Stephen Satchell
Technical Writing Samples

Updated 3 August 2023

Freelance articles published in magazines

I'm a programmer and developer who also writes. (And hand- codes HTML, but I digress.) Over the years, I have done a lot of writing for public and customer consumption. To provide you examples of what I can do, I received permission from the copyright owners to republish some of those documents.

ZD Labs,
Henderson Communications Laboratories (HCl),
Test Automation Software

At ZD Labs, I developed an automation system for testing public switched-network modems for a survey article that appeared in PC Magazine and other Ziff-Davis publications. When I joined HCl, I enhanced the system to better automate the testing of PSTN modems of all kinds using Telecomm Analysis Systems (TAS) PSTN simulators and a Linux system providing data; in addition, I wrote a Windows application to make WinModems accessible to the automation system. HCl then formed Test Automation Software to sell my automation software. I commercialized the product — OTTO:3800 — and sold it to customers at large; part of the process of making it a commercial product was

writing an OTTO:3800 manual for customers.

The writing and editing of the manual was a solo task; I enlisted the aid of non-technical employees of HCl to verify that the manual was suitable. (This is how Heathkit mannuals were tested before kit release.)

INE, aka Internetwork Expert, Inc.
During my first decade with this company, I wrote a series of PDF documents describing in detail how to access and to use the laboratory network equipment stacks available remotely by customers. These documents are obsolete, but serve as examples of my abilities as a technical writer. These "rack access guides" were written and edited by me, with input from the company instructors.

In May 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) requesting answers to questions the Commission has about Restoring Internet Freedom. (Original notice in PDF) As a private citizen, I wrote a detailed 75 page PDF response (I link to a copy on my web site because the original link to the copy on the FCC web site no longer works) providing detailed answers to many of their questions, including diagrams to illustrate my points.

This document was researched and written to a deadline. There are a small number of errors and typos in the version submitted to the FCC. I don't apologize for this. I subscribe that "perfect is the enemy of good enough" — which does not excuse such defects but serves to demonstrate that one should meet deadlines, and make as few errors as possible.

I started a "side hustle" when I was using primarily a Macantosh and using Adobe Illustrator and PageMaker to do typesetting. For fun, here is one of the flyers I created to promote the business:

Flyer for my typesetting business

Coriolis Group (closed down April 2002)
Linux IP Stacks Commentary
ISDN 1-57610-470-2 © 2000

Heather BJ Clifford and I wrote a book, in the style of the famous Lions' Commentary on UNIX 6th Edition, providing a line-by-line explanation/analysis of the TCP/IP code in the Linux Kernal version 2.0.34. This link points to a small five-page sample of Chapter 6 (PDF, 734 KB) which describes routing in the Internet. The prose in this sample is still accurate and usable.

More TK.

Comments, suggestions, and error reports are welcome.
Send them to: spamfilter (at) satchell (dot) net)
© 2022 Stephen Satchell, Reno NV USA