Friday, February 11, 2005

Lazy Tech Writers

I was amused today when I was flipping through the instruction manual that came with my 6600GT graphics card (the day after installing the card). They are among the most generic instructions I have ever seen for computer equipment.

First, the instructions are titled "WinFast Graphics Series Quick Installation Guide". Probably a bad sign when they won't even print the potential model numbers on the cover.

The first page lists the package contents:

  • Graphics Card
  • Software CD
  • Installation Guide

Then it lists 7 different cables and an adapter, all marked as 'optional'. My particular card came with 2 cables and an adapter.

The second page is titled 'Board Layout'. Ah-ha, now we will get into specifics, right? No, the board layout page only shows rudimentary drawings of three generic graphics cards, 2 AGP cards (descriptively titled "Type 1" and "Type 2"), and a PCI express card (titled "Type 3").

Installations instructions are basically as follows:

  1. Shutdown your computer, remove all the cords and take the case off.
  2. Locate the correct slot for the new video card and remove an existing video card if there is one.
  3. Put the new card in the AGP or PCI Express slot.
  4. If the card has a 4 or 6 pin power connector, connect some power to the zero, one, or two power connectors.
  5. Put stuff back together.

Now, admittedly these are ostensibly the basic steps you have to go through to install a video card, and there isn't much more to it. But it seems a bit on the sparse side of things.

I guess this is what you have to do to make a profit when you are one of 20 vendors selling the exact same graphics chipset in a design only slightly different then the reference design by NVidia.

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