About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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I learned that you cannot follow the entire Bible. It's impossible. You must pick and choose. Everyone does it, whether they admit it or not. Otherwise, we'd end up stoning adulterers on the street. Some call this "cafeteria religion," and it's meant as a disparaging phrase. But I say: There is nothing wrong with cafeterias! I've had some great meals at cafeterias. The key is to chose the right dishes -- the ones about compassion and tolerance, and leave the ones about hatred and intolerance on the side.

AJ Jacobs



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 1/15/2018

Totals
Posts - 2475
Comments - 2570
Hits - 2,015,531

Averages
Entries/day - 0.47
Comments/entry - 1.04
Hits/day - 379

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 4:53 AM Pacific


  09:08 AM

My friend John is interviewed for the Microsoft JobsBlog on how it is that a technical writer works in the Games division:
How did your career start off at Microsoft Game Studios?
I was working as a technical writer for Microsoft on error messages for Office 95 and telephony projects and that sort of thing. But, like a lot of technical writers, I had a secret life. When I wasn’t at work, I was busy as a screenwriter.

I started working in games in 1996 when a former copy editor of mine from Office asked me to create an online help system for Mind Aerobics, a new puzzle game by Alexey Pajitnov - who invented Tetris. In many ways, my first game writing job was still technical writing.
A while back, I heard a presentation that John did about how the role of writer works a little differently in games than it does in the kind of writing we do. To me this is still one of the most amusing summaries of why reading technical documentation can be less than fascinating:
In technical writing, we want to get to order as quickly as possible.

In story telling, we play with the state of disorder and give out pieces of order a little at a time, strategically, so we can maintain dramatic tension and drive interest forward.

So a technical writing approach to Star Wars would have a big bolded notice on the first page that said, Important! Darth Vader is Luke’s dad!

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