News MSI Ditches Paper Manuals for Motherboards in 'Green' Digital Push

punkncat

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With the prevalence of mobile phones that are internet capable, I doubt most people would have issue. It is funny though, this new green trend allows the company to cut costs with paper and printing, leave out an important aspect of the build process and tell us they are doing the world a favor.
 

spongiemaster

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So......
You need a PC or other device, to read the user manual that shows you how to assemble this new PC.

Gotcha.

While reducing paper products and waste can be an admirable goal, sometimes it is taken too far.
I agree to some extent, but who doesn't have another device? I have a folder on one of my computers with PDF manuals for all my motherboards and other devices. I can't recall the last time I looked at a paper manual despite needing to refer to the manuals from time to time.
 

USAFRet

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With the prevalence of mobile phones that are internet capable, I doubt most people would have issue. It is funny though, this new green trend allows the company to cut costs with paper and printing, leave out an important aspect of the build process and tell us they are doing the world a favor.
Phone or physical book...give me the book every time.

This is the same thing they did with physical DVDs for factory reset.
Used to be included in the box. Somewhere I have a DVD set for an old Sony VAIO, for Windows Me.

Nah....just wall off a section of the HDD, and make the user create his own DVD/USB.

Of course, no one ever does. Leading to tears when the HDD dies and takes that partition with it.
 
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USAFRet

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I agree to some extent, but who doesn't have another device? I have a folder on one of my computers with PDF manuals for all my motherboards and other devices. I can't recall the last time I looked at a paper manual despite needing to refer to the manuals from time to time.
See lots of people here with "My First PC".

Yes, you can do it via the phone.
I find that substandard.

Don't pee on my leg and tell me its raining.
 
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spongiemaster

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Phone or physical book...give me the book every time.

This is the same thing they did with physical DVDs for factory reset.
Used to be included in the box. Somewhere I have a DVD set for an old Sony VAIO, for Windows Me.

Nah....just wall off a section of the HDD, and make the user create his own DVD/USB.

Of course, no one ever does. Leading to tears when the HDD dies and takes that partition with it.
For Dell's at least, you never have to have a physical copy of the media. If the desktop/laptop is functional and connected to a network with internet, it will boot into a recovery mode a download the image for you and install it.
 

USAFRet

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I have a folder on one of my computers with PDF manuals for all my motherboards and other devices
I do as well.

However, just last week I was trying to find a reference in the PDF user manual for my quadrotor.
Looking for "beep". As in..."why does it beep in this sequence, blah blah".

Denied.
The use manual was NOT a text conversion into PDF, but rather scans of images from the paper manual into PDF.
Not searchable.

Much teeth gnashing resulted.

I had to run that PDF through an OCR conversion thing online, to get actual searchable text.
 
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USAFRet

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For Dell's at least, you never have to have a physical copy of the media. If the desktop/laptop is functional and connected to a network with internet, it will boot into a recovery mode a download the image for you and install it.
They used to, and that is actually required (per MS) for the manufacturer or reseller to provide you a way to do some sort of reinstall.

Network connectivity should NOT be required for a reinstall.
 
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gggplaya

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I'm actually ok with this, as long as the QR code is on the box, and the manual is formatted well to work on a smartphone screen.

I prefer PDF manuals because I can do a quick CTRL-F text search, it's much quicker. This assumes you have a laptop to place next to you while you build.
 
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Co BIY

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The trivial amount of paper (easily and commonly recycled and biodegradable) used in a manual compared to the amount used even in the end product packaging makes this a laughable bit of environmental posturing.

But ...

If their research shows that the manuals are rarely used and they commit to the long term availability of practical online manuals (indexed, searchable, perhaps imbedded video, and properly archived) then it doesn't bother me much. Quick Use guides could easily be incorporated in the box interior or other packaging. Better labeling on the product itself could better indicate RAM slot priority or identify ports (my most common use for the manual).

On the other hand ...

My hunch is that they'd rather fire the technical writers and 28 translators currently used and provide us with a photostat of the lab notes of an autistic junior product development intern and call that the product documentation. (And then remove that from the website as soon as a replacement product is out and previous is "superseded" and "deprecated") Assume user forums to self- generate any needed information by themselves.
 
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Krotow

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Ouch... First time PC builders will love that. And everyone else who forgot printed manual at home, have feature phone, a phone without internet connectivity, phone with tiny screen, assemble computer in location with bad/non-existing internet connectivity, doesn't have a laptop on spot or have a laptop wit WiFi issues or phone without hotspot support or with limited data plan etc. This will screw up people in so many ways that MSI can prepare a noose and soap and be ready to burn in Hell for eternity. I totally agree that in name of resource conservation there is no need to have 80+ page paper manual in a box with each motherboard. However the box still must contain a page or two with motherboard pinout diagram, short description for basic things like which ports are default for 2/4 RAM module combinations, which used PCI-E ports will block which NVMe or SATA ports and maybe - short board technical specification.

Network connectivity should NOT be required for a reinstall.
Exactly. Also device drivers for major OS-es should be available in downloadable form at manufacturer web page like ever. Without any need to search them though gazillion fake links pointing to malware. Or having a single possibility to obtain them only via fancy malware soaked download manager.
 
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gggplaya

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Ouch... First time PC builders will love that. And everyone else who forgot printed manual at home, have feature phone, a phone without internet connectivity, phone with tiny screen, assemble computer in location with bad/non-existing internet connectivity, doesn't have a laptop on spot or have a laptop wit WiFi issues or phone without hotspot support or with limited data plan etc. This will screw up people in so many ways that MSI can prepare a noose and soap and be ready to burn in Hell for eternity. I totally agree that in name of resource conservation there is no need to have 80+ page paper manual in a box with each motherboard. However the box still must contain a page or two with motherboard pinout diagram, short description for basic things like which ports are default for 2/4 RAM module combinations, which used PCI-E ports will block which NVMe or SATA ports and maybe - short board technical specification.



Exactly. Also device drivers for major OS-es should be available in downloadable form at manufacturer web page without any need to obtain them via fancy malware soaked download managers.
I have cousins in one of the poorest countries on earth. Literally everyone has access to a smartphone with cellular internet. They may not have one themselves, but they'll have a family member, usually the head of the household, that has one. Heck, even the Amish has smartphones, only for business purposes of course ;-).
 

Krotow

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I have cousins in one of the poorest countries on earth. Literally everyone has access to a smartphone with cellular internet. They may not have one themselves, but they'll have a family member, usually the head of the household, that has one. Heck, even the Amish has smartphones, only for business purposes of course ;-).
One of world curiosities is that so called 1st world have one of crappiest mobile internet connectivity due to various reasons. Also finding specific things in motherboard description on slow phones, phones with small screens or in PDFs which are printed page scans without searching possibility is, well, very inconvenient. And from practice much easier is to keep motherboard pinout diagram in paper form open on table near you. Using phone from that is like guy from running joke who wanted to make love standing in hammock under thunderstorm.
 

gggplaya

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One of world curiosities is that so called 1st world have one of crappiest mobile internet connectivity due to various reasons. Also finding specific things in motherboard description on slow phones, phones with small screens or in PDFs which are printed page scans without searching possibility is, well, very inconvenient. And from practice much easier is to keep motherboard pinout diagram in paper form open on table near you. Using phone from that is like guy from running joke who wanted to make love standing in hammock under thunderstorm.
From Experience, it's easiest if you have a laptop and can open the manual PDF. The reason is ctrl+F search is so much easier to find things in the PDF. I haven't seen modern manual that are printed scans. It's easy to generate a PDF these days from the original publication files.

On a phone, pinch to zoom is a nice feature as well. You can isolate just the header pinout on the screen, where everything is easier to see and read and not cluttered with extra things not of interest.
 

USAFRet

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Why paper manuals need to exist.
 

spongiemaster

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Why paper manuals need to exist.
Not sure why this person couldn't have asked his friend who he got the motherboard from. Not a very good friend, if he gives broken parts away and then refuses to answer questions. That's really not a good enough reason to continue wasting the paper needed printing 10's of thousands of manuals.
 

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