the computer. I received one as a present and it has proved to be a hit with me. However when I read the comments on Amazon many of them gave it one star because it wouldn't focus properly when very close to the object being examined. One reviewer then explained that if one read the instructions it was very clear indeed how to focus it. The problem was that the focussing dial had to be rotated twice through it's scale which, of course, was counter-intuitive. If it hadn't been for that review I'd probably have been in the same situation. That might have been in my sub-conscious when I read the manual for the new micro-wave oven.

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  16. I always thought the manuals were just part of the packing material.
    I love to fiddle faddle and make things work without referring to the manual...it's when I run into problems that I can be found looking through the packing materials....smile.

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