Technical writing
Andrew McFarland Campbell  

A technical writing Christmas miracle!

Or: When technical writing saved Christmas!

So, this morning when we woke up, Michael‘s iPhone was dead. Pressing the side button did nothing. This is a problem because, like many people, Michael and I use our phones for a lot of things – paying for things, car hire, controlling the various bits of smart home kit that we have when we can’t work out what voice commands to use with the miscellaneous smart speakers scattered through the house. Michael is also on the transplant list, and his phone is the way the transplant team will call him when the time comes, ironically meaning that the most important thing his iPhone can do in 2022 is receive a phone call.

If we lived in a city, we could just have popped out to a phone shop for assistance. But we live in a small town in the Irish Midlands.

Also, it was Christmas Eve.

So, yeah, this was a problem.

Fortunately, I am a Fellow of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators, and I appreciate the value of technical writing, so I did what any sensible technical writer – indeed any sensible person – would do. I Googled for technical support. I found this page on Apple’s website: If your iPhone won’t turn on or is frozen.

The solution was quite simple: press the volume up button briefly, press the volume down button briefly, hold the side button until the Apple logo appears. I did this (while saying “up, down, left, right, A, C, B” under my breath) and the phone came on. We didn’t have to turn the house upside down to find my old iPhone 7 to use as a backup, and we didn’t have to leave the house to find assistance.

Christmas was saved!

I will probably never meet the tech writer who wrote that page, but I do truly appreciate their assistance today.

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