20 November 2002
You could look it up
For poor Page, "RTFM" is honored mostly make that exclusively in the breach:
If you're a user, you're not expected to know everything there is to know about a system. Fair enough. That's why people like me are paid to write instructions, documentation, and manuals, whatever, for you. But if I take the time to write it, you can take the time to read it. Show some initiative, for cryin' out loud!
Unfortunately, this willful sort of ignorance extends into other areas of technology. I've been known to hang out on a couple of automotive message boards, and when the Same Damn Questions recur, I'm not above being snippy enough to tack on "Further details can be found in Section [whatever] of your owner's manual." And, sure enough, the next reply is I bought it used and I don't have one.
Well, why the hell not? You can't go to the dealership and plunk down $25 for something to show you how your expensive little playpretty actually works? I bet you spent more than that upgrading your goddamn stereo, you corksoaking icehole. But no, you'll be back here in three months begging for help with your "check engine" light because you can't bear the thought of paying the shop to hook up a scan tool.
And then I erase all that and type "See your nearest authorized dealer for a copy." Wonderful things, those Terms of Service.