RTFM. And Happy New Year

Well here we are in January 2019, and as is my wont, I’ll write my habitual New Year story as it bears repeating year after year after year.

For Christmas, I hope you received lots of really good presents (lets face it, we all get crap too from time to time, but that is all part of the fun.) But, being as you are interested in video, photography, drones and other associated toys (or you wouldn’t be here would you!) then it is fair to assume you also received something that is related.

It might be a camera, camcorder, new smartphone, a drone quite possibly (hopefully a ‘proper’ one not a toy) or a microphone say.

It is tempting to rip open the package, shove in the battery, let it charge for the briefest time needed to allow you to actually DO something with it, and off you go.

How do I know this? Because I habitually do it all the time, probably with every review unit of anything I have ever received in fact. And over 25 years +, that is a lot of ‘stuff’!

But after the initial euphoria and buzz has work off – about 30 rells (if you are a Dalek) in my case usually – I do something few do, from my experience, and that is sad as they would learn a lot more and get better initial usage of their new toy. Evidence of this is shown in any even slightly technical Facebook Group with folks asking really basic questions over and over.

Do ‘what’ then you ask?

In the ‘old days’ which most call the 80s and 90s, it used to be called ‘RTFM’.  Or in every day parlance, ‘Read The F—king Manual’.

I actually learnt this trick in the mid-1980s, having been laid up with a back injury for a few weeks, and having to stay horizontal meant all I could do was read.

So, I did. Lots. And lots more.

I reckon at that time I knew more about Microsoft Word for Windows as it was called then, than any other living person!

Don’t believe me? Press CTRL-F3 and SHIFT-F3 whilst in Word. Bet you didn’t know those eh? And have you ever tried Outlining? Best way to write anything ever invented.

I read manuals on software, cameras, calculators, mobile phones, our in-house phone system at the time, my new car and even my watch – you name it, I read it. And I learned HEAPS from the experience.

Mind you, back then they were proper ‘paper based’ manuals, and I still prefer those to this day as against PDFs or web-based ones.

I also prefer tutorials to be step by step on paper, so I can go at my own pace having said that, but an accompanying video is very helpful, so you can see the results and back   track to see where you may have gone wrong.

In short, if you get 5 minutes to spare whilst on the train, bus, in the car (but not when driving but BEING driven is OK), have a look at the manual for your smartphone, drone, camcorder, camera, editing software, titling package, SFX plugin, audio software – whatever.

I guarantee you’ll be surprised at what you learn! Pass it on …

Oh and have a FABULOUS and very prosperous 2019 from all of us here.


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