Tuesday, 7 July 2015

I suppose I should call it a manual?

It's ages since I read an actual computer manual. It was always considered something of a last resort.

It used to be an indication of the cost of the software purchased that there would be one, two or even more manuals included. I seem to remember that Avid's video editing software came with about five and the option to buy another four or five for the more advanced functions. Even Apple's Logic Pro had a good kilo of paper in the box.

It probably goes back to the original IBM PC, which came with several big manuals. Each was provided in a slip box and with a ring binder so that the pages could be easily updated.

Nowadays an Apple Watch has more raw compute power and connectivity, yet comes with a mere leaflet to explain the use.

Back to my current manual reading.

I've been using Adobe Lightroom for at least six months and consider myself pretty adept at most of its functions. But I splashed out on a real paper guidebook by Scott Kelby for around £30, which has a kind of old-school heft in its 500 or so pages.

And I've found it to be genuinely useful. It's not set out like a reference manual, more a guide to use, with some quite chatty sections explaining the clever bits.

I keep finding out little shortcuts that actually save me time and it somehow doesn't feel quite like reading a - you know - manual.

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