Electri-Cast News

May 23, 2009

Final Project – Electi-Cast News

The project utilize a video presentation of a prime time news cast with an interactive interview during the crisis of the Northeastern Block-out which occurred in August 2003. It facilitate providing overview of an Electric System, and informed the nation on the nature of the problem that occurred on the electric system. It also facilitated an interactive framework for feedback, via blog posts and emails.


Style/genre/conventions : Television, Prime time newscast, and Interactive Interview. In a time of widespread electricity supply failure; the document communicated relevant information to the citizens, while provided a channel for immediate real-time feedback.  The document was also used to provide a time-line for restoration of electricity supply to customers that were affected; providing  techno-flexible communication.

It was accessible through alternative medium of mobile phones, via the internet, in times of disaster or crisis people tend to resort to alternative media for relevant information, news.

The document was timely and appropriate in the crisis, but also serves as a reference for information on features of  electric systems.



Elelectricast Overview

April 29, 2009


Electricast – Project 3


The aim of this electricast (electricity newscast) is to provide the public with an overview of the  electric system, starting from the point where electricity is generated to the point where the electricity is distributed to the customer.



To provide the public with information foster a better understanding of the electricity system. It will utilize various communication tools to explain the three different sections of the electricity system – which are generation, transmission, and distribution.


include the main news story of the day, an interview, questions in the  form of email messages and blog posts, and responses  to the questions.


The cultural object chosen for presentation of this project is  the format of an interactive newscast, to include the answering of question submitted  via e-mails and blogs.



New York and Canada had a fault on the electric system which resulted in customers being without regular supply of electricity for two days.


The news presenter will present the main news of the evening, which include an item of  news to update customers on when the electricity supply, which is currently disrupted,  will return. In an attempt to get a better understanding of the electricity system the presenter invited a guest, referred to as “Dr. Watt,” who is an expert in the field to share his expertise on the following:

1.       Define the electrical system

2.      Explain the three main parts of the system

3.      Explain the problem being experienced by the utility company

4.      Respond to question posed by the public.


Presentation outline

The format used will be the interview format in which is a question and answer session. At the end of the interview the presenter will ask the guest questions that were received via emails and blog posts.


Dr. Watt will explain the terms – Generation, Transmission, Distribution, Outage, Power, Transformer, Transmission System (Electric), Circuit, and others associated with electrical engineering field.

He will also explain where the fault has occurred on the electrical system, and the probable causes, give a timeline for restoration, and respond to the questions submitted by viewers.

One message two audience

April 27, 2009

One  message –  two audience

This is a review of two books,  C++ for dummies,” and “C++ for Engineers and Scientists,” that were compared for the different  ways in which the information, that is instructions,  was  being  communicated.

Review  of C++ for Dummies

The style and language used was basic and simple. It assumed that you knew nothing and as such introduced each concept and instructions from that standpoint. It had the following traits:

1.       Simple Word choice with definitions to eliminate ambiguity

2.      The writing style was somewhat abbreviated, for example paragraphs were short.

3.      The instructions were designed and formatted in a questionnaire pattern, examples  what next or what is  style format.

4.      Many examples of how to use commands.

5.      Little or no additional reading was required to understand most concepts.


Review of C++ for Engineers and Scientists

The style and language used in giving instructions were at a complete different level. It assumed that you had a high level of English language, Mathematics and Physics. It had the following characteristics:

1.       Advance choice of words with limited definitions

2.      The paragraphs were longer, mostly relating to scientific topics and so on

3.      The jargon was science oriented

4.      The commands were defined with very few examples

5.      Examples require solution rather than a questionnaire

6.      Additional  research was required to solve examples



These two documents while imparting similar instructions were designed for different audiences. each audience has specific needs and  expectations.  They were imparting the same instruction but effectively through different channels.

One manual was designed for a general audience, while the other was designed for a specific audience, which in this case is engineers and scientists. In addressing these needs there are notable difference in writing styles, jargon, examples used,  and problems to be solved. Thus, writing to each audience required a different approach while achieving the same goal.


It was fundamentally important in these distinctions as asking a general audience to solve a scientific Each audience has different knowledge base, exposure, levels of understanding and so on. The examples used in each document, could be used to determine the nature of the audiences.

The engineer, which is a specific auduence, would be disinterested in a too simplistic example, while on the other hand a general audience would be disappointed with an example that is full of scientific jargons. 



The review of these documents serves to highlight the fact of the need to carry out audience analysis. Technical writing can be used as an effective tool to communicate same information to different audiences.. It is also important to focus on the audience whenever a technical document is to be prepared in order to meet the expectation of the audience, while meeting the intended goals effectively.





DIY Floor Tiling – Midterm Project

April 6, 2009
What is DIY-Floor Tiling ?

Do-it-yourself (DIY) Floor tiling aims to introduce the basic essential steps required to lay ceramic tiles successfully.

Who is it for ?

It was designed to be used by amateurs, and DIY-ers who are interested in learning about the tiling profession. It is an  introduction that focuses on outlining the basics of the tiling profession and will be useful for small projects. It is geared towards laying Ceramic tiles on concrete, or slab type surfaces.

What will they learn?

It will help individuals to achieve the following goals:

1. Identify and know the tools used in tiling;

2. Assess areas of floors;

3. Adequately prepare floors for tiling;

4. Identify different types and grades of tiles;

5. Choose tiling adhesive;

6. Lay tiles correctly;

Safety Tips

Use the correct recommended tools. Be sure to observe the warning and safety procedures when operating power tools, and when using cutting instruments. Wear appropriate safety gear to avoid  injury. Safety gear required for tiling are Goggles (eye protector) and knee pads.
Materials Required
Ceramic Tiles, Spackling Compound, Tile Adhesive, Silicone Caulk, Silicone Grout Sealer.
Step 1   – Identifying Tiling Tool

Tiling Tools

Tape Measure,  Carpenter Square, Spirit Level,  Glass/Diamond Cutter or tile cutter, Hammer (Rubber type), Knipper, Grout Float, Notched Chowel or Spreader, Pencil, Sponge, Clean Rags, Mixing container, Adhesive Mixer (optional), Power Drill (optional). Please see Figure 1.tltools

Step 2Assessing Area of Floor

Assessing the area of floor can be achieved with the use of a measuring tape. The tape is used to determine the length and width of the space. The area is the product of the Length and width. Example a space of length 10feet 8inches and width 8feet 8inches (10’ 6″ X 8’ 8″) is 89 square feet and 4 square inches (89 ¼ ft2). This step is very important as it is used to estimate the quantity of tiles required for the task. The quantity estimate is achieved by dividing the floor area by the area of the individual tile size chosen, that is for a 12inches by 12inches – divide floor area by 144 square inches. A recommended practice is that 10% more be added to this estimate amount which would suffice for mishaps, such as accidental breaking while in transit and so on. Keep in mind that not all surfaces will be rectangular. If the area to be assessed is not rectangular, a carpenter square can be used to determine the nearest rectangular shape possible.

Step 3 – Adequately Prepare Floor for Tiling

It is very important to adequately prepare the floor before proceeding to lay the tiles. this will determine the quality of the finished product. Be careful to remove any holes in the floor by filling with cement mix. If floor is not properly prepared the tiles will break in some cases or fall below the installed level shortly after installation. First, determine the floor level, and second, fill any undesirable holes in floor or remove any old debris from the surface.

The level of floor surface can be determined by the use of cord and a spirit level (mason type). The chord should be stringed from the four corners of the floor area, diagonally from top right corner to left bottom corner and vice versa, and the spirit level be used to determine if the surface is level. If there are high points on the surface these points should be reduced, and a single reference point must be established;  All  other points should be referenced to this point.

If there are existing holes in the concrete floor. Fill these holes and wait for the mortar to be set before proceeding.  In the case of previously tiled floors remove all undesirable tile pieces.

Step 4 – Identify different types and grades of tiles

Tiles come in various grades and types. The grades range from 1 to 5, while there are about 7 different types. We will focus more on grade selection, as we will be utilizing the ceramic type tile. The label on box with the tiles shows the grade number of the tile.

Grade 1 – This is the weakest of all standard grade ceramic tiles. It’s really only suitable as a wall tile

Grade 2 – This is best for light traffic areas. Again, a great product for wall tiles, but it will also work in residential bathrooms, where foot traffic is minimal.

Grade 3 – Where ceramic tile ratings are concerned, grade three is most common in residential building, and perfect for light to moderate traffic. This makes it a very sensible choice for residential kitchens, countertops, residential flooring, and all areas that receive lighter wear and tear (i.e., grade 1 and 2 areas).

Grade 4 – This grade is a step up from grade 3 tile grades. It’s still a good choice for residential uses, such as tile floors and countertops, but it can also take the heavier abuse of light commercial foot traffic, such as you’d find in a doctor’s office.

Grade 5 – This stuff is as tough as it gets. When it comes to standard grade ceramic tiles, grade 5 is built to take a beating. It’s mostly used in high traffic commercial areas such as shopping malls and airports.
These grades are also classified as slip or non-slip tiles.

Step 5 – Chosing Tile Adhesive

There are various types of multi-purpose tile adhesives. However, when purchasing the adhesive always ask for the professional grade tiling adhesive that is recommended for use with grade of ceramic tile chosen.

Step 6 – Lay Tiles Correctly

The most important step before laying of tiles is to find the center of the area or space to be tiled. This is done by dividing both the lenght and width of the space by two. Then draw lines tru the center of the space. For example, if length is 12feet and width is 10ft, the center lines would connect to the 6feet point on the length and the 5feet point on the width. Connect these lines to their corresponding length and width on the opposite side of the area or space. Where these lines cross is the center.

Next decide on the style of design preferred. The most popular design styles for floors are horizontaldiagonal, and mixture of horizontal and diagonal. This provides you room to be creative and innovative.

Lay out tiles on the floor to determine the matching shades and how their patterns will be matched. This should span the entire One row that spans the width, and a row that spans the width. This will help determine how much of a tile will need cutting for tile to fit the walls in each row. If cutting portion exceeds one half of a tile,  it is recommended that the tiling be laid from one side of the wall, thus  using  the center line mark as a guide; this will reduce the cutting process and maximize the use of whole tiles.
The next procedure is mixing the tile adhesive. Pour tile adhesive in mixing container and pour water while stirring. Mixed until a very smooth,  mayonnaise like solution is achieved. Use the power drill with  adhesive mixer inserted will produce this solution faster.  Use the notched chowel or spreader to spread the mixture over the  starting area. Lay the tile near the center line first and the spirit level to confirmed that tile is level, lay the second tile close to the first, using a tile spacer between the tiles. Use the  spirit level to align the other tiles with the level of the first tile. The spacer is used to maintain equal distance between the tiles, thus determining the grout area around the tiles.
Allow tiles to cure for at least 24 hours. Check that tiles are cured and remove spacers before proceeding to the grouting stage. Mix grout with water until mixture is  creamy, then use grout float to apply the grout mixture between tiles until it levels off with top of tile and allow grout to dry. Use wet sponge to remove any excess or unwanted grout from tiles. If dry grout marks are left after wiping, use clean rags to remove it from tiles.

Other Related Resources

Grout mixing

Floor tiling

How to Tile

DIY Floor Tiling – Analysis

March 18, 2009

Sources two manuals and one website



The three sources chosen for analysis were:

Taunton’s working with tile and Stanley Complete Tiling,

Web link – http://www.thetiledoctor.com/howto/floorsinterior.cfm

In analysing the technical writing style of “Taunton’s build like a Pro : Working with tile” and “Stanley Complete Tiling” the writers did a very good job of providing pictures that allows the reader to see what the finished tiling looks like, however they eliminated some of the simple steps to achieve this goal effectively. Simply put they eliminated the basic steps of ascertaining the area of space to be tiled On the other hand, searching for these steps online also proved futile. The key to any job of this nature is the initial setup procedures, that will prove invaluable to the user. The audience analysis form these sources, books and online, assumed that I was a professional, and subsequently treated me, as “a pro,” a slang related to professionals. All the sources with regards to this vital piece of information violated the accessibility rule; the information was just not there. How ambiguous? .This step is the most crucial of not just tiling, but any project. For example the crucial steps of measuring the area of a room with length 10 feet 6 inches and width 12 feet 8 inches, which can be determined by finding the product of the length and width; this area would be useful in determining the quantity of a particular size tile needed, as the quantity can be known by dividing the room area by the area of a single tile.

In this regard the usability of the technical information failed, as this is the first thing to consider in approaching any task. It is essential for the planning stage of any building project, it is similar to the Keep It Simple Stupid, KISS, principle associated primarily in any electrical, or computer troubleshooting task. The organization styles of the writings related to the books, manuals, was also lacking in text to image flow, that is the way in which the images were not synchronizing with the text associated with it. The image for a particular the text was two pages away, forcing the reader to go back and fort which was very awkward and time consuming. The website used overcame these problems by placing the pictures beside the text. The advantage the manuals offer, which were remarkable was color coding of pictures that related to similar color coded text. This improved the presentations, in this aspect they were very effective in page designing.

The manuals were inefficient, the emphasis was placed on pictures of completed projects rather than work in progress, that is in sequence from start to finish. They displayed very little “in the process” and were more highlighting the final product, it was like putting the cart before the horse.

The online source was more efficient in showing “ work in progress” phases of accomplishing the task. However, the failed to use moving pictures to show how to get from one point to the other. In the manuals, they specified do’s and do not’s, the online medium completely missed that.

It is remarkable that all the sources gave information that was relevant to accomplishing the goal, which was commendable. Nevertheless, the manuals could have included an online source, remind you tiling is a lasting thing, this would provide the books with advertising opportunities while updating the user as the techniques changes with time; and the online source could have a better designed page to present its procedures.

The manuals included useful tips as sidebars which provided key information. But, the labeling of tools required were poorly arranged, for example tools were grouped and placed in one picture without labeling, which left the user to speculate about their names and uses until they were shown being used before the names appeared.

Some explanations concerning tools would have enhanced the effectiveness of the online source. For example a demonstration of how to properly use a tile cutting saw properly without making any costly mistakes.


Works Cited

Meehan, Tom and Lane. Working with Tile. Newtown: The Taunton Pess, 2005.

Meredith Books, Complete Tiling. Stanley Press, 2004



DIY Floor Tiling

March 9, 2009

The project I choose for my technical writing project is “DIY Floor Tiling ”. It is a fascinating and practical application that will improve your hands-on skills, give you personal satisfaction while improving the look of your home, office, or garage floor, and most importantly, it will saves you the hassle of hiring a professional tiler.
This exercise will help individuals to be able to:
• Identify different types and grades of tiles
• Identify and know the tools used in tiling
• Adequate prepare floor for tiling
• Assess areas of floors
• Choose different tiling styles
• Choos the correct tiling cement
• Lay floor tiles correctly

I choose this project because I once bought a Do-It-Yourself  (DIY) Tiling book and it showed me everything, except the important initial steps that I needed to effectively lay floor tiles; I subsequently choose to forego that tiling project. This project aims to address that problenm by offering  a outline of the basic essential steps required for tiling floors successfully.

Floor tiling related links:

any info from concise tech com online?

March 8, 2009

Group winner is !!

February 25, 2009

I choose group four presentation as the project entitled “Going to movies could be a thing of the past.” The group 3 project is similar, but group 4 had an interesting spin to it. Firstly, because the title was interesting, it had what is called “plausible promise,” which would entice its audience, and secondly because of its potential future prospect. The group presentation was fairly good, they had a clear objective, defined their goal and met the requirements according to the sharing, cooperation and collective action criterion. They however could improve their presentation by highlighting the technical writing breaches of copyright that their project posed; no one wants to deal with the legal ramifications. They could also seek ways of dealing with legal aspects by inviting its member to lobby for the rights to sharing a movie once they could provide proof they had bought a copy of the movie. In this way the group would be able to collectively share in the cost of movies and decide who buy which movies, to avoid more than one person buying the same movie, as a solution to theses issues.
Secondly, this is an emerging trend that my investment group would like to do a more comprehensive feasibility on, and possibly adopt. Limewire.com and other music sharing started in a similar way, and after the policy and protocols were ironed out, online selling of music became global, with tremendous price reductions, going for n some cases for a dime and a nickel.
The other projects I could use them to gather information on various topics, but for investment I would not be interested. The group 2 presenters could improve their presentation by filling the wide spaced gaps In their presentation, they need to reorganize their screenshot to enhance the visibility of the presentation.

Power of cooperation

February 18, 2009

This is an article in response a to facebook.com change of policy published last month about the right the owner of the site has to keep customers information after they have terminated their services with facebook.
This is a quote from the article  “Last Monday, the company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said in a blog post that the philosophy “that people own their information and control who they share it with has remained constant.” But, at that time, he did not indicate the language would be revised.” This is firstly a technical writing issue, which is writing that states one thing and means something else. Technical writing is firstly, writing to avoid ambiguity, thus conveying the intended message.

Secondly the effect of group reaction by the group “Consumers Union” to this policy resulted in facebook reverting to their previous policy. This reversal came, not because of the 17 million members of the social network but by a mere 300 thousand users. This shows that however large and complex  group are, with a common objective they can achieve their goal. This group shared, coorporated and took collective action.

This serves to highlight hat the more individuals share their views on  issues, they more they form groups, which can lead to colective protests, or in other words collective action.
In the past corporation with such large membership would try to monopolize the group, no doubt because of increase in communication, and the relative ease at which this can be done, consumers have broken many of these monopolies. This is one way in which the power of cooperation is being demonstrated.

Full article can be viewed here


Techno-save our Planet

February 9, 2009

Technology as defined by Morton Winston in the introduction to his book, Science, Ethics and Technology, is not a collection of things, but it is a systematic way of doing things. It is the organization of knowledge, people and things to accomplish a specific practical goal.
The plight of our planet can be attributed somehow to technological advancement, but can we use available technology to somehow correct or minimize this continue dilemma?
A student currently, who like most students from the primary to university level have to submit assignments, research, documentation etc. These require typing and printing before submitting. If we can eliminate the printing aspect of this process, by submitting them online, via email, blogs and so on the aggregate response to this simple venture, would not only save tons of paper and ink, but also thousands, or millions of trees from which these things are manufactured.
An interesting observation as to the amount of ink and paper that we waste daily by merely correcting a document is enormous. On average we correct two or three times before getting the final print we expects, don’t we?
To utilize technology to maximum effect we need to cognitive of know how, and know what we want to achieve, or know our goal.
The techno-pessimist will maybe disagree, but even the Buddhist, with his eastern way of thinking would support this venture in an attempt to save our planet. This effort is a positive way we can apply technology in saving or planet. What do you think?