Wish List from a Very, Very Good Tech Writer

Nancy Allison just asks for the typical stuff that any  Santa-Petitioner-in-good-standing who happens to be a technical writer wants–database knowledge, Linux toys, embedded caffeine delivery system, etc. …

Dear Santa,

I have been very very good. Please ask my boss for a copy of my job performance review for fiscal 2011 if you don’t believe me.

Per the terms of the Santa-Petitioner_In_Good_Standing contract, please send me the following items/services:

  1. Brain injection of database-publishing deep knowledge, including how to maintain graphics in a dbase that maintains live links to them while spinning out single-sourced documents
  2. Linux machine, can be oldish hardware since Linux is supposedly lean, and, say,  10 free hours of Linux hand-holding, preferably from grizzled, lived-in gent with pleasing demeanor (why not aim, high, my mother always said), and all the latest and greatest tech-writing-related open source software. Could also come with complete online edition of the Oxford English Dictionary if you happen to have one to throw in.
  3. Tutorial/hands-on learning experience with bleeding-edge single-sourcing, content-managed, wiki’d, collaborative, real-time iterative, web-based documentation system that *works* and produces *effective user documentation*. (That would be in contrast to something that has all those adjectives but is impossible to control in terms of logic and clarity and therefore the final product is too poorly written or organized to be useful in real life.)
  4. Dollars-and-cents data about said documentation system and the Word- or FrameMaker-based PDF-and-chm-oriented system that probably preceded it.
  5. Embedded caffeine-delivery system. Embedded in me, I mean.
  6. Easy Weight-Loss Disappearing-Tech-Writer’s-Butt Software Package. Windows edition.

Yr friend,


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