Monday, September 24, 2012

I've become obsessive about manuals

Because of warranties, I used to staple my register receipts to user manuals of expensive or complicated things. Then I'd put the manuals in a plastic zip closure bag and stow it somewhere. But today, all those manuals are available on line. What I've done lately is IMMEDIATELY download the pdf of the manual, scan my receipt and save it as a pdf. On my Mac, I can combine the pdfs and save then as a single file (using Preview). PLUS, if it's an electronic item like a modem or even a rental set-top box from Comcast, I also scan the barcodes with the serial number and MAC ID codes, which Comcast always seems to want when I call with a problem. I combine those scans, too.

My garage tools, power tools, cameras, ham radio equipment -- just about everything, gets saved as a pdf now.  Not only that, I'm putting these pdfs in my iPad's library,  so I can use the manuals anywhere. The receipts, which are also printed on some sort of thermal paper, don't fade.

Now that I'm an old geezer, I don't have to search for a manual any more, and I have proof-of-purchase safely filed away with the manual. Fortunately, I have loads of time to attend to these things.

When you consider that credit cards often extend the manufacturers' warranties but you need both the warranty and the receipt, this works out well. At least for me.

So, I think this is a good use of spare time, a good use of a home computer, and a fine job for a retired old fart who has nothing else to do. While it works for me, your mileage may vary.

No, I am not obsesive-compulsive. Most of my life and surroundings resemble a pigsty when the admiral doesn't get on my back to clean things up.