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Student

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I’ve just splashed out on a new cordless mower. The user manual runs to 474 pages, larger than a paperback book, of which 8 are diagrams and 19 of text in English. The manual for the battery charger runs to 304 pages of which 10 are in English and half of these are warnings. Bearing in mind that the charger is like all battery chargers i.e. plug it in, insert the battery and wait for the lights to indicate it’s fully charged, these warnings seem a bit over the top. For example, the user is warned that they must be in good physical condition and mental health to operate the charger, that they must be of legal age or being trained under supervision and that they have received training from a servicing dealer or experienced user. Some of the warnings are common sense i.e. don’t use it in damp conditions or in a combustible environment and don’t let kids play with it but, as I say,by and large, the warnings seem over the top.
 

novocaine

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For every safwty instruction there is a person who has either:
1. Done the thing warned not to do and complained; or
2. Done the thing warned not to do and taken the manufacturer to court.

There are a lot of very dangerous people in this world l, commom sense is a myth.
 

AES

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Unfortunately, I think both Phil Pascoe and novocaine are right. Basically it's the manufacturers (and/or their lawyers) covering backsides.

Who hasn't heard the stories (no doubt apocryphal) of:

a) The woman who took her pet poodle for a walk, it rained, so she put the dog in the micro wave to dry off and then sued the manufacturer when the dog came out dry but dead - apparently the manufacturer should have included a "Don't put your dog in this microwave" warning:

or;

Someone who sued one of the fast food chains because they burnt their lips on a cup of coffee and the cup didn't include a "Hot" warning printed on it.

Seems ridiculous, and just as Student says, some of the warnings in these "Handbooks" defy common sense (where it exists). But there it is.

What concerns me even more is that all this stuff is now translated into about 30 different languages - that must cost, and we're paying for that (not to mention the 3,742 pages that all this guff takes up).

Ah well
 

Geoff_S

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Phil Pascoe":4o4y3s14 said:
I had a ten page leaflet on how to use a cushion. :? :D
The Spanish Inquisition has much to tell you, best to listen :twisted:
 

Trainee neophyte

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"It seemed to me that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a packet of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane."
“Wonko the Sane” on toothpick instructions (from So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, 1984)

Douglas Adams was a bit of a visionary.
 

AES

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Yeah. I should hang my head in shame (probably!) but I was never much of a "Hitch Hikers' Guide to the Galaxy" fan. But that quote really does hit the spot IMO!
 

u38cg

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On the poodle and the coffee, I think they're really not good examples of stupid users. Microwaves were completely novel and unless someone explained how they worked, why would you think they would make your dog boil from the inside out?

The coffee is even worse - MacDonalds served it within a few degrees of boiling point, far in excess of the standard serving temperature. The customer spilt it over her thighs and sustained huge burns - second degree IIRC - which caused her quality of life issues and hastened her death. She initially only asked for the cost of the immediate medical treatment, it was only when they turned her down that she pursued full damages.
 

Phil Pascoe

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u38cg":37sv9csh said:
On the poodle and the coffee, I think they're really not good examples of stupid users. Microwaves were completely novel and unless someone explained how they worked, why would you think they would make your dog boil from the inside out?
Damn. I thought they boiled dogs from the outside in. :?
 

RogerS

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I can understand the manufacturer wanting to make production and distribution easier by having a mega-multi-language manual but some car manufacturers (VW and Honda spring to mind) are perfectly capable of putting an +700 page manual in your car that is all in English.
 

Bale

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MikeG.":24g18l4p said:
User manuals? No, no, don't tell me........give me a minute............I'm sure I've heard of them.......
You've just forgotten. They're in the cupboard, on top of the safety guards off your machines. :wink:

Pete
 

Droogs

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Phil Pascoe":mg2th9ev said:
u38cg":mg2th9ev said:
On the poodle and the coffee, I think they're really not good examples of stupid users. Microwaves were completely novel and unless someone explained how they worked, why would you think they would make your dog boil from the inside out?
Damn. I thought they boiled dogs from the outside in. :?
They do. It is a common misconception that a microwave cooks from the inside out. They do not magically teleport the wiggly bits into the middle of the meat before they start to work. They penetrate from the outside in to the middle and agitate at the molecular level to increase vibration and therefore cause heat that then cooks the meat. this starts at the first bit they hit and that is the outside
 

Trevanion

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Those massive multi-language user manuals must be single-handedly deforesting the planet for something that's about 95% redundant to the user when you think about it.
 

toolsntat

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Ever microwaved a Beech woodworking plane?
The retention and further emission of heat is remarkable.
May be Ideal for defrosting the windscreen with a smoother or two or dropping a moulding plane in the leg pockets of your work trousers on a chilly day :wink:
Andy
 

sunnybob

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I have an early 60's memory of the first microwave I saw. It had no door. It was in a chip shop and they were using it to cook sausages. The owner was so proud of it he kept putting his hand in there saying "look, it cooks without heat" :roll:

And my all time favourite story is the "RV" owner who took delivery of his 40 foot long camper van, got it on the highway, engaged cruise control, and then walked back to make himself a coffee. =D> =D> =D>
Eat your heart out Mr. Darwin. 8)
 
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Trevanion":3h0k5v1y said:
Those massive multi-language user manuals must be single-handedly deforesting the planet for something that's about 95% redundant to the user when you think about it.
Either that or banks that repeatedly send you mail about upgrading to a new credit card.

Save the planet they say!, ...go paperless with your bills! ... (but we'll still send you 3-4 times the amount of paper in advertisements!)
 
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