Up Front by Emma Hart

Read Post

Up Front: Absence of Malice

308 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 7 8 9 10 11 13 Newer→ Last

  • merc,

    Disclaimer; any injuries to cake or person resulting from cake tin misuse are not the responsibility of the manufacturer.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    *cough* Another tech writer here...

    Is this tech writing as in manuals or tech writing as in writing about new technology?

    Because if the latter, me too I guess.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I notice your winky face, but hasn't the point been made on the other thread...

    This is a "I know you weren't being serious, but I want to debate the point anyway" comment?

    I've never been a tech writer, but I have done some in the past. Hopefully that's not a breach of union demarcation rules.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    I'm particularly proud of my instructions for making mitred corners in the paper lining for sponge roll tins,

    Love that chocolate sponge roll recipe - I had an obsession once to make the perfick one, just like mum's, but alas, it cracked on rolling. Still tasted damned fine. The Kenwood Food Mixer - I inherited my mum's and got it out to make pav, somehow managed to destroy its motor...possibly because I never cleaned the dust out after it had been packed away a long time in a dusty box. Duh. kenwoods are very fine machines indeed.

    One of my aunts had been a hospital "Sister" when they still wore nun-like veils and was suitably battleship-like. She insisted on mitred corners on every bird (and ironing handkerchiefs, tea towels & underpants) and fluoride tablets every morning for yr teeth. I was totally in awe of her.

    Damn, I meant mitred corners on every BED, not bird. I'm obsessed with birds atm, creatively speaking on a sunconscious, but breaking through, level. I enjoyed yr blog Deborah.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I am multi-lingual and can write for translation (localisation), used to be writing for 12 languages to be localised; please don't curse me, I try.

    I'm sure you do a sterling job. It would be quite something if they ever gave you free rein on the illustrations...

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6,

    Ashburton Coll '84-88 - and definitely wagging. If your father was brought in Wales, like mine, it was 'mitching'. God knows.

    Rachel Prosser - Dr Jim was a special case - I remember a Classics class with him spent watching the film 'Top Secret' as it was a classic example of Aristophenian humour. And you're right - you would have been so caught! ;)

    I wagged a couple of times, but some of that was technical - hiding out in 7th form common room, or 'studying' in the library. Or in the music suite 'practicing'.

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Giovanni said; I'm sure you do a sterling job. It would be quite something if they ever gave you free rein on the illustrations...

    I do a nice exploded diagram...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I'm imagining a sunconscious peeking through the clouds.

    The knife method tends to damage the somewhat inaccurately named non-stick variety of cookware. I do a greek orange syrup cake (thanks Annabel) that the top reliably falls off when you turn it out, unless it's thoroughly lined.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    The knife method tends to damage the somewhat inaccurately named non-stick variety of cookware.

    (drifting further and further off course...)

    I agree, but recommend ditching your nonstick over ditching the knife method. Demote the old nonstick swiss roll/cookie pan(s) to cleaning/gardening uses and pick up some standard half-sheet pans from a restaurant supply store.

    * they are lighter-colored -> fewer burned biscuit bottoms
    * they are heavier -> less warping
    * they are not at all expensive
    * they stand up to knives, steelo pads, and high temperatures
    * bits of nonstick will not flake off into your food
    * you don't need to worry about the truth/applicability of those stories about budgie-killing nonstick fumes
    * because the size is standardized, your other kitchen paraphernalia - eg silpats - will fit them well (this is especially true if your other kitchen paraphernalia is also from the restaurant supply store)

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    You have to think like a novice is what i mean?

    Yes, but not by being a novice. Understanding audiences and being quite conscious about the language conventions and other assumed knowledge are definitely part of it. Balancing that deliberateness against telling more experienced readers how to suck lemons is the art.

    I found it very much like PAT tests - the reward was internal satisfaction rather than as Jack said anyone actually reading the work. Combining it with support and design roles meant actually seeing more impact. However, there are roles like parent or teacher that have more effect on the world every day. Funny they don't pay was well..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I've never been a tech writer, but I have done some in the past.

    A recovering tech writer, prehaps?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    What does anyone do with a history degree now anyway?

    You could ask yourself, as I have, what you do with a South East Asian history degree. Paired with an art history major. Not necessarily a direct career pathway to early childhood education one might think. However, what I found when at ACE (or t coll, or teachers college, or the University of Auckland, Department of Education, Epsom campus, as they call it now) was that having already done my degree 12 years previously, I was at a distinct advantage. I knew about essays and exams and critical thinking. I excelled in hypothesising, and referencing, and addendums. Took me 12 years to figure out how to be an A1 teacher, but.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    You could ask yourself, as I have, what you do with a South East Asian history degree. Paired with an art history major. Not necessarily a direct career pathway to early childhood education one might think.

    Ha! I appreciate that dilemma. They sound a fascinating mix. I seriously have considered teaching, mostly because I really do like being around children, but this whole testing/teach rigidly to the curriculum stuff scares me, not to mention teacher culture. I'm the perpetual "But why? Can't i do it this way or try this one...oh, and that really sucks." I've really had to sit on my creativity while at uni, love the research tho.

    What made ece your chosen path, Jacqui? Did you have to do another 3 years or was that a 1 year postgrad course?

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    One of the benefits of a teacher in the house

    Ah, the gestetner. That wonderful smell. I loved going in at the weekend to help make those awful purple copies. Loved getting the copies fresh off the printer from my teachers too.

    Sorry, joined this discussion late. Christmas lunches and all that have been occupying my time and energy.

    Wagging, Onslow College, Wellington 1979-1983. Hardly ever wagged until the 6th form. Then practically the entire 7th form. Although because school was where everyone was, I tended to wag at shcool. Common room, radio room, - NEVER the library - yuk!

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • snakeoil,

    Attention Technical Writers: Sometimes you're just too brainy for your boots and leave even the brainy but 'undereducated' amongst us sobbing with incomprehension (did not achieve). I remember well the car-repair manuals which saved my bacon on many occasions, replacing gearboxes and differentials in random driveways with only the help of a Holden 67-70 manual and a patient friend. These were written with the non-academic in mind, for the end-user whether that was a qualified mechanic or someone like me on endless cross-country meanders. These days, I can't even programme the vcr and if I am struggling on the computer, I ask the 10 year old for help. I certainly can't rely on a manual written by someone for whom the technology is so basic, they don't believe any of it requires explanation. No offence intended !

    Blue Lynn • Since Dec 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Oh no! Someone mentioned gestetners....

    (Dinah - I think you'll find the copier with the purple copies was a Banda).

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • snakeoil,

    But no one has mentioned straps or canes...dare I open that can of worms?

    Blue Lynn • Since Dec 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Do them worms have any link with our colleagues' failure to write understandable instructions (or these days, design knowable interfaces)?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Do them worms have any link with our colleagues' failure to write understandable instructions (or these days, design knowable interfaces)?

    Sacha, dude, I WISH I got to design the freaking interfaces. What made the BW tech manual such a bitch is that the system was based on Drupal but wrenched miles from its intended purpose by a programmer who disappeared halfway through, and I was trying to explain it to people that yes, we refer to as twelve o'clock flashers.

    Still, I like to think I don't do a totally crap job.

    Then I moved on to doing the admin manual, which I guess is down the policy end of tech writing. That wasn't so much 'write down our admin policy' as 'write our admin policy', which was a whole lot less frustrating.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Emma, I like any instructive writer who uses the word "you".

    I managed (every now and then, not all the time) to persuade development teams that I could help free them from support work later if they let me have a hand in the interface. None of them liked support or maintenance work much, funnily enough. And too many were only fluent in geek. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    What made ece your chosen path, Jacqui?

    I was always going to be a teacher - I'm bossy, and loud, and have always been "teacherly" and I thought that that would be a good start, I guess. I was wrong as it turned out. What was more valuable was my penchant for subversion and my ability to think like a 4 yr old. As for heading down the path I did, well, I got accepted for secondary training, but the thought of having to deal to 14 yr old boys, who would inevitably be taller than me? No. Really, it was nothing more complex than that at the time.

    Did you have to do another 3 years or was that a 1 year postgrad course?

    3 year teaching diploma, back then. And I loved it. I loved being a student. I loved sitting back in classrooms. I loved being part of a big group sitting around in the quad, yakking about whatever. I loved the political stuff - particularly the politicisation of young women who had never really used their thought processes in a self aware way before. I loved the whole thing, really. But I love being a teacher more.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    showing me where the scars for a breast reduction operation went. These things are so easily misinterpreted.

    I so want to see that on a Tui Billboard

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I wagged once.
    (Auckland GBHS 1970s for those mapping the geographical and temporal loacalisation of the terms).

    And it was only a half day. It was totally hormonally driven. She had long blonde and I was pathetically grateful that she noticed me enough to invite me over to the party at her place. Needless to say she totally ignored me.

    Why didn't I break the rules more? Um... school was fun. And a combination of my parents and Mrs Gribble (whom I loved but I was shocked to learn that others hated) taught me that school was about being given the opportunity to learn. Why would I skip it?

    I didn't remember the PATs until someone described their colours. And I loved them.

    Does writing journal papers count as tech writing?

    And respect/mana is earned. That said, certain roles in society are shitty enough that those in those roles deserve some respect. Yes they can lose that respect pretty fast, but as a baseline they deserve respect. For example, anyone that has to turn up to traffic accidents automatically gets my respect as a baseline.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    the thought of having to deal to 14 yr old boys, who would inevitably be taller than me? No. Really, it was nothing more complex than that at the time.

    Nobody needs a reason to want to avoid 14 year old boys

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Auckland, circa 1980, definitely "wagging". However "wagging" only applied to leaving the school grounds (or never arriving in the first place), otherwise it was just "skipping class".

    I didn't wag at all (AFAICR). In fact I sort of did the opposite. In seventh form I noticed that all of my free periods bar one coincided with Biology (which I wasn't doing), so I used to go along anyway because occasionally there was some interesting stuff like cellular biology and DNA (and besides, my card-playing friends didn't have free periods then, so there wasn't anything to do).

    I was very surprised when my mid-year report arrived. I had come first in Biology, and the teachers comment was "Brent needs to apply himself, and stop treating biology as a hobby". My form teacher's comment included "Appears that six subjects is a strain, Brent should now concentrate on just five for the exams at the end of the year". Given the choice, I promptly dropped English (which I was loathing). I liked words, grammar, sentence topology, and the like, but analysing literature, not so much.

    Cheers,
    Brent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 7 8 9 10 11 13 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.