October 31, 2014

Finding Your Inner Guide – or at Least a PDF Manual

I recently overhead someone ask a friend: ‘how did we ever find out anything before Google?’. I gave away my internet age when I said “with altavista” and added for good measure – in a gopher guide. But nevertheless, the point stands. Google is just the greatest mindshare search tool, but its just a gateway into the riches of the internet. One of the great killer aps of customer service is the ability of any manufacturer to make all of their manuals available instantly to their customers.

att_logo.jpgMy ATT answering machine phone is acting weird, and my wife asked me to find the manual. After 10 minutes of wasting my time in paper files, I just did a quick search and came up with this page listing dozens of PDF manuals to various AT&T phones.

One of our goals here is to create a single point resource with as many manuals as we can hunt down. So here’s a start.

High End Appliances – Chef Included

If you have recently spent some time feeling baffled by the many options on a new appliance, you are not alone. Some folks have even sought help with their entire kitchen. Maybe not a bad idea. The Los Angeles Times writes:

With sophisticated, professional-quality appliances and high-design gizmos going into residential kitchens, many would-be home chefs haven’t a clue how to operate the latest technology. The infrequent cook who wants to make a Thanksgiving turkey might stare blankly at the keypad and wonder: Convection, radiant, bake, roast, speed-cook or steam?
People are spending less time cooking in kitchens but more money remodeling them because they want the best to impress their neighbors,” says Mark Connelly, senior director of appliances and home improvement for Consumer Reports.

Connelly, a no-nonsense guy who’s been testing kitchen appliances for 18 years, says manufacturers are adding unnecessary options to differentiate themselves. TVs are embedded in refrigerators, toasters have convection-oven modes, faucets come with hands-free functions. “There are sanitary reasons for having one in an airport bathroom but not in your kitchen,” he says.

And those Starbucks-style coffee machines?

“You can spend $15 on a drip coffee maker or thousands on a fancy coffee maker,” he says, “and they both make a good cup of coffee — if you use quality coffee.”

As kitchen appliances become more complex, Connelly says, owners look for simple ways to use them.

“People spending a lot on an appliance want as many buttons as possible to justify the cost,” he says, “but most of the time they’re using the same selection as on their old appliance.
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Finding Your Inner Guide – or at Least a PDF Manual

I recently overhead someone ask a friend: ‘how did we ever find out anything before Google?’. I gave away my internet age when I said “with altavista” and added for good measure – in a gopher guide. But nevertheless, the point stands. Google is just the greatest mindshare search tool, but its just a gateway into the riches of the internet. One of the great killer aps of customer service is the ability of any manufacturer to make all of their manuals available instantly to their customers.

att_logo.jpgMy ATT answering machine phone is acting weird, and my wife asked me to find the manual. After 10 minutes of wasting my time in paper files, I just did a quick search and came up with this page listing dozens of PDF manuals to various AT&T phones.

One of our goals here is to create a single point resource with as many manuals as we can hunt down. So here’s a start.