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View Poll Results: Do you Read Instructions For New Device?
Read instruction book, Use device. Refer to booklet when issue arises. 17 42.50%
Use device. Refer to instruction booklet only when an issue arises 20 50.00%
Use device. Ignore or give up on booklet. Rely on friends/family members to solve problem 1 2.50%
Use device. Ignore or give up on booklet. Rely on internet to solve problem 5 12.50%
Use device, Rely on innate ability to solve issue, ignoring booklet and well intentioned friends and family members' pleas to help 0 0%
Don't read booklet. Use device. Encounter problem. Get frustrated with booklet and friends'/family members' ineptness. Return Giveaway or Stop using device 0 0%
Read booklet. Use device. Encounter problem. Get frustrated with booklet and friends'/family members' ineptness. Return Giveaway or Stop using device 0 0%
Don't Buy Devices Anymore! 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Do You Read Instructions Before Using Device
Old 11-27-2009, 02:15 PM   #1
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Do You Read Instructions Before Using Device

or ?

I've done 1-7 at different times. Lately been doing 2 3 or 4
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:31 PM   #2
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I didn't vote because it depends on what the item is and what it cost. There are some things I will read instructions very carefully (ie, installing a new garage door opener) and others that I wouldn't bother (ie, new iPod) - and everything in between. I suppose there are some people who always do one or the other, but I'd think it would be a minority.
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:44 PM   #3
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For self: When all else fails, read the instructions.

OTOH when folks call for help without reading the instructions: my instructions are: RTFM! Read the effing manual first.
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:45 PM   #4
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I didn't vote because it depends on what the item is and what it cost. There are some things I will read instructions very carefully (ie, installing a new garage door opener) and others that I wouldn't bother (ie, new iPod) - and everything in between. I suppose there are some people who always do one or the other, but I'd think it would be a minority.
You can vote multiple options

funny you should mention ipod - we've been trying to understand why the new nano radio goes off even with ipod locked hence this new thread...anyone know instructions family members and internet don't know...
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:56 PM   #5
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Read instructions, use device, tell DW that she needs to read the instructions, OK I'll do it for you this one time, but you really need to read the instructions, no it isn't difficult to use if you read the instructions, this is the last time I'm doing it for you, I can't believe we've had the device for two years and you still haven't read the instructions...
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:42 PM   #6
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I voted for "Use device. Refer to instruction booklet only when an issue arises" with this addition: "Swear at the maker for not designing it the way it should be".

Example: All DVD players can play MP3 files stored on a DVD-RW. But only one among the five that I have can do shuffle and random play on MP3 disks. They can all do shuffle play on regular audio CDs, but not on a DVD holding more than 600 MP3 songs, where the feature would be most useful.
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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I am a #1 kind of guy. I long ago realized that I don't have time (nor the patience) to use experience as my tutor. I am all for experimentation but... I want to know how something works before I turn it on.
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Old 11-27-2009, 05:15 PM   #8
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Danny, you're an optimist , you left off my first step: read customer reviews and consider everything that can go wrong. I'm holding off on upgrading to Snow Leopard until I figure out if it's compatible with an obsolete version of Time Capsule, may even resort to asking a genius at the Apple store.
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Old 11-27-2009, 05:38 PM   #9
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I either do 1) Read instruction book, Use device. Refer to booklet when issue arises or 2) Use device. Refer to instruction booklet only when an issue arises. It depends on the device's price and complexity.
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Old 11-27-2009, 05:40 PM   #10
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Since I create devices and sell them, I have to write the manuals as well. So I try to keep them short enough that folks will at least recognize it's a manual and spend 30 seconds browsing it.

Thus I always browse through the instructions and encourage others to do so.

I am annoyed by folks on the photography forum that I participate in who often start a thread like this:

Quote:
I just got my new speedlite for my dSLR. It is so light I am amazed. But I put it on my camera and I am disappointed. It doesn't work worth squat.
Then later ....
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What do you mean I need to put batteries in it? I threw out the manual, so please send me instructions on what kind of batteries and where they go.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Read instructions, use device, tell DW that she needs to read the instructions, OK I'll do it for you this one time, but you really need to read the instructions, no it isn't difficult to use if you read the instructions, this is the last time I'm doing it for you, I can't believe we've had the device for two years and you still haven't read the instructions...

That is why we keep you guys around !
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:42 PM   #12
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I voted #4, but it really does depend on the device. Some manuals are just useless and some devices are very badly designed. I have three university degrees but I still have difficulty using a VCR. OTOH my Blackberry is very easy to use.
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:02 PM   #13
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I am pretty much 100% #4. Never even open a physical manual. User groups are incredibly more helpful, especially the FAQs, ma'am.

On the other hand, if I'm assembling something (treadmill, DGDs plastic wagon, anything from Ikea), I ALWAYS read the instructions first. I got tired years ago of getting halfway through something, then having to take it apart and start over. Especially the Ikea stuff.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Read instructions, use device, tell DW that she needs to read the instructions, OK I'll do it for you this one time, but you really need to read the instructions, no it isn't difficult to use if you read the instructions, this is the last time I'm doing it for you, I can't believe we've had the device for two years and you still haven't read the instructions...
That's exactly what happens here!
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:33 AM   #15
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Maybe a thread hijack, but I tend to use the manual as a last resort. This image from here says it all?
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File Type: jpg tumblr_ktfbc2oI2J1qzuozio1_500.jpg (109.5 KB, 4 views)
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:29 AM   #16
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I always scan the booklet or manual, assuming it has a Getting Started section. If not, I will spend the time to speed read and figure it all out.
A lot of stuff, big to small, has hidden stability blocks or foam or lockdowns for shipping. So much easier to scan or carefully read the manual, then go forward with operation.
25+ years of experience operating complex laboratory test equipment, computers, lasers, voltage sources, and electro-mechanical devices and machines has taught me to "read and heed before you bleed".
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Read instructions, use device, tell DW that she needs to read the instructions, OK I'll do it for you this one time, but you really need to read the instructions, no it isn't difficult to use if you read the instructions, this is the last time I'm doing it for you, I can't believe we've had the device for two years and you still haven't read the instructions...


I was going to reply: "I don't need to - I have SO for that". But this response just sums us up even more perfectly.

Truth be told, I do occasionally read the manual if I need to know something specific, but I'll never admit that to him.

I did have a good moment last year, though, when the washing machine quit spinning. He announced to me that we needed to call a repairman. I marched over to the file cabinet where we keep all the appliance manuals, pulled out the washing machine booklet, and started reading the Troubleshooting section. He sheepishly said "I didn't think to do that". We were able to figure something out and the machine lasted another year.
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