History Main / ReadtheFreakingManual

12th Jun '16 11:11:20 PM TheCuza
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* ''Series/HomeImprovement: Power Tool Pursuit!'' provides perhaps the ultimate aversion possible: it doesn't come with a manual, instead coming with a slip of paper which states that "[[CatchPhrase real men don't need instructions]]".

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* ''Series/HomeImprovement: Power Tool Pursuit!'' provides perhaps the ultimate aversion possible: it doesn't come with In true Tim Taylor fashion, it's "manual" is just a manual, instead coming with single folded sheet that opens up to show a slip huge sign covering up most of paper which states the text, declaring that "[[CatchPhrase real men don't need instructions]]".REAL MEN DON'T NEED INSTRUCTIONS]]".
16th May '16 10:30:21 AM CaptainCrawdad
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* Subverted regularly in ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}''. In a typical example, Friend Computer assigns you a highly-advanced multi-ton killbot to use to complete your latest Troubleshooter mission. Assuming that it is even available, and not completely blacked out by censors, the information contained in the 'bot's manual will be above your security clearance, and even asking for information above your clearance is treason. Which is, of course, punished by summary execution.
** Subverted in a meta sense as well - the players are expressly forbidden from reading the actual ''rules'' section of the rulebook. (Of course, the parts they're ''allowed'' to read admit that it's entirely in the spirit of the game to read the rules, and then lie like a Persian rug if anyone tries to call them on it...)
*** It is ''likewise'' in the spirit of the game for the GM... err... Friend Computer to vaporize a clone for suspicion of reading the rulebook (as the parts that the GM is meant to read explicitly condone this, too.)

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* Subverted regularly ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}''.
** A standard joke
in ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}''. In a typical example, Friend Computer assigns you the game is for players to receive a highly-advanced multi-ton killbot to use to complete your latest Troubleshooter mission. Assuming weapon that is dangerous or unusable without proper training, but the user's manual that comes with it is even available, and not either heavily redacted or completely blacked out by censors, the information contained in the 'bot's manual will be above your the characters' security clearance, and even asking for information above your clearance is treason. Which is, of course, punished by summary execution.
making it a crime to read it.
** Subverted Played with in a meta sense as well - well: the players are game manual expressly forbidden forbids players from reading the actual ''rules'' section of the rulebook. (Of course, the parts they're ''allowed'' to read admit section, but also admits that it's it would be entirely in the spirit of the game for players to read the rules, rules and then lie like a Persian rug if anyone tries to call them on it...)
*** It is ''likewise'' in
deny it. By the spirit of the game for the GM... err... Friend Computer to vaporize a clone for suspicion of reading the rulebook (as the parts that same token, the GM is meant to read explicitly condone this, too.)can accuse and punish players of doing so without proof.
16th May '16 10:24:57 AM CaptainCrawdad
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* Many people who erect signs can sometimes attest to this. A sign can sometimes be staring a person right in the face, only for the person to ask exactly what the sign is pointing out the first place.
** Particularly JustForFun/{{egregious}} examples may be met with a snarky AskAStupidQuestion-style answer.
** Get a job in retail or a similar field. You'll be shocked how frequently customers will ask the price of something while staring at the price tag.



* [[http://www.brainbashers.com/follow.asp A common example]] used in school. A worksheet will read "Read all instructions before completing," and start off with relatively benign instructions. Later on, instructions start becoming bizarre with commands like "Cluck like a chicken," or whatever. If you read to the bottom, the last instruction will tell you to disregard all the other instructions, revealing to the rest of the class who actually read the entire sheet before completing it.

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* Some tests are actually tests to see if you read and follow all instructions completely:
**
[[http://www.brainbashers.com/follow.asp A common example]] used in school. A worksheet will read "Read all instructions before completing," and start off with relatively benign instructions. Later on, instructions start becoming bizarre with commands like "Cluck like a chicken," or whatever. If you read to the bottom, the last instruction will tell you to disregard all the other instructions, revealing to the rest of the class who actually read the entire sheet before completing it.



** You begin to understand much of the species seems TooDumbToLive when working in tech support, as you will find yourself having to tell people how to turn on a computer...
* Often inverted nowadays. Most complex technical devices (which now includes TV sets) come with manuals that are thick only because they contain 30 languages, some of which you've never heard of before. The actual content is usually trivial. Without internet fora and similar user-driven(!) information sources, you're sunk trying to even remotely exploit e.g. a smartphone's capabilities.
* In some internet discussions groups, posters go overboard telling people who are asking any question to RTFM (anything Unix-related for example), even if said manuals comprise 1000 pages or more just for the overview. Regardless of being helpful or smug, it often translates as 'I don't know either'.

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** You begin to understand much of the species seems TooDumbToLive when working in tech support, as you will find yourself having to tell people how to turn on a computer...
* Often inverted nowadays. Most complex technical devices (which now includes TV sets) come with manuals that are thick only because they contain 30 languages, some of which you've never heard of before. The actual content is usually trivial. Without internet fora and similar user-driven(!) user-driven information sources, you're sunk trying to even remotely exploit e.g. exploit, for example, a smartphone's capabilities.
* In some internet discussions groups, posters go overboard telling people who are asking any question to RTFM (anything Unix-related for example), even if said the manuals comprise 1000 pages or more just for the overview. Regardless of being helpful or smug, it often translates as 'I don't know either'.



* Many software companies have stopped including manuals at all in the interests of 'going green' (read: an excuse to save money on printing costs). Physical copies of video games and computer software will often be packaged with nothing more than a 2-page leaflet telling you that the manual is either located on the software disc itself or downloadable from the company's website. This substantially lowers the rate of the people that RTFM.
** A few games nowadays (Such as ''VideoGame/WolfensteinTheNewOrder'') print the general controls on the back of the cover sleeve, viewable through the translucent game box. This makes sure people will surely notice it when they crack the box open to take the disk out.

to:

* Many software companies have stopped including manuals at all in the interests of 'going green' (read: an excuse to save money on printing costs). Physical copies of video games and computer software will often be packaged with nothing more than a 2-page leaflet telling you that the manual is either located on the software disc itself or downloadable from the company's website. This substantially lowers the rate of the people that RTFM.
** A few games nowadays (Such as ''VideoGame/WolfensteinTheNewOrder'') print the general controls on the back of the cover sleeve, viewable through the translucent game box. This makes sure people will surely notice it when they crack the box open to take the disk out.
who RTFM.
16th May '16 10:18:43 AM CaptainCrawdad
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* In ''Film/{{Commando}}'', Cindy successfully uses a rocket launcher (to hit the wheel of a moving truck no less) despite having absolutely no military training. When Matrix asks how she did it she just says she read the instructions.
** It's subverted because she hit the truck on her second shot. Her first shot fired behind her because [[HadTheSillyThingInReverse she was holding the rocket launcher backwards]].

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* In ''Film/{{Commando}}'', Cindy successfully uses a rocket launcher (to hit the wheel of a moving truck no less) despite having absolutely no military training. When Matrix asks how she did it she just says she read the instructions.
** It's subverted because she hit the truck on her second shot. Her first shot fired behind her because
instructions. This in spite of initially [[HadTheSillyThingInReverse she was holding the rocket launcher backwards]].



* ''Film/TheFifthElement'' features a scene with a bunch of AlwaysChaoticEvil mooks "trading" for a crate of super smart guns with dozens of different modes. They don't think to ask what all the modes in question are, and decide to find out by just randomly pressing buttons. If they'd RTFM they'd have discovered that one of the little red buttons was in fact the self-destruct...

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* ''Film/TheFifthElement'' features ''Film/TheFifthElement''
** There is
a scene with a bunch of AlwaysChaoticEvil mooks "trading" for a crate of super smart guns with dozens of different modes. They don't think to ask what all the modes in question are, and decide to find out by just randomly pressing buttons. If they'd RTFM they'd have discovered that one of the little red buttons was in fact the self-destruct...



** The little bad working for the Big Bad might have given them the manual if the mooks hadn't bullied a crate of the weapons from him after they (were tricked and) delivered an empty trunk.



** Of course there is a ''reason'' Jay hasn't read the manual. He gave up after reading the manual on alien mating habits.
* ''Literature/TheWarAgainstTheChtorr''. The protagonist references this trope when teaching himself how to shoot a [[LaserSight laser-sighted]] [[FlechetteStorm flechette rifle]]. It's just as well he does too, as the people who issued him the rifle are [[TheUriahGambit setting him up to be killed]], thinking [[EnsignNewbie he won't know how to use it properly]].
** In later books, the protagonist has become an expert on Chtorrans, and so gets annoyed if the [[SurroundedByIdiots people he's saddled with haven't read the briefing books]].

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** Of course there is a ''reason'' Jay hasn't read the manual. He gave up after reading the manual on alien mating habits.
* ''Literature/TheWarAgainstTheChtorr''. The protagonist references this trope when teaching himself how to shoot a [[LaserSight laser-sighted]] [[FlechetteStorm flechette rifle]]. It's just as well he does too, as the people who issued him the rifle are [[TheUriahGambit setting him up to be killed]], thinking [[EnsignNewbie he won't know how to use it properly]].
**
properly]]. In later books, the protagonist has become an expert on Chtorrans, and so gets annoyed if the [[SurroundedByIdiots people he's saddled with haven't read the briefing books]].
8th May '16 9:34:35 PM nombretomado
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* ''HomeImprovement: Power Tool Pursuit!'' provides perhaps the ultimate aversion possible: it doesn't come with a manual, instead coming with a slip of paper which states that "[[CatchPhrase real men don't need instructions]]".

to:

* ''HomeImprovement: ''Series/HomeImprovement: Power Tool Pursuit!'' provides perhaps the ultimate aversion possible: it doesn't come with a manual, instead coming with a slip of paper which states that "[[CatchPhrase real men don't need instructions]]".
26th Apr '16 11:25:53 PM aye_amber
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* Reading the Freaking Manual can even help computers! See [[http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/language-from-games-0712.html this]] news story about how an MIT AI research group's machine-learning system actually read the manual for ''FreeCiv'' (a ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} II'' clone) and used it to improve its victory rate from 46% up to 79%.

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* Reading the Freaking Manual can even help computers! See [[http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/language-from-games-0712.html this]] news story about how an MIT AI research group's machine-learning system actually read the manual for ''FreeCiv'' ''VideoGame/FreeCiv'' (a ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} II'' clone) and used it to improve its victory rate from 46% up to 79%.
28th Mar '16 5:01:06 AM EDP
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* [[ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures Paperinik]] [[SubvertedTrope makes a point of reading the manual of his gadgets]] (as shown in the first series issue "Trauma", where his inner monologue mentions that the [[CoolCar PKar]] runs on monomethylhydrazine]])... [[DoubleSubverted But he will forget about the less-used features]] as [[RealityEnsues there's no continual use to keep the memory fresh]] (as shown in a second series' story where he has to search on the manual for what the [=PKar=] runs on, something he never had to deal with before as One took care of it).

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* [[ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures Paperinik]] [[SubvertedTrope makes a point of reading the manual of his gadgets]] (as shown in the first series issue "Trauma", where his inner monologue mentions that the [[CoolCar PKar]] runs on [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomethylhydrazine monomethylhydrazine]])... [[DoubleSubverted But he will forget about the less-used features]] as [[RealityEnsues there's no continual use to keep the memory fresh]] (as shown in a second series' story where he has to search on the manual for what the [=PKar=] runs on, something he never had to deal with before as One took care of it).
28th Mar '16 4:59:00 AM EDP
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Added DiffLines:

* [[ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures Paperinik]] [[SubvertedTrope makes a point of reading the manual of his gadgets]] (as shown in the first series issue "Trauma", where his inner monologue mentions that the [[CoolCar PKar]] runs on monomethylhydrazine]])... [[DoubleSubverted But he will forget about the less-used features]] as [[RealityEnsues there's no continual use to keep the memory fresh]] (as shown in a second series' story where he has to search on the manual for what the [=PKar=] runs on, something he never had to deal with before as One took care of it).
25th Mar '16 9:56:35 PM Nire
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** Get a job in retail or a similar field. You'll be shocked how frequently customers will ask the price of something while staring at the price tag.



* Get a job in retail or a similar field. You'll be shocked how frequently customers will ask the price of something while staring at the price tag.
25th Mar '16 9:55:06 PM Nire
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Added DiffLines:

* Get a job in retail or a similar field. You'll be shocked how frequently customers will ask the price of something while staring at the price tag.
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