Almost 2 years ago I went to a Solid State Logic training with the lovely Fadi Hayek and He showed me a power point presentation where the last slide said: R.F.M. He asked me if I knew what that meant, of course I didn’t and honestly they have so many acronyms in English that I never finish learning them. But that one was my favorite and this post is dedicated to it: READ the FUCKING MANUAL. :)
I graduated as an electronic engineer and I’m also a little nerd apart from the engineer degree. During my second year in the university we started having laboratory classes and during those classes we learned how to make circuits, robots and interfaces but not just robots, circuits and interfaces, to make robots, circuits and interfaces with his correspondent manuals!!!!! And we had to write two manuals: the user manual and the technical one.
It takes a lot of work to do the electronic devices itself and it takes even more love and hard work to write the manuals. It is really important to have both sides of the coin: write a complete and understandable manual and to read it. That explains my respect for the little books.
During my time living in Mexico I discovered that many people have a nonexistent culture about manuals and let me tell you ladies and gentleman: you are so wrong. As a sound engineer I find this reality really disturbing.
I am aware that not all manufactures write good manuals and I experienced that a lot working as a digital audio specialist in Hermes Music. But most of time you can find really good manuals. And it is really incredible how much it can help you to set up your equipment.
I am such a maniac that I even read cellphones manuals before I use them for the first time. Why?
1. There is less chance to fuck up your equipment.
2. It saves you time configuring and setting up your gear for the first time
3. It helps you to troubleshoot faster and easier in the future
4. You'll make to electronics engineers who wrote the manuals a huge favor and honor.
5. You get to know all the features of your equipment. So you won’t under-use it.
6. Company’s Tech support would thank you too.
7. You can help your colleagues to solve problems and you’ll feel like a hero
8. You’ll start learning more about your own gear, clarifying concepts, learning about its work flow and being happy.
9. If the manual doesn’t not give you the answer (and I doubt it) you can always find YouTube tutorials or forums where someone had the same problem that you and someone else who did read the manual solved it. And if you didn't understand it breathe and read it again!
So, next time you use a new device I really recommend please: Read the Fucking Manual. I guaranty you'll enjoy it.