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Technical Documentation: The Final Frontier

Scrounged this off the internet by serendipity, looking for the worst example of a crowded engine compartment I could find. Thought it might ring a bell, given the proclivity of some of my friends for fixing things by shaking them and cursing...

Edit: Message moved behind

Forwarded message: Classic Technical Documentation
by Gary L. Weller

Recognizing the cyclic nature of the cosmos and the continual repetition of identifiable patterns in nature, we should permit ourselves to rely on ancient wisdom. There's no need to re-invent the weasel.


The unit is capable of being transported anywhere in the world.

The unit resists contributing to foreign object damage by fusing its internal components.

Maintenance time is reduced because the ease of identifying the main fuel controller in a crowded engine compartment is enhanced by its incandescence.

You can do anything you want with it.

When the unit is nonoperational, it is virtually vibration free.

Periodic explosions help dislodge baked-on grease. <--- (This one killed me)

Near the end of the projected service life, the unit conveniently detaches itself from the aircraft.


Due to the laws of nature, the test conditions could not be established.

Qualification testing was halted after a brief kinetic episode.


The test unit failed all functional and environmental tests. These findings are completely inconsistent with the proposal.

During the cyclic fly-back test, the impact shock exceeded the requirement by 300 percent, the drive clutch failed to reliably disengage, and the dynamic runout of the turbine shaft allowed the turbine blades to rub the gyro; however, barometric pressure remained constant throughout the test.

The test unit concluded the endurance test ahead of schedule.

Preliminary development testing reveals that the unit develops insufficient torque to perform its required function as described in the proposal. Engineering analysis has determined that the unit could be made to perform within specification requirements by increasing its price.


The current estimates indicate that the unit develops only 20 percent of the required power, weighs 200 percent more than originally estimated, and costs nearly 800 percent more than projected. We don't understand it.

During the indexing and homing check, the unit failed to perform the required sorts. Information Systems determined that the unit was out of sorts.

The test unit experienced a functional hiatus.

During high-speed endurance, the test unit discharged several turbine blades, yielded the drive shaft, fractured the housing at the mount points, and wrenched the test cell from its foundation; however, angular momentum was conserved.

The FU-3350 is being qualified by similarity to the RU-21 for the salt fog and solvent fog requirements. The FU-3350 and the RU-21 are nearly identical, and the RU-21 has been in fog lots of times.

The test unit spontaneously disassembled. <--- (This was good, too)

During the endurance test, the unit suffered no measurable deformation or wear as a result of its nonfunction.

The required post-test inspection of the turbine immediately after the high-speed cycle was delayed by the unexpectedly long spool-down of the unit. The turbine continued to spin until about Central Avenue.

The test unit functioned flawlessly during development testing; however, it failed to actuate during the witnessed qualification testing. We believe the customer representative made it self-conscious.

The required angular displacement of the auxiliary rotor could not be accurately verified because of the flames.

Following the high-load performance test, engineering investigators determined that the fore and aft housings separated somewhere over Yuma County.

Although the unit failed early development testing as well as the at-risk qualification testing, engineering believes that if we could just have some more money, it might work next time.

Separation of the aft housing from the main unit is not a problem in actual service, since the unit is too heavy anyway.

During the continuous cycling test, the unit overheated. During the low-temperature test, the unit constricted to the extent that the pilot shuttle seized. During the endurance test, the unit vibrated severely enough that the strain gages broke free from the housing. These test anomalies could foreshadow problems in the field, but we don't think so.

The test unit failed vibration, endurance, low- and high-temperature, high-speed cycling, and high-voltage testing. Prior engineering analysis predicted that the unit would meet all requirements with a comfortable margin. All test equipment was recertified and found to be within calibration requirements. We think someone sneaked in and did something to it.

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Feb. 12th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC)
"Due to the laws of nature, the test conditions could not be established."

"Preliminary development testing reveals that the unit develops insufficient torque to perform its required function as described in the proposal. Engineering analysis has determined that the unit could be made to perform within specification requirements by increasing its price."

Feb. 13th, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
Some classics there!
I got into trouble some years back for putting the warning "Do Not Look Into Laser With Remaining Eye" in a defence radar manual...

I used to pop a few "easter eggs" into big manuals to prove people were actually reviewing them. No comments meant it hadn't been read.
Feb. 13th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, back in the days when I used to rally, whenever someone failed to finish an event (A DNF - Did Not Finish) was recorded for the results, and a reason given such as fuel pump failure or crash or so on. Most of us got creative with our DNF list and by the end of the season there was some clangers:

Suffered "Treeus Interruptus" (he crashed into a tree)
Electrical Problem (the connecting rod exited the block taking the alternator out with it)
Electrical Problem (Crashed into a power pole)
Fuel Pump Failed (To Prevent Car Impacting With Tree)
Inversion Problem (rolled the car)
Feb. 13th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC)
I love things like that... it always shows that someone out there has a sense of humor.

1) Ensure the debugger, TDT, Multi-ICE, and MultiTrace software is installed on the host machine. For details, see Installing the MultiTrace software in the MultiTrace Installation Guide and the installation guides provided with the products.

2) MultiTrace requires a TCP/IP network and must be allocated an IP address. The default configuration for MultiTrace is to use auto-configure and a DHCP assigned address. (Contact your system administrator for this address.)

3) Connect the power supply cable from the mains power unit (5V) to the MultiTrace power connector.

4) Void in the State of Utah. Certain restrictions apply.

5)Configure the MultiTrace unit using either an Ethernet or serial connection.
Feb. 13th, 2009 09:13 am (UTC)
I remember years ago the defence contracting company I worked for had their IT dept. send an IP message to all the staff via a system called "winpop", asking for everyone to log out until further notice.

An hour later one of the IT guys happened to walk past and saw us sitting around doing nothing, and asked why we hadn't logged in yet. We said because no-one had said we could yet. His comment:

"But I sent a WinPop to everyone!"

We never let him live it down
Feb. 14th, 2009 02:06 am (UTC)
That is so amazing. People joke about the old scenario:

User: "I can't log in to the network because my password is expired."
BOFH: "Send me an e-mail requesting a new password."
User: "I can't get on the net to send an email because my password is expired."
BOFH: "Geez you're worthless."

It's sort of scary to think that there really are people like that out there...


The Old Wolf

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