User documentation has been around as long as there have been machines reguiring an explanation for their proper use. Instruction sheets, quick reference guides, troubleshooting keys, and owner's manuals are all designed to tell the user, via the written word, what, when, and how to do sanething with a given machine. With the advent of the computing age (or nore specifically, with the invention of the microprocessor), an entirely different type of instruction manual was required; these machines could be made to do things that were userdetermined. Not only did the capabilities of the machine itself mandate a description, but so did the functional aspects of the software that ran on the machine. It did not make any difference if you were describing how to operate and manage a large-scale superccsnputer or an individually led personal canputing machine: the user needed to be told explicitly how and what to do at both the machine level and the instruction sets or programs that ran on it.
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