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Canary Systems 2015 User's Guides

Below are the links to user’s guides I wrote for Canary Systems, Inc. for their 2015 release. Because I am bound by a confidentiality agreement, I cannot provide physical copies directly to others without written consent from the company. However, you can download the guides I created using the links below.

Not So Fast: Why The Pioneer Spacecraft Lost the Race to Voyager 1 in Leaving the Solar System

In late 2013, I wrote this short (293-word) article about the spacecraft Voyager 1 becoming the first man-made object to leave our Solar System. The This piece places the accomplishment in the context of Voyager winning a race against its predecessors, Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11. I consulted the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's 2012 study on an effect called "The Pioneer Anomaly," which explained what forces were acting on the Pioneer probes as they traveled deeper into space.

iFixit Repair Guide: Printer Disassembly

I worked on two repair guides for iFixit.com in late 2013. In this guide, I wrote instructions on how to take apart the exterior of an Epson Stylus C84 printer. This was a prerequisite guide to other repairs for the device. Writing this guide taught me the best practices of usability: writing concisely, in easy to understand language, while being very specific with my instruction. I took great pains to indicate where users should position their fingers and tools in order to properly remove the plastic panels. The guide was formatted using a simplified wiki. These instructions helped the users of this particular printer become familiar with the process of accessing the main components, which gives a foundation to take on more complex repairs.

iFixit Repair Guide: Porous Pad Maintenance

This is the other guide I wrote for iFixit.com in the fall of 2013. Here, I instructed users to carefully remove the porous pad from the base of the Epson Stylus C84 printer, clean it, and reinstall it. The purpose of this guide was to maintain the printer’s top performance by cleaning a frequently inked component. I took great pains to write cautions and prepare users for the messy job. I practiced the concise and specific writing that go hand-in-hand with the best usability practices. This repair guide used a simplified wiki formatting. This guide helps users extend the life of their printer by performing maintenance on one of the wear items. Cleaning the porous pads will ensure better quality printouts and a longer service life compared to an unmaintained printer.

The Final Road: New Horizons Closes in on Former Planet Pluto

In late 2013, I wrote about the NASA spacecraft New Horizons making its final journey to the dwarf planet Pluto. I focused on how its instruments can be used to prove that Pluto is, in fact, not a planet, despite protestations from the public and the scientific community. Here, I wrote for an interested, but not attentive audience. I wrote this article as if it would appear in Popular Science or some other scientifically-oriented magazine. This gives interested readers a chance to learn about complex system, the spacecraft, and how its instruments can be used to finally prove that Pluto is not a planet.

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