Wednesday, March 3, 2010

We're Hot! MB Instructions R Not.

Check out Kate, Darivanh and Kevin (from left to right). Gosh, we're hot!

In other news, I had just installed the Z endstops when I came across this step:

Make endstop triggers - Endstop triggers can be constructed of any long, reasonably thin, opaque object. Popsicle sticks (craft sticks) are popular choices. You can cut rectangle of thick card, as well. Paint your triggers matte black to make them a bit more reliable.

I don't have any popsicle sticks, nor did I know I would need any, or else I would have enjoyed some popsicles earlier today. Seriously, this is another instance where I feel betrayed by these instructions. You could argue that I should have read through the instructions before starting, but that's not really how we do things around here...

There's a paragraph at top of this section that explains that you don't really need endstops, but it fails to mention that endstops aren't supplied in the kit.
I think we need endstops, so I am going to the store to buy popsicles.

How to Write Instructions

1. Write instructions in the imperative mood.
2. Tell the reader what he or she needs to know before he or she needs to know it.
3. Avoid imprecise language like "reasonably thick" and "a bit more reliable." What does reasonably thick mean? Can I use a piece of paper? What about cardboard, is that too thick? Why would painting a popsicle stick make it more reliable?

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