Patrick C McKelvey pmckelvey at
Wed Aug 11 08:15:43 CDT 2004

I am responding to the italicized note in the user manual (pdf).

1) Your early adopters probably do not look at the user manual any more.

2) Having written some documents like this, I do not believe that most people realize how difficult it is to make a process simple and clear without making it insulting.  A company I used to work for had a 5 day course on writing user manual and procedures that they marketed nation wide.  I do not know if the still do so.  I went through that course and it was amazingly difficult.  All you need to do is write down what to do and no one will understand you.  

3)  Those who are into Linux are into the bleeding edge of technology and want to make it run, not tell others how to make it run.  An audience of true nerds, and I will raise my hand, will like to see the thing work.  Documentation is in last place.  I appreciate what you run into on the thankless task of documentation and keeping it current.  My guess is that this is the one thing that is the major weak spot in Linux.  If anything except perhaps support, will kill Linux, it will be lousy documentation.  Having been a Unix system administrator for a long while, I have seen great systems go away because of documentation or support.  Legato nearly went under because of support.  The system is good, I chose it to back up 25 production Unix boxes into a tape silo over a 1G fiber network.  After I left, I understand they went with another system because they could no longer get any answers to their questions and the documentation was not clear. I am retired on disability now.  I have heard rumors that Legato has turned the problems around and is recovering some of it's lost market share.

I have just started trying to use Wine on Fedora Core2 and I will be reading all the documentation.  What I have seen so far has been well done.  I will be finding out if it still applies, and applies to Quicken 2004 Deluxe.

Sincerely yours,
Patrick C. McKelvey PE
Cincinnati, Ohio
pmckelvey at
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