Devices: cooling mat: it wouldn’t run, until….

Self-tutoring about devices: the tutor mentions the cooling mat his son recently received.

My younger son has a gaming computer that gets very hot during play. It’s an amazing device, he says, but it’s surprising how hot it gets sometimes.

His uncle bought him a cooling mat. Its manual says all you have to do is plug the USB from the cooling mat into one on the computer. My son did that, but nothing.

I tried the same idea, and had to admit it didn’t seem to work. Yet, the idea that the cooling mat wouldn’t work – right out of the box – didn’t seem likely to me. What I suspected was the manual.

Nowadays, with supply chains that specialize things as much as possible, I suspect that some manuals are written without the writer’s ever seeing the product. Rather, they are just told what to write, and put it in sentences. However, the person sending those details might forget some or leave some out. Manuals seem, in cases I’ve seen, not to always get the highest priority.

This cooling mat has a roller switch that the manual never mentions. It’s hidden underneath. I thought maybe it’s just part of the main plan, but not used for this model: once again, the manual never mentions it.

The roller switch doesn’t turn easily, but I decided to use a little more pressure. Suddenly it moved, and the three fans turned on!

Even more interestingly, I turned the fan further, then it snapped into a higher setting – the fans turned at much higher speed. I went from being depressed about a product that seemed not to work right out of the box, to being impressed because it works great, with more features than the manual reports! Needless to say, the manual never mentions that the fans are variable speed.

Back in the late 80s a mechanic friend of mine told me that a manual is a starting point, but they often leave out key information – or even contain wrong info.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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