An Open Letter to Digital Service Manual Developers

Dear Digital Service Manual Developers,

I work in the IT department at a technical school that teaches everything from food prep to diesel mechanics.  I’m responsible for making sure the niche hardware and software for 19 different industries is working correctly.  This job is never without its challenges, but one of the most challenging aspects is rate at which certain industries keep up with changes in technology.  Or don’t keep up with it, which is the topic of this letter.

Out of the hundreds of software packages I support the digital service manuals and service databases offered by the automotive and diesel mechanics industries are by far the first.  They’re not particularly complicated pieces of software.  In fact more of them are mind-numbling simple pieces of technology, but they rely on components that fell out of vogue literally a decade ago.  My computers no longer have Windows XP, or Internet Explorer 6.  Yet as recent as our 2009 and 2010 update disks, we’re required to run both to keep certain packages running.  That’s totally unacceptable.

My message is this: get on the ball and update your software! Digital service manuals are the perfect candidate to be moved to online content distribution.  Put your content on a website.  Avoid the overhead of creating and distributing DVD content, and I can avoid the headache of having to support it.  Volvo, Navistar, ShopKey, I’m talking to you!
Sincerely,

Brian