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December 21, 2005 12:03 AM

Broken: Magnavox Television manual

Isbroken1efBob Heideman writes: This is from my Magnavox 27MS4504's Manual.

"These features are the same." Uhh... what? Classic.


That's just a great way to say nothing at all.

Posted by: Heh at December 21, 2005 12:43 AM

i don't want smartlock. i want smartlock.

Posted by: pyro at December 21, 2005 01:01 AM

That's great. What do you want to bet that the manual writer was paid by word?

Posted by: Fayth at December 21, 2005 01:11 AM

Wow. The only way I could possibly see justifying this is if the two different 'SmartLock's are actually different when viewed graphically (e.g., some models may use different icons to indicate SmartLock).

Needless to say, the author had a great illustration ready, but it just never made it to print....

Posted by: Josh Z. at December 21, 2005 01:53 AM

I suspect that when they renamed the feature, they added that paragraph explaining the change, and then did a global find/replace on the manual to change to the new name.

Posted by: pcooper at December 21, 2005 07:24 AM

I think they mean dumblock.

Posted by: MaryUm at December 21, 2005 08:51 AM

It's in the pronunciation: in the old version, the emphasis is on the "smart" whereas in the new version it's on "lock". Not a lot of people know that..

Posted by: peterg22 at December 21, 2005 09:31 AM

I think pcooper nailed it. Some browsers may see the word nailed, others may display nailed. The correct word is nailed and it's the same difference. Or something like that.

Posted by: dan at December 21, 2005 10:30 AM

Everytime somebody posts a "broken thing", there is someone who always trys to make an explanation for it. It makes me really laugh, that they just can't accept that it's "broken" - and funny, too.

Posted by: RK at December 21, 2005 12:12 PM

Apparently 'SmartLock' is the manufacturer's marketing-ese term for parental control. So it's also broken that they don't call it that.

Posted by: Alex B at December 21, 2005 01:19 PM

If their manual is that broken, do you want to trust their parental control?

Posted by: Adam at December 21, 2005 03:19 PM

RK, I think that those who are serious about design and usability here are stretching for a reason for broken-ness in order to better understand what makes something "right." Somewhere in Magnavox-land, I believe, a manager decreed that it would be best to explain the disconnect between the name of the feature on the product and the name in the instructions. Then someone was able to update the instructions to reflect the proper term and, in so doing, broke the caution. The thing that is broken is probably internal project communication, oversight, or both. So project managers who participate in this forum will grasp the root cause, and, one would hope, work to prevent this form of chaos on their next projects. And the misprint is funny, in a sad sort of way.

Posted by: dan at December 21, 2005 03:22 PM

Smartlock is dead.... long live Smartlock!

Posted by: freddy at December 21, 2005 08:18 PM

I'll be the first to agree that there are those who strain the limits of credibility in claiming that something is not broken, but I don't think that everyone who tries to provide an explanation for what happened is claiming that it is not broken. I think that comments like pcooper's provide useful insight. In order to avoid making similar mistakes, shouldn't we try to be aware of *how* it can happen?

Posted by: Lomedhi at December 21, 2005 10:29 PM

Or it was SmartLok vs. SmartLock and autocorrect "corrected" it before the text made it to the layout stage. Stranger things have happened. Long live MS!!!

Posted by: anon at December 22, 2005 08:38 AM

Yes, I was just trying to say what the cause was. It's certainly broken.

Never trust global-find-and-replace to do what you meant instead of what you said.

That, and the world needs more proofreaders.

Posted by: pcooper at December 22, 2005 12:31 PM

My comment will sound racist but I've seen things like this before and, inevitably the manual was written by someone for whom English is a second language.

Posted by: Lady Jane at December 22, 2005 10:16 PM

When something is found to be broken, at least three things need to happen:

1. Fix the broken thing

2. Find out whether there are any similarly-broken things like it, and fix them

3. Fix the reason the broken thing happened in the first place

Far too often, the process stops after #1. Companies that allow that to happen, miss golden opportunities to improve their products.

TIB's alert bloggers have created a great list of possible causes for this one - global search and replace, missing icon, poor internal communication, Autocorrect, Engrish. Magnavox would do well to review the discussion here and ask their people to determine whether ANY of the scenarios apply.

Posted by: Pat at December 27, 2005 03:51 PM

I really,




Posted by: aynne at December 29, 2005 01:40 PM

I'm biased, but i'd blame it on M$. Autocorrect will kill us all one day!

Posted by: BlastYoBoots at December 30, 2005 11:53 PM

Welcome to Marklar. We are the Marklar and I am Marklar, Here on Marklar, everything is called marklar. Please don't be confused between marklar and marklar.

Happy new marklar!

Posted by: Interlard at January 7, 2006 05:47 PM

Dan, ya know... you're the reason why things stay broken and why it's OK to have such inane messages.

The message is BROKEN- absolutely, positively, freaking broken.

There is no excuse. There is no reason why someone did not test the unit and notice the message before it hit market. There is no acceptable reason the manufacturer, who most absolutely is not the designer didn't question it. There are techs, engineers, operators... no, it is unacceptable to have such stupidity. Someone was lazy, they did not test their program. The project manager did not look closely. The manufacturing engineer did not care.

Root cause could certainly be language, global replace, etc. STILL BROKEN!!!

Posted by: god at January 18, 2006 10:59 PM

Obviously *you* can't see the fnords.

Posted by: Hagbard Celine at February 1, 2006 10:06 PM

Interlard, I looked at the comments to see if anyone would comment "amrlar" and sure enough, there it is. Its the only thing i could think of when i saw this. For all you Marklars who dont know what were marklaring about, its from a South Park episode in which everyone/thing/idea is known as Marklar. Classic!

Posted by: kyle at February 25, 2006 01:45 PM

I purchased a Magnavox television @ three months ago. After working fine during that period, I now find the "Child Lock" indicator appearing on the screen. There are NO instructions on how to remove this choice whereas it has restricted use of the MENU option appearing on the screen. I did not activate this option. How do I remove this lock? The televison serial number is: SN DN1A0448179625

Posted by: Robert at May 14, 2006 05:00 PM

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