Power Tools for Technical Communication:
Headings & Word-Processing Styles


In this lab, you practice creating word-processing styles—those shortcuts for formatting "paragraphs" (independent chunks of text) provided by most word-processing applications.
  1. Copy the unformatted text below, and paste it into your preferred word-processing software.
  2. Review the techniques for creating styles in Chapter 7 of Power Tools of Technical Communication.
  3. Create the following styles:
    • title — black Arial 18 point, bold, centered, 24 points after.
    • heading1 — Arial 12 point bold, flush left, 18 points before, 12 points after.
    • heading2 — Times New Roman 12 point, regular, run into paragraphs (third-level heading).
    • parag1 — Times New Roman 12 point, regular, flush left, ragged right, first line indented 0.5 inches, 12 points after.
    • list1 — Times New Roman 12 point, regular, flush left, ragged right, 0.25-inch hanging indent and 0.25 tab, 0 points before and after.
Note: Apply these styles to everything in this document. Do not press the Enter key to create space between headings, paragraphs, and lists. (For last numbered-list items, change the margin-after value to 12 points. For headings after a table, change the margin-before value to 30 points.)


Report: Digital Camera Purchase

This report will discuss the feasibility of a digital camera purchase for the AAA Insurance Company. The AAA Insurance Company currently sends out insurance adjusters with a small compact camera with a fixed lens to take pictures of insurance claims. The standard time frame to have these pictures developed is approximately one week. The pictures then have to be attached to the proper files for processing. The purchase of digital cameras for the adjusters would significantly reduce the amount of time to process claims by allowing the pictures to be downloaded to the customers file right on the site. The pictures could be downloaded from the adjuster's camera directly to the adjusters' laptop computer and into the customers' file. There would be no more waiting for film processing or matching pictures to proper customer files later. The recommendation of a digital camera would be based on the following categories.

IBM-PC compatibility
Picture storage capacity
Resolution of pictures
Liquid crystal display for previewing pictures
Cost of camera

The camera would need to be IBM-PC compatible since all the insurance adjusters carry IBM-PC laptops with them to the customer's site. The camera would have to have a picture storage capacity of at least 12 pictures so the adjuster would not have to download pictures after each session. The resolution of the pictures would have to be 640 × 480 bit images to provide clear and detailed pictures for viewing or printing. The cameras need to have a display so the adjuster can preview the picture before taking or after taking can decide to save or erase a picture. The display feature will also enable the adjusters to make sure they have the picture they need to process the claim. The final consideration of the cameras will be the cost. The total cost of the cameras should not exceed $700.

Comparisons

There are many digital cameras on the market today. Some of the higher end cameras include the Olympus D-300, the Minolta RD-175 and the Kodak DC50 zoom camera. These cameras have resolution up to 1528 × 1146 and also have the ability to store unlimited pictures will add on storage modules. Most of the higher end cameras can also use different lens. These cameras exceed our considerations in every category including price. Some of these cameras cost up to $5,500.00 each. The lower end of the market of digital cameras was not included because the storage capacity and resolution of the cameras did not meet our requirements. Cameras in the middle range of the market that meet our needs are the Olympus D-200L, ePhoto 307, and the PhotoPC. These cameras will be considered for purchase for our insurance adjusters. All of the cameras to be considered are IBM-PC compatible.

Storage capacity. The Olympus D-200L has a storage capacity of 20 high-resolution pictures (640 × 480 bits). The ePhoto 307 has a storage capacity of 12 high-resolution pictures. The PhotoPC has a storage capacity of 36 high-resolution pictures. All the cameras meet the picture storage capacity requirement.

Resolution. All the cameras considered meet the high-resolution (640 × 480) requirement.

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). The Olympus D-200L LCD includes back light correction and image preview. The PhotoPC LCD has image preview. The ePhoto 307 LCD includes image preview. The Olympus D-200L has the most features in the LCD.

Cost. The PhotoPC has a retail price of $625 while the Olympus D-200L costs $600 and the ePhoto307 has a retail price of $500.

Summary

The Olympus D-200L, ePhoto 307 and the PhotoPC each have strong points in different categories, below is a summary.

  1. All cameras were IBM-PC compatible.
  2. The PhotoPC had the most internal picture capacity with 36 pictures.
  3. All the cameras had the ability to store pictures in high-resolution format.
  4. The Olympus D-200L had the best LCD and additional features.
  5. The ePhoto 307 had the lowest price among the three cameras but not as many features as the other cameras.

Table 1. Scores of the comparisons.
(based on a scale of 1-3 with 3 being the best.)
Categories of comparison Olympus D-200L Agfa Division ePhoto307 Epson America PhotoPC
Compatibility
3xxxxx (yes)
3xxxxx (yes)
3xxxxx (yes)
Picture Capacity
2xxxxx (20)
1xxxxx (12)
3xxxxx (36)
Resolution 640 × 480
3xxxxx (yes)
3xxxxx (yes)
3xxxxx (yes)
LCD
3xxxxx (yes)
1xxxxx (yes)
2xxxxx (yes)
Cost
2xxxxx ($600)
3xxxxx ($500)
1xxxxx ($625)
Total Scorexxxxx
13xxxxx
11xxxxx
12xxxxx

Recommendations

Based on the comparisons between the above cameras, I recommend the AAA Insurance Company purchase the Olympus 200-L digital camera for field service use by the company adjusters.

Literature Referenced

  1. "Digital Cameras." PC Magazine. (January 7, 1997).

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