Letter-Writing Manuals Were the Self-Help Books of the 18th Century. Need to kindly but firmly chastise your son for buying a horse? Read the manual.
"In over 700 pages of handwritten Dutch, the author, who identifies himself as A. Boogert, describes how to make watercolour paints. He explains how to mix the colours and how to change their tone by adding “one, two or three portions of water”. To illustrate his point he fills each facing page with various shades of the colour in question. To top it he made an index of all the colours he described, which in itself is a feast to look at. In the 17th century, an age known as the Golden Age of Dutch Painting, this manual would have hit the right spot. It makes sense, then, that the author explains in the introduction that he wrote the book for educational purposes. Remarkably, because the manual is written by hand and therefore literally one of a kind, it did not get the “reach” among painters - or attention among modern art historians - it deserves." Erik Kwakkel, a medieval book historian in the Netherlands, spotted scans of the book in a French scholarly database and posted it to his blog a few days ago. [more inside]
The BBC reports that the last typewriter to be built in the UK (according to its manufacturers) has been donated to London's Science Museum. "Brother said it had stopped making typewriters because demand had fallen to 30 a day, with most of those being sold in the US." [more inside]
The alternative to admitting that it simply sucks when an Apple TV is bricked or phone shatters, Geniuses are taught to employ the "Three Fs: Feel, Felt, and Found. This works especially well when the customer is mistaken or has bad information…"Apple's secret employee training manual for its "Geniuses" as revealed by Gizmodo.Customer: This Mac is just too expensive. Genius: I can see how you'd feel this way. I felt the price was a little high, but I found it's a real value because of all the built-in software and capabilities…The maneuver is brilliant. The Genius has switched places with the customer. He is she and she is he, and maybe that laptop isn't too expensive after all. He Found it wasn't, at least.
How to build a newsroom time machine. Some pessimists predicted ALL ON PAPER would be an exercise in futility. It’s proven to be a lesson in humility – for both the student journalists struggling with the old tech for the first time, and for the veteran journalists trying to recall how it all worked a few decades ago. A college paper makes an issue the old-fashioned way. [more inside]
"The Bunny has become what the Zeigfield girl was to another generation: synonymous with the most glamorous women in the world. The Playboy Club Bunny Manual (1968)
Passage of the International Space Station and Discovery, taken on February 28th 2011 at 17:58UT from the area of Weimar, Germany. The shooting equipment is described in detail in this page. (Flash 10 required)
Do you like manuals? Do you like Wikis? Do you like open source software? Check out FLOSS Manuals for wiki-fied manuals for popular and fun open source software, including PureData, Inkscape, Blender, Ardour, among others. Taking a page from programmers, the group endorses "book sprints", where creative writers, editors and artists work closely together to complete an online book in a short, intense burst of effort.
According to a customer report on the TribalWar forums, Newegg.com accidentally shipped bogus Intel i7 920 Retail CPUs. There are photos on Overclockers Forums and HardOCP. There's even a YouTube video of the fake CPU, fan and manual.
Be forewarned that somewhere, sometime, someplace, some enterprising young man who seems to know ten times what you do about computers is going to try to convince you that his program will make a jug of cider jump off the table and turn ducks' eggs into solid gold. Look this man straight in the eye and ask him for names of people who are successfully using his program. DO NOT, under any circumstances, bet him that he can't do it. There's no telling what someone might be able to make a computer do.
A journey through the whimsical computer manuals of the Franklin Ace.
A journey through the whimsical computer manuals of the Franklin Ace.
The San Francisco Maritime National Park operates the USS Pampanito (SS-383), a World War II Balao class Fleet submarine museum and memorial that is open for visitors daily at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. The Park website also hosts "The Fleet Type Submarine, Navpers 16160", the first in a series of submarine training manuals that was completed just after WW II. The series describes the peak of WW II US submarine technology. [more inside]
The Haynes Workshop Manuals are a series of practical instructional repair manuals aimed at both the DIY enthusiast or shade-tree mechanic and the professional garage repairman. In that spirit, they offer the following guides to repair and service the following: The Spitfire Fighter (no, not that one), The Lancaster Bomber and the Apollo modules.
The Dartmouth College Library hosts a Simple Book Repair Manual, which teaches you how to repair common problems such as torn pages and wet books. For more complicated procedures, the Alaska State Library put together a training manual, with illustrations of repair procedures. (Full PDF here.) There is also a book conservation dictionary hosted by the Stanford conservation department, which explains many of the terms used.
Yellow Drum Machine (google video), one of the robots that you can learn to build via Let's Make Robots (.com). This little guy finds a surface to tap a beat onto, then taps a beat on it. The fun starts at about 35 seconds in (via b3ta).
The Manual (How To Have a Number One - The Easy Way). Both light-hearted and thorough, the Timelords, aka the KLF, wrote this tongue-in-cheek manual in 1988 following their own novelty pop No. 1 "Doctorin' the Tardis". "If you are already a musician stop playing your instrument. Even better, sell the junk. It will become clearer later on but just take our word for it for the time being." Oh and apparently have lots of tea on hand.
If you've seen the Japanese safety manual for the Wii, you might have thought it was a bit excessive. But it really isn't, if you consider how many safety warnings they left out. Via core77.
An online version of The Chicago Manual of Style is scheduled for release in September 2006. A test drive will be available next month; there's a Quick Tour [PDF] with screenshots and more info.
Do you know what to do with a stick and a clutch? Only 15% of new car buyers in the US say they'll consider buying a car with manual transmission, and by 2012, only 6% of cars will be offered with a stick. Is it because it's a difficult skill to learn? Or is it really because it's too hard to shift when you have a cell phone in one hand and a Starbucks coffee in the other? Or is a manual transmission simply an outdated system with new fangled technology like CVT, DSG, SMG, and super-fast, 100 msec shifting automatic transmissions available?
HOWTO: Kidnap someone. Originally published in the al Qaeda web magazine Mu'askar al-Battar, and written by Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, the author of The Targets Inside Cities [pdf].
Buy a Flight Manual, Get a Grand Jury Subpoena? A guy qualified to fly and instruct on the Boeing 737 buys a CD on Ebay that contains the ground course for the same plane. Then the FBI gets involved, and, courtesy of section 501 (d) of the "USA Patriot Act", he can no longer even discuss the issue. [more inside]
Execution for Dummies, special McVeigh edition. The Bureau of Prisons has thoughtfully printed up a 56-page how-to guide for those in charge of putting Tim McVeigh to death. Now you can follow along in the comfort of your own home!
How to buy cutting-edge home electronics sold only in Asia — and still be able to read the manuals. have you ever bought electronics [or anything] through specialty websites that was not available locally? god bless the internet.
The Beginner's Guide to Effective Email is such a great resource that it should be required reading for everyone before they ever send a single email message. I first read this in 1996, and thought the author sounded like an old crank. That was back when 10 emails a day was a lot for me. Now in 1999, I'm getting 150-200 a day and every word in this Guide is gospel. I especially hate it when people don't reformat their quoted messages when replying. Why do email clients allow for typing above the original message? Why not default a reply message to new entries below the original?