Technical writing philosophy: Samples of the KLA technical manual on killer faulty silicon wafers below

Note to readers: This was then (the late 1990s).

I will be addressing the issue of technical writing philosophy among other issues. In the interim, you might find the following link helpful:

Currently, l am writing documentation for a complicated electrical mobility tool. Ever since 1990, when my family and I relocated to the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, I have written documentation on a regular basis working for such companies as Nortel Networks, IBM, Schlumberger/Sema, and three start-ups in the Silicon Valley (a place where my heart resides).

The following example dates from 1995, one of the most difficult years of my life. Certainly, I would not have made public any document that is classified (as is the one below) if time did not make such classification moot.


This is KLA-Tancor now (2020)

MILPITAS, Calif., Feb. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — KLA Corporation (NASDAQ: KLAC) today announced operating results for its second quarter of fiscal year 2020, which ended on Dec. 31, 2019, and reported GAAP net income attributable to KLA of $381 million and GAAP earnings per diluted share attributable to KLA of $2.40 on revenues of $1.51 billion.

“KLA once again demonstrated solid execution in the December quarter, delivering results in the upper end of the range of guidance, and capping multiple records across revenue, GAAP EPS and non-GAAP EPS for the quarter,” commented Rick Wallace, president and CEO of KLA. “As we begin the new calendar year, we are excited with the growth opportunities that lie ahead for KLA, with the industry outlook calling for growth led by technology transitions in advanced Logic, expanding investment in EUV, and with the expectation that Memory investment will improve in the calendar year. As the leading supplier of process control and specialty semiconductor process equipment for semiconductor and related electronics industries, and supported by a large and growing services business, KLA is uniquely positioned to benefit from this growth while continuing to deliver high levels of profitability.”


What follows are examples of the documentation work I did for KLA in the 1990s

What makes this sample useful is that it represents, as I will discuss, the best example of an optimal organizational structure to produce documentation. Since writing, KLA has merged with Tancor. I will always be grateful to KLA-Tancor for making possible the production of quality documentation unequaled by subsequent experience that made me write poetry in frustration.







1967 Newark Riots

June 2015 Motto

Chance is but a name for  law not recognized.

–from the Emerald Table (a.k.a Emerald Tablet) as copied from a plaque in the George Washington Masonic Museum

Emerald_tabletAn imaginative 17th century depiction of the Emerald Tablet from the work of Heinrich Khunrath, 1606.


Disability and Elderly Issues

Breaking goodnews RE: Health & Cancer crisis 6_11_2015_5_45PM

Regarding my June 11, 2015 breaking news update.

The breaking news is this afternoon the pain surgeon and pain doctor had a lengthy conversation about me here on my extended trip to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.—a place which saved my life two years ago.

After nearly two weeks,  the answer to my pain problem may very well be the same as the solution I came to New York City to implement: Insertion of a spinal stimulator such as this one:

I am celebrating the good news. The surgeon recommends that I do not have back surgery. The surgeon…Thank you God.




Architects for Change Disability and Elderly Issues

Joel Goes Painless Update Plus Cancer Surviving Consequences June 7, 2015


By way of continuity….

This is a report on my health and my plans to improve it. While you are certainly welcome here, note this is the kind of personal communication associated with emails to my daughters, family, and loved ones. See:


Today’s update in one [long] paragraph

The primary purpose of this ongoing trip to NYC was to reduce pain in my spine. Having heard about spinal stimulators, I promptly announced my candidacy for insertion of such  a device in my back to beam radio waves to my unhappy nerves. This state-of-the-art procedure has a good track record. Sadly, Dr. Vinay Puttanniah [who is In Charge of My Pain] at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center pointed to the CT-scanned images of my back and showed me why the procedure will not work. Two disks in the L-4 and L-5 sections of my spine (where I sit) are rubbing against each other; surgery is the most logical solution. [This long paragraph is not long enough to include an expression of fear.] The solution to my pain problems will be slow in coming. I  was cured of cancer three times. The first radiation treatment in 1976 took place at a time when my radiation machine was so  primitive it killed the radiologist who treated me. We multi-decade-long survivors of cancer are now being monitored for concerns about negative consequences of cancer TREATMENT. It would behoove me to be followed at Sloan Kettering. My next plan is to move to Newark, N.J. where rents are cheep enough for me to live and where the PATH subway system can deliver me regularly to Sloan Kettering so my future will be as comfortable and productive as medical science can make it.




“We all need a coping mechanism,” Dr. Todd B. Cousins, the most respected pain specialist in State College, PA (where I live), told me. Dr. Cousins was referring to the column I handed him (before he stuck a needle up my spine); viz.,

My coping mechanism is the column I have been  publishing for the past three years for a U.K.-based website which receives nearly a million hits a day from the global building community; i.e.:

This column link  (given my tendency to surprise readers by saying I will focus on one thing while focusing on something else) says more about the May first opening of Renzo Pinao’s Whitney in the Meatpacking District of New York City than it does about my on-going Detroit obsession. [Nonetheless, the last paragraph notes unlike the drought that has caused water rationing in California, Detroit has plenty of water.]

Joel’s column details my health problems within an architectural essay where I point out to global architects why their chances of obtaining architectural commissions in the U.S. improve considerably if they design health care facilities for aging Baby Boomers like me. Consequently, readers of my e-architect U.K. column know a lot about my aches and pains. Plus, my readers are well informed about The Plan which has guided all my waking and sleeping thoughts. The Plan appeared as Draft 1 shortly before my 67th birthday in October Today, June 8, 2015 at 5:15 A.M. I am guided  by Draft 63 .


As  contrarian efforts from a Higher Power not to celebrate my October nativity succeeded….

Pain swept through my sleeping body, waking me with its intensity and causing me to crawl off the bed onto the floor, roll up in a ball, and rock back and forth in agony making clear the necessity to formulate a Plan, stick to the Plan, revise it, and stick to it. .

Given  that:

  • I am a paraplegic
  • New York City is 260 miles from where I live
  • I do not have a disability van with hand-operated controls…

Planning that involves:

  • Leaving Downtown State College
  • Let alone Centre County
  • Not to mention (as I am doing) the Fifth Congressional District of Pennsylvania….

Going anywhere involves arrangements I equate (grandiosely perhaps) to General Dwight David Eisenhower’s preparations for D-Day.


General Eisenhower is missing from this photograph, courtesy Wikimedia, of Allied Troops invading Normandy in preparation for Hitler’ defeat. In my personal genre film on how planning  is everything, I play General Eisenhower. While I play the part well, thus far I have been hindered by too little sleep and not enough time.

Yes, I am mindful as I follow the Alice in Wonderland injunction to tell this (or any story) by starting at the beginning, moving through the middle to the end.




A relevant detail is my difficulty handling intensity

On Thursday, I had a sonogram of my kidneys in one of the many buildings Memorial Sloan Kettering  owns on the Upper East Side of New York. For the uninitiated, the sonogram consisted of rolling a cold plastic ball coated with Vaseline over the skin above my kidneys. The monitor the technician watched as she rolled the ball provided 3-D images of my kidney.

I put a lot of energy into being pleasant and appreciative when technicians conduct tests, doctors discuss options, nurses wrap a blood pressure cup around my arm. Sometimes, as with the kidney scan, the procedure is painless and even interesting (I get to see inside my body).

  1. Later this week, I see a Memorial Sloan Ketttering physician regarding  back surgery.
  2. Before the week of June 14th begins, I will begin formulating Draft One of Strategic Plan B.
  3. Plan B requires a tight strategic visit to Newark, New Jersey for the purpose of renting an apartment and living a new life.
  4. Strategic Plan B requires I complete my next column for e-architect on the importance of designing a built environment that incorporates physical therapy, dance, and other congenial forms of movement into a community that fosters creativity and learning so the elderly are encouraged to be productive.
  5. Assistance is requested from readers who are familiar with apartment rentals and employment opportunities in Newark.
  6. Readers who in July (next month) can drive me and my electric wheelchairs (i.e., scooters) to Newark.
  7. Readers who understand that too much intensity about health and medicine requires good cheer, plenty of distraction and opportunities for laughter and pleasure.
  8. Completion of the report I am co-authoring with Coleen Nelson, past president of the Wyoming AIA, for the Pennsylvania Housing and Research Center (PHRC). The report is on how to make a residence wheel chair accessible.
  9. Please send high resolution photographs of disability friendly bathroom sinks along with permission to publish.
  10. Video production for Penn State ‘s Department of Architectural Engineering’s 3D and 4-D modeling, immersion, BIM compliance, and sustainability.
  11. Introduction to Newark’s New Jersey Institute of Technology so I can provide tutoring services to engineers for whom English is a second language. Tutoring would include  compliance with requirements for dissertations, academic publication,  and grant proposals.
  12. Donations. My computer, this computer, requires repair. I must find a place to stay and pay expenses while I seek to make Newark a new home.
  13. Please pray for me.


A note on the first and third Renzo Piano-related photographs published above

I took the first photograph on Tuesday of the wooden model on display at Piano’s Morgan Library and Museum.The Morgan was Piano’s first New York City commission.  Piano, whose new Whitney Museum of American Art has become the talk of New York City in May of this year,  commissioned  the Morgan model (currently on display at the Morgan) from a  Parisian  craftsman Piano employed for all his projects (while the projects were  still in the planning stage). The search is on. Did Piano cause a wooden model to be made of the Whitney?

The third photograph shows the old home of the Whitney Museum of American Art 945 Madison Avenue. I took the photograph while traveling on the sidewalks of Manhattan on an electric wheelchair (scooter).

As my health gets better, worse, or stays the same, I will be describing  my efforts at working with Amigo Mobility, my favorite scooter company and GEM Wheelchair and Scooter (in Flushing, N.Y.) to make my world accessible, swift, and productive.



Google Maps screen shot showing the new Piano Whitney in relation to the Statue of Liberty.