Wednesday, 18 August 2010

My brain hurts......

In the words of one of the world's greatest unsung philosophers (Homer Simpson)

" .... every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain".

I have spent the last few hours struggling with a software programme trying to get it to do something it was probably never designed to do in the first place.

That was my first mistake.

I'm a great believer in trial and error. I disdain online manuals and laugh in the face of support forums.

That's usually my second mistake.

I subscribe to the notion that software should be reasonably intuitive, and that if I need a manual the size of several paving slabs just to get off the starting block then the software is almost definitely far too complex for me. I don't mind using online help for 'bells and whistles', but the basics should be accessible from the off.

I recently acquired some software to help with illustrations of step-by-step instructions for The Book. It's easy to use and perfect for purpose. However I wanted to do something clever with ghosted photograph backgrounds, to better show up superimposed line drawings in subsequent layers.

This was obviously outside the remit of the basics, so I had to resort to trawling through the printed manual, trying and failing numerous methods of achieving my aim.
Likewise, the comprehensive searchable online manual was similarly mute on my specific problem.

Two hours into the experiment I was beginning to lose the will to live when I decided to try one of the support forums as a last resort. I have had some experience of technical forums in the past, which mostly entailed being given reams and reams of unintelligible gobbledygook, which were probably absolutely spot on, but may as well have been written in Azerbaijani for all the sense I could make of them.

Imagine my surprise and delight therefore, when, within a mere 10 minutes of posting my problem in the technical forum, I received not one, but TWO, perfectly legible, clear, concise and above all, understandable replies, both of which work.


So although I'm worn out with all the 'brainwork' I am really pleased that the problem is resolved and I can actually do what I want with the illustrations.

Edit - This episode IN NO WAY counts as displacement activity.

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