Category Archives: Home Designs

Meet the Apollo Personal Cloud Appliance

apollo cloud

Leader in data storage product development Promise Technology has recently unveiled its newest appliance: Apollo Cloud. Apollo Cloud is the Taiwan-based company’s first consumer product and is already available for purchase in Apple stores and on Apple’s website.

So what exactly does the Apollo Cloud have to offer? The Apollo Cloud is basically a personal cloud appliance and app that allows people and their communities to have full control over storing and accessing their shared digital content from the privacy of their homes, smartphones, or offices.

apolloCurrent market products tend to be sculpted for corporate use, but Promise Technology’s Apollo Cloud is actually crafted for easy utilization by families, small businesses, home offices, or other work groups that could benefit from easy private storage for their digital content.

As devices become increasingly portable, the immense volume of photos and files that the individual manages can be difficult to balance with lowering storage space on say, chromebooks or other devices meant to go online but not to provide major storage. Pair this with the fact that technological evolution seems to lend itself towards increased file size (think HD videos) and you’ve got a problem for the average consumer. Apollo Cloud makes it possible for people in this conundrum to access four terabytes of space where they can store and share data securely and privately from anywhere on the planet.

Apollo Cloud can be used by a groups that number up to 10 members, each with full sharing control over their own digital files. Apollo Cloud can even save and share more than 440 hours of HD video, 220,000 photos and half a million songs, making it the perfect helper for small production teams and families alike.

Additional advantages of the device include that it offers 4TB of storage without requiring recurring fees, it can be set up in only a few minutes and then immediately be accessible from any device, offering quick access to personal content from anywhere using the Apollo Cloud App, and that up to nine members can share the Apollo Cloud, each of which potentially having a private space and full sharing control over their own files. Finally, Apollo Cloud provides its users peace of mind because all of its data is actually off the Web, safe and secure on a personal cloud. All transactions of data are encrypted to the highest decree using Apollo Cloud’s heightened security services.

apollo2James Lee, CEO of Promise Technology, had this to say about its latest appliance:

“Promise has been delivering high-performance data storage solutions to media and entertainment organizations, enterprises and small and medium businesses for almost 30 years and we are very pleased to bring out innovation to consumers with the introduction of Apollo Cloud.”

“People are inundated with data,” Lee continued, “and they need a solution that offers convenient access and file sharing without being weighed down by limitations or having to sacrifice privacy and security. Apollo Cloud solves these storage headaches and brings consumers an easy to use personal cloud appliance that offers security, flexibility, and affordability.”

What is a Trivection Oven?

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You’ve probably heard of convection ovens by now; they’re no longer the next new thing in kitchen appliance and in fact have become somewhat standard since their introduction to the baking markets in the early 1980’s. Now, however, there’s a new kid on the block.

38106

38106

That’s right, trivection ovens exist now. Invented by General Electric, trivection ovens work by using heat, convection, and microwaves for customized cooking at five times the speed of traditional ovens.

Trivection ovens are little-known, but they have had some screen time no the Food Network. Host of Good Eats Alton Brown actually helped design the trivection oven, and it has since appeared in the pilot of popular American situation comedy 30 Rock, in which business tycoon character Jack Donaghy describes the product and claims to have created it himself.

Apparently he took his description of the product almost directly from GE’s website, which reads as follows:

“GE Prfile and GE Monogram ovens with Trivection technology combine thermal, Precise Air convection and microwave energies to produce optimal texture, crispness, moistness and browning for each food type- in less time!”

The site continued on to state that the combination of these three different types of heat “produces delicious results up to give times faster than a traditional thermal oven,” and that trivection technology offers “consistent oven temperature,” “optimal air circulation,” and “remarkable speed.”

Precise Air Convection Technology’s contribution is allegedly something relating to “a dual loop 2,500 watt element” that “surrounds an innovative fan that reverses direction for optimal air and heat circulation, providing even cooking, faster rotating speeds, and multi-rack baking capability.”

tri3Sure sounds like a hand full of bananas!

In regards to the thermal technology present within GE’s trivection oven, the site makes the following claim:

“Traditional bake and broil elements provide conductive heat from above and below the food, while helping maintain consistent oven temperature.”

Then regarding microwave technology, there’s the following:

“Electromagnetic waves excite molecules in food and help accelerate the cooking process, ensuring faster cooking speeds. This is not a microwave oven, and it is now possible to cook with microwave energy alone on Trivection technology ovens.”

Kind of a bummer about the limits to what you can do with microwave energy with the Trivection oven, but I suppose when your baking power is bolstered by the other types of energy also offered, you don’t need much more than what’s offered.
All in all, trivection ovens are likely to be the next big thing in new kitchen appliance technology, so if you want to intimidate and infuriate your baking friends, you should probably get one right away. Soon everyone on the block will have the latest oven, and you want to be the trend setter as opposed to the baking nerd falling behind the latest technology. Trivection ovens will make your cupcakes moist, your ribs hearty, and your Thanksgiving turkey viral on instagram. Don’t wait for them to be in style; take a risk and go full trivection. The future is waiting. Will you be ready?

Make Your Own Radio

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nothing says household appliance like a homemade radio; everything from app-powered pizza ovens to universal remotes uses a radio, after all. You may be surprised, but engineering your own radio from scratch takes a lot less effort, money and expertise than you might expect.

You will need quite a few different materials to bring your own radio transmitting and receiving creation to life. Materials include three pennies, a tuning coil, a tuning capacitor, a piezoelectric earphone, an MK484-1 AM radio integrated circuit, a 100,000 ohm resistor, a 1,000 ohm resistor, two 0.01 microfarad capacitors, a 1.5 volt battery, and some brass polish.

hm radioOnce you have your materials together, you’re ready to go. Start by placing your materials on an organized work board. You’re going to need to do some soldering, so you will want to make sure you’re ready to deal with what could end up being a big mess.

Then you’re ready to polish your pennies with some of the brass polish. They’ll have to be clean and shiny for the solder to stick! Once you’ve done your polishing, bend two of the MK484-1 AM radio integrated circuit wires into a 90 degree angle. Place the circuit on the table with the rounded side facing up and solder one of the integrated circuit’s wires to each penny using a solder iron. Be sure to put a bead of soler on each penny before you prepare the wire. Push the wire into the bead of solder until it begins to melt and fuse together. Your two pennies should be parallel to each other, though one should be slightly lower.

Now it’s time to move on to the tuning capacitor. Place it on your materials board upside down, then solder the capacitor’s leftmost left to the bottom penny using the same bead method as described earlier. Place one microfarad capacitor onto the table and solder one leg to the tuning capacitor’s middle leg and one leg to the rightmost penny.

At this point you may want to check and ensure that the resistor is only touching the leg and the penny. If this is the case, solder one of the microfarad capacitors to the two parallel pennies by soldering one of its wires to each of the pennies. It’s especially important during this step to ensure that the capacitor’s wires do not touch the circuit’s middle wire.

hm radio2If all has gone well so far, you can connect one of the earphone’s wires to the other microfarad capacitor. Connect the other earphone wire to the 1,000 ohm resistor and wrap the second capacitor’s wires around the resistor’s wires. All three pieces should now be connected. You’re ready to solder the resistor’s wire to the leftmost penny, in essence connecting the two remaining pieces or chunks of your radio.

That means you’re nearly finished. Solder the battery’s black wire to the rightmost penny and wrap the battery’s red wire around the unsoldered end of the resistor wire. Your battery as officially entered the equation. Now if you just solder the tuning coil’s wires to the tuning capacitor’s two legs, you have yourself an upside-down-radio. Turn it over and you’ve done it!

Fun and Unusual Lighting Options for the Modern Home

potato light

With Potato Day right around the corner, you may be wondering what the heck kind of decorations you’re going to find this year when you already have spent all your time and money refurbishing your jet skis. Believe it or not, an obvious option may have been spudding right under your nose this entire time: the potato! Turn a potato into a light!

Quick overview of electric currents: an electric current is the movement of electrons from one atom to another in a conductor. A conductor is a substance that can conduct electricity. With that in mind, here’s what you have to do.

lightbulbFind a potato and cut it in half. Get yourself some electrical wire and wrap the end around a galvanized nail. Galvanized nails are nails that have undergone a process which covers them with a zinc protective coating. This coating acts as an anode, meaning it’s a positively charged electrode by which electrons can leave a device. An electrode is an electrical conductor used to make contact with a nonmetallic part of a circuit like a semiconductor, an electrolyte, a vacuum or air. In this case, the zinc on our galvanized nail will be acting as an anode that allows for electrons to leave the nail and enter the potato’s electrolytes.

Get a second piece of wire and wrap it around a penny. The penny contains enough copper to act as a cathode, which is also an electrode. An anode is positive while a cathode is negative, so an anode attracts negative charge while a cathode attracts positive charge. Stick the penny into a hole in the potato.

Once you’ve got these two wires with either a penny or a nail at the end, stick the copper side into one half of the potato and the nail into another half. Don’t let the zinc and copper electrodes touch each other. If a wire connects the zinc nail and the copper penny, electrons will flow, but direct contact will just produce heat as opposed to electric current.

cathode anodeWhen you put the metal electrodes into the potato, it causes a reaction to occur that results in electric current. The potato acts as an electrolyte that facilitates the transport of the zinc and copper ions in the solution while keeping the electrodes apart physically. An electrolyte is a liquid or gel that contains ions and can be decomposed by electrolysis; it is a fluid that carries a charge or can produce an electrically conducting solution when dissolved in a polar solvent like water. When it’s put in water, an electolyte separates out into cations and anions, allowing for current to flow. The phosphoric acid of the potato is responsible for the electro-chemical reaction of zinc and copper.

Zinc is an active metal that reacts readily with acid to liberate electrons. The acid’s active ingredient is positively charged hydrogen, so a transfer of electrons occurs between the zinc and the acid. Hydrogen gas is produced and bubbles out around the electrodes. The reaction at the penny electrode depletes the electrons and attaches them to the hydrogen ions in the phosphoric acid.

Now if you attach both ends of the wire to a tiny LED light, it will light up!