Tuesday Jun 19, 2012

Viewing at Impossible Angles

Multibus driverThe picture of the little screwdriver with the Allen wrench head to the right is bound to invoke a little nostalgia for those readers who were Sun customers in the late 80s. This tool was a very popular give-away: it was essential for installing and removing Multibus (you youngsters will have to look that up on Wikipedia…) cards in our systems. Back then our mid-sized systems were gargantuan: it was routine for us to schlep around a 200 lb. desk side box and 90 lb. monitor to demo a piece of software your smart phone will run better today.

We were very close to the hardware, and the first thing a new field sales systems engineer had to learn was how put together a system. If you were lucky, a grizzled service engineer might run you through the process once, then threaten your health and existence should you ever screw it up so that he had to fix it.

Nowadays we make it much easier to learn the ins and outs of our hardware with simulations–3D animations–that take you through the process of putting together or replacing pieces of a system. Most recently, we have posted three sophisticated PDFs that take advantage of Acrobat 9 features to provide a really intelligent approach to documenting hardware installation and repair:

Download one of these documents and take a close look at it. You can view the hardware from any angle, including impossible ones. Each document has a number of procedures, that break down into steps. Click on a procedure, then a step and you will see it animated in the drawing.

Of course hardware design has generally eliminated the need for things like our old giveaway tools: components snap and lock in. Often you can replace redundant units while the system is hot, but for heaven’s sake, you’ll want to verify that you can do that before you try it!

Meanwhile, we can all look forward to a growing portfolio of these intelligent documents. We would love to hear what you think about them.

–Kemer

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Contributors:
Rick Ramsey
Kemer Thomson
and members of the OTN community

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