Tag Archives: technical communication

CPTSC 2012

I went to CPTSC for the first time this year, and I found the atmosphere collegial and the focus of the scholarship presented important. However, I was struck by something that I see as representative of a far larger problem, and that is the specialization of rhetorics of race, gender, and class. In other words, it seems that there are certain people who talk about (what we might call) rhetorics of Otherness, and they get to do that work only in certain, special places. The problem with this is that these rhetorics are (still!) Other; they are not “mainstream”; they are not always already assumed. They are marked, even at an inclusive and progressive conference like this one.

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Success! (Or, how I sledgehammered my ancient Mac into accepting more memory)

When Mountain Lion came out, I was dismayed to discover that my beloved 2006 laptop is now obsolete; Mountain Lion only works on computers released in mid-2007 and later. Sadness. So I decided to get my poor old MacBook a present to make us both feel better: A whole new gig of memory. (Hey, that’s a lot by 2006 standards. Plus it’s all my old laptop can handle.)

Now, I consider myself a techie person only in relation to the outsides of computers. I do software stuff. I’ve never opened up a computer before. But some of my technical communication students wrote instructions for installing additional RAM a few semesters ago, and they made it sound so easy. So I bought a matched pair of 1GB SO-DIMMs from Other World Computing (which has a website that’s great for figuring out compatibility) and went to work.

Well, I backed up the computer first. I’m not a total idiot.

I took out the battery, unscrewed those teeny screws, removed the L-bracket, and replaced the memory. Everything fit back together, albeit not as nicely as it had before I messed with it, but the battery fit back in all right.

Then I got the blinking light of death. Which means the memory wasn’t seated correctly and I had to take everything back apart. Which was a problem, because the battery was stuck.

In hindsight, I’m lucky my husband didn’t walk in while I was banging my laptop, sledgehammer-style, against the couch in an attempt to dislodge the battery.

However, I’m happy to report that sledgehammering your laptop does, in fact, remove recalcitrant batteries. So, in the end, here’s my result:

Image showing that memory has changed from 1 gig to 2 gigs




Risk, Disasters, and Infographics

This is mostly a re-post, other than to say that I’m interested in the connections between something like this and Beverly Sauer’s study of mining fatalgrams. Visual technical communication seems to be increasingly recognized as important …

Visit: Disaster Infographics

I hope that you forget about your MySpace …

I’m a few years late on this, but one of my tech comm students used this as part of her hypertextual final project at the end of the fall semester, and I thought it was too good not to pass on.

On text editors for tech comm

A fascinating post about which text editor, Word or Framemaker, is more appropriate for technical communication (in particular genres).

Go here: http://www.technicalcommunicationcenter.com/2009/02/08/which-text-editor-to-use-for-technical-writing-adobe-framemaker-or-microsoft-word/comment-page-1/

The Technical Communication Research Landscape

Ann M. Blakeslee
Eastern Michigan University 


This article reports data from questionnaires assessing the day-to-day experiences that members of the technical communication field have in carrying out their research. The data revealed that most members experience at least some frustration and numerous constraints that prevent them from doing the kinds and amounts of research that they want to do and that may affect the quality of their research. In short, technical communication scholars face an array of challenges. This article presents examples of these challenges and ideas that respondents had both for lessening the challenges scholars face and for better preparing graduate students. It suggests several practical initiatives for addressing these challenges along with realistic strategies for implementing those initiatives.

Information from: http://jbt.sagepub.com/content/23/2/129.abstract