Freak Systems

I’ve Lost My Old Manual: Now What?

I am sitting here a bit dumbfounded and, in fact, frustrated. I am staring into space. I have lost my trusty stapler manual and now am at sea about proceeding with my current project. You are probably scoffing at me: how hard can it be to use this simple no-brainer device? As inventions go, it is on the lower end of complex. It has been around virtually forever and every kid knows how to wield one. Every grandparent, too. It’s not rocket science.

I am not just putting a few idle pieces of paper together here. I have a much bigger job. I recently did a lot of online research that took days and days; and I consider it very useful and important. I then printed out the results and want to collate it for posterity in some kind of permanent fashion. This calls for a binding process that has to make sure everything is intact and secure.

I won’t go into what I was researching. Let’s just say it is valuable and timeless enough to preserve as reference material. Since I already own the stapler, I figured why not do it myself and not tote it all to the printer and pay more than a few bucks. It is not just about money, my friend, but also time. Yes, you have to invest in a long-reach model, but then you will have it to use over and over again.

So much is ephemeral on the Internet and information becomes obsolete quickly. Then there is always new stuff to add to your collection on most any topic. Binding your own books means that they are cost-effective enough to redo as needed. But you have to know what you are doing. Reading the manual, or later reviewing the basic steps of stapling, will help eliminate errors that cause jamming of staples or other damage to the tool. Yes, this has happened!

I remember one time when things became a real mess. I was in a rush and wasn’t paying strict attention. I had not stacked the papers properly and thus they were not in perfect alignment. As a result, the stapler, in spite of its long reach, did not grasp them all at one time, and the staple placement was way off. I couldn’t get all the papers out of the machine intact and lost more than a few. I had to recopy them, re-collate the book, and in effect start the process over again. Let this be a lesson from the wise.

So you can see that having the tools of the binding trade is good, but not the only consideration. You have to be at least somewhat adept. Your fingers can’t linger lest they get in the voracious stapler’s way. Your eye has to be like an eagle if you want a neat book. And who doesn’t. My research material looks great all lined up on the shelf behind my desk. I have a reference system that is topical and then alphabetical. You can devise your own.