TechWhirler Recap for August 12

This week’s update is supported by Platinum sponsor Adobe & RoboHelp 9 |

It was thirty years ago today,

We started thinking about which help doc to portray,
Because help files never go to go out of style, but sometimes a typo will raise a smile.
So may I introduce to you
The act you’ve known for all these years, the lonely TechWhirlers’ weekly update.

Step right up folks! It’s the latest and greatest in space-age technology. We’ve heard that there may only be a few of them sold, but you too can get this Buck Rogers technology in your home today! Yes indeedy, it’s the 5150 from International Business Machines, and it’s sure to confuse the heck out of just about anyone out there, if we let the engineers who designed it try to explain it.

So, instead, we’ll hand over the explanations to you – yes you – the writers, no… PC writers, no… tech writers…yeah that’ll work, of the world to explain. And, if you ask Special Writers Unit’s Fraser Hannah, most of the skills you’ll need were learned in high school ( Of course you’ll need to learn about the 5150, Apple IIe or even that new fangled interconnected web thing. But, we’ll save that article for another time.

Once you’re done, and your tape drive is full of information, your dot matrix is printing out that latest draft so we can finally invent the acronym RTFM, there’s a good chance you’ll want a portfolio. Not to fear ladies and gentlemen, Connie Giordano and her article “Can You Create an NDA-Compliant Portfolio?” ( will have you employed until your sixty-four. But, that’s many years from now.

Next week, we have another DAM article along with a brand new shiny article from Geoff Hart. Happy Birthday 5150, yes we know the Apple II is a little older, but IBM’s PC filled the hole for corporations and things have been getting better since then.

So there you have it – another update and a day in the life,

Until next week…

The oddly dressed folks @ TechWhirl


Social Media and the Chance to Follow TechWhirl:

Will you be our Friend? Please, you know you want to click |

Want all this TechWhirl goodness 10001100 characters @ a time |

Inside TechWhirl newsletter (all about our work) |

What You’re Talking About

Quick shout outs to our Tech Writers and their discussions in our email discussion group:

o Tony Chung wants to know when it comes to “New words – where have you found them?” and Whirlers have responded with their favorite authors (William F Buckly, Jane Austen and Evelyn Waugh) their favorite websites ( and the old standby, and even those quaint old things we call newspapers.

o Dan Goldstein is searching for opinions from Whirlers on “Ball chairs and their kin” and is getting loads of great ergonomic and physiotheraputic advice from sitters, standers, plankers and others.

o Not only has Craig Cardimon recently added SWU team member to his resume, but now he’s looking for “Advice on software testing?” as a new duty. Check out the thread for great resources and a lively discussion when the software should really ship.

In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

· New: “Building an NDA-Compliant Portfolio” by Connie Giordano |

· New: “Skills Transfer – How High School Teaching Prepares You for Tech Comm” by Fraser Hannah |

· Poll question: What’s the most challenging tech comm task to handle collaboratively? |

Upcoming Articles

· New: “Getting Feedback on our Work” by Geoff Hart

· New: “Digital Asset Management (DAM) Systems and the Single Tech Writer” by Chantel Brathwaite

· Poll question: Best technology for collaborating


We want to send a very special “thank you” to sponsors. Without them, we probably would have always sung out of tune.

Platinum: Madcap, Adobe, ComponentOne

Gold: Society for Technical Communication (STC), EC Software

Silver: Vancouver Island University

> Personally, we thought it was parsley on the album cover

Subscribe to TechWhirl via Email