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Creativity in user manuals

I worked as a technical writer full-time for years at a software development company, and I continue to do so on contract for various companies. Yet I kept on thinking manuals need to be one of the following: on paper PDF HTML Windows Help The following video reminds me that you can make manuals much more […]

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Vibrantly attractive: the 2015 Hyundai Accent

Sunflower Yellow. This colour made me chuckle when I saw it on the 2015 5-door Hyundai Accent I picked up from Hyundai’s offices north of Toronto one fine summer morning. For the record, Hyundai credibly describes the colour as “vibrant.” Here’s my impression: I had just spent several weeks volunteering at the 2015 Pan Am Games. My […]

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Ditch your dead tree planner

I used to cart a 12″ by 9″ binder whenever I had to go to work appointments. I got that binder thanks to a Priority Management course a former boss sent me to. (I owe him a thank-you for that.) (The instructor, Andy Sherwood – “Sherwood like the hockey stick” – stated that nobody can […]

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Review: 2015 Toyota Prius v

After playing recreational hockey one morning, one of the other players noticed the car I was driving. He drives an upscale crossover, but he enthused that this was the vehicle he would have bought if his family supported the choice. What was I driving? The “big Prius,” Toyota’s Prius v.

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Inbox Zero tip: prevent spam

When junk mail arrives in your mailbox, do you keep it? If you’re like most people, probably not. Into the recycling bin it goes, moments after you recognize it. For some reason I haven’t yet figured out, many people aren’t as ruthlessly efficient when they receive electronic junk mail. Whether it’s an e-flyer from a retailer […]

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Review: 2015 Honda Fit

Honda recently indulged my desire to try one of the snazziest four-door hatchbacks on the market today: the 2015 Honda Fit. The name so precisely matches Honda’s vision for this vehicle that I may stumble and write puns unwittingly throughout this review. I apologize for that in advance. Appearance My tester, the EX-L Navi, looked sharp […]

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Cheaper computers are often more expensive

Computer buyers are like drivers who need to put gas in the tank. Let me explain. There are a few “discount” gas stations near my place. They sell gas for about four cents per litre less than nearby stations. On a typical 30 litre fill-up, that works out to savings of $1.20. One of these […]

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How I back up data

Computer users who don’t back up their data tend to ignore this basic reality: there are only two types of hard disks. those that have failed those that will fail When they do fail, the computer’s owner experiences the frustration and anxiety that usually accompanies the loss of important data of all kinds. This same […]

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Email and healthy skepticism

For a moment, disregard the message at the top of this email, the one that says “You marked this message as Junk Mail.” (I did that before realizing I could craft a blog post from this email.) Does this message look legitimate to you? How would you handle it?

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Review: Fluidstance Level

Decades ago, I was recovering from a sprained ankle, the second one sustained in as many years on the squash court. A colleague at the software development company where I worked as a technical writer at the time lent me his “wobble board” to speed up my rehabilitation. This two-foot-long by one-foot-wide plank of wood stood off […]

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