RACM Service: A description of the Remote Access Connection Manager (RACM) Service

RACM Service: A description of the Remote Access Connection Manager (RACM) Service

Service – Remote Access Auto Connection Manager

Disable/Enable – Either

Description of Service – Used to create a network connection.

Notes: – This service is run on demand by Remote Access Manager.


Mosquito Control Devices: Controlling Blood Suckers Using Electrical and Mechanical Methods

Mosquito Control Devices: Controlling Blood Suckers Using Electrical and Mechanical Methods

Homeowners are always looking to host the perfect party. But they’ll never achieve outdoor living nirvana without dealing with that always unwelcome guest – the mosquito.

It’s time to face the music – most folks are mosquito magnets.

Carbon dioxide (Co2) is a universal mosquito attractant, drawing females from up to 35 meters. Then there’s heat. Built-in infra-red detectors enable these pesky blood suckers to sense body heat from up to 25 meters.

Mosquitoes are experts at tracking down hosts by zeroing in on lactic acid excretions and carbon dioxide emissions. Body odor also comes into play. Eating garlic may make a person repel others, and vitamin B12 may make him more healthy, but neither does anything to keep mosquitoes at bay.

Perfume, however, will attract biters. As will Limburger cheese (and stinky feet). Beer is also an attractant, so drunks are more likely to provide a blood meal than sober folks (although they probably won’t notice as much). Once they close in using these other vectors, however, mosquitoes react to visual stimuli (body movement and dark clothing) as much as anything.

Mosquito Dangers

Mosquitoes transmit disease pathogens in their saliva, through a separate tube from the one they suck blood with.

These bites are no more than irritants – or are they? In reality, mosquitoes can carry and transmit various diseases, from malaria to West Nile Virus. AIDs, however, is one disease they don’t transmit. In fact, mosquitoes actually digest the HIV virus.

An article published by Dr. Mark Fraden in The Annals of Internal Medicine entitled “Mosquitoes and Mosquito Repellents – A Clinician’s Guide” reveals the true impact of the mosquito on human health world-wide. Dr. Fraden states that “mosquitoes transmit disease to more than 700,000,000 people annually and will be responsible for the deaths of 1 of every 17 people currently alive”. Malaria itself causes as many as 3,000,000 deaths.

Mechanical and Electrical Mosquito Deterrents

There’s a lot of hype associated with marketing mosquito control devices. Many myths (and outright untruths) are circulating about mosquito defenses based on mechanical and electrical means. Of this type of mosquito control, a few of the most popular are ultrasonic devices and bug zappers.


There are two types of ultrasonic devices for taking out mosquitoes. The first is Larvasonic, a device which transmits sound energy into water, rupturing larvae air bladders and causing death. This product currently has limited effectiveness for residential use; it’s more likely to be used as part of a municipal mosquito control program.

The other device is meant to plug in to a home electrical outlet (a similar type can be carried on a person’s belt or clipped to a blouse). This device supposedly emulates the sonic frequency of a mosquito’s wing beats and is meant to repel the insect. Dr. Fraden mentions several studies that show these devices have been proven ineffective. One pioneering study pitted 5 ultrasonic devices ranging from 20 to 70 khz against 4 mosquito species. The devices had no effect on the flight of female mosquitoes.

Bug Zappers

Many people purchase and put their faith in bug zappers (black light devices that lure insects in, then kill them when they come in contact with an electrical grid) to control their insect pests. The American Mosquito Control Association, however, cites studies done by University of Notre Dame that show mosquitoes are only 4.1% to 6.4% of the daily kill of zappers over a season.

Even more startling, the majority of insects harvested by zappers proved to be non-pest species. Many were beneficial predators of mosquitoes and other pests.

Further, these species, which include certain moth and beetle species, make up a major part of the diet of songbirds. The reduced numbers of species used by songbirds as a food source has contributed to the decline of songbird populations in many areas of suburbia.

Of mosquitoes killed, only 0.13% were identified as female (the blood suckers).

That’s not all. Further studies indicated that mosquitoes were actually more attracted to human hosts than to the zapper devices.

It’s been estimated that 71 billion to 350 billion beneficial insects are killed annually by these machines in the United States alone.

Mosquito Traps

One mechanical/electrical device that does work is the mosquito trap, such as those under the Mosquito Magnet brand name. These must be used correctly to be effective, however. Place them well away form human use areas such as barbecue pits, and turn them on 2 or 3 days before a party for maximum mosquito control.

In the final analysis, the best mechanical device for keeping mosquitoes away may be a portable fan (or a ceiling fan) blowing a breeze across the front porch or patio. A one mile an hour breeze is all that’s necessary to keep the pesky biters at bay.

What other defenses do homeowners have in their battle to protect their property (and themselves) from mosquitoes? Providing habitats for bats, purple martins and dragonflies may help. And controlling source breeding areas may be the easiest, least costly method. And don’t forget chemical and biological warfare.

Even with the proven ineffectiveness of some control methods, it may be worth a homeowner’s time to investigate home-based mosquito control. After all, who wants to be snack food for a bug?


Wireless USB Devices and Adaptors: New Wireless USB Adaptors Provide Convenience and Versatility

Wireless USB Devices and Adaptors: New Wireless USB Adaptors Provide Convenience and Versatility

Although it has been a long time coming, wireless USB devices and wireless USB hubs are now entering the market. Is this convenience worth the upgrade?

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) has been a standard on PC’s and Macs for nearly ten years now. The easy to use, ubiquitous USB plug is now found on virtually every computer peripheral that is sold. Over the years the USB specifications have been upgraded allowing for faster data transfer and flexibility over longer cable lengths.

Now the USB specification has been augmented to include a new, wireless variety that enables hardware such as printers, scanners, and other common USB devices to communicate without the need for any wires at all.

Built In vs. Add-On Wireless USB:

Many new products are shipping with wireless USB connectivity already built in to the device. Printers are the most popular wireless USB products currently shipping although portable wireless USB hard drives such as the Imation Apollo Pro WX are on the horizon.

Other, incredibly useful, gadgets include the Toshiba Wireless USB Notebook Dock, allowing properly equipped notebook users to wirelessly interface with their desktop monitor, mouse, printer, and other hardware without having to plug in a single wire. As with all such wireless USB devices, the hardware connects to the host computer and begins to work as soon as the device is brought within range.

For those that do not want to wait to cut the cord between computer and peripheral there are many wireless USB Hubs now on sale such as the Belkin F5U302 and the D-Link DUB-9240. These wireless USB hubs work like any other USB hub but communicate wirelessly to the host computer.

This allows the external hardware to be positioned in the room in a way that is convenient without having to be worry about furniture or other obstacles getting in the way of the wires. Existing peripherals are plugged into the wireless usb hub with standard USB cables but the connection from hub to computer requires no physical connection.

Pros and Cons of Using Wireless USB Devices:

Aside from the obvious difference between traditional cable based USB devices and the new wireless USB hubs, there are several pros and cons associated with wireless USB versus standard, wired USB.

  • The theoretical maximum transfer speed of WUSB is the same as for wired USB 2.0, but distance greatly affects bandwidth. The ideal distance is less than three meters although WUSB allows for distances of up to ten meters.
  • Although the connection from computer to peripheral will be wireless, remember that the hardware will still need to be plugged in to a power outlet.
  • Allows for great flexibility and convenience without worrying about running wires. Applications such as connecting a PC to an HDTV monitor can be accomplished without the need for running HDMI cables with products such as the IOGear 720p HD Wireless USB Video Card Kit.
  • Significantly faster than other wireless adaptor technologies that allow devices to communicate over slower 802.11 Wi-Fi networks.

While not a perfect solution, Wireless USB devices are able to provide more than adequate performance while reducing the clutter and confusion associated with wired USB devices. Look for wireless USB technologies to become more and more commonplace in the years ahead.


Assistive Listening Devices in the Classroom: Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants, FM, and Alerting Systems

Assistive Listening Devices in the Classroom: Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants, FM, and Alerting Systems

Available hearing technology can amplify sound, reduce background noise, and increase signal-to-noise ratios so the hearing-impaired can listen better in class.

Children with hearing loss will most likely need special devices in order to listen effectively in school. Not all children will benefit from each device, but may need different combinations of systems to perform at their best. Teachers may come across any or all of the following devices for hearing-impaired students in the classroom.

Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are the most commonly known listening devices for people with hearing loss. The best style of hearing aid for children consists of an ear mold, which is placed into the child’s ear, and microphone-battery compartment that resides at the back of the ear. The two parts are connected with tubing that simultaneously performs as an ear hook and contains the electrical wire delivering sound signals into the ear.

Recently, hearing aids have adopted digital technology that eliminates most feedback noise. Also, children’s hearing aid devices have special features such as a locking battery door, volume control deactivation, and they come in a variety of colors. When the volume control is preset, teachers may have to help the child adjust it when necessary. Teachers may also be asked to evaluate the effectiveness of the hearing aid in the classroom setting.

Cochlear Implants

When hearing aids do not prove to be helpful enough, children may gain more benefits with cochlear implants. These are devices with components that are surgically implanted behind a child’s ear. The implanted components deliver electrical pulses to the nerve endings in the cochlea.

A child will need intensive hearing therapy in order for the brain to learn how to interpret the signals of a cochlear implant. He/she may need to return periodically for refitting as well, and teachers may be able to help determine when this is necessary by paying close attention to a child’s responsiveness in class.

FM Devices

The FCC has exclusively defined certain radio frequencies for use by people with hearing loss so the competition by radio or other devices is minimal. Special FM devices can be used in the classroom and elsewhere by hearing impaired students so sound is further amplified. These systems have two main parts: a microphone for the person speaking (generally the teacher) and a receiver that delivers the voice signal to the child’s hearing aid or cochlear implant.

The receiver can be in the form of a speaker sitting on the student’s desk (desktop FM system), speakers installed near the desk such as on the classroom ceiling (classroom soundfield), or a device attached to the hearing aid or implant (personal FM system). These assistive listening devices will bring sound within a child’s listening bubble.

Alerting Systems

Another important technology for students is the alerting system. These are devices that will accommodate hearing-impaired students in case of a fire or other emergency. The importance of these signals will need to be emphasized in young children, but normal sound systems found in door bells, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and the like may not be perceived if a student has profound hearing loss.

In these cases, children will need to be informed of an emergency alarm via vibrations or visual stimuli such as light. This type of technology can range in complexity from simple single units located in a prominent location to systems that have multiple parts. These more complicated systems may include a transmitter, and receiver in the form of a wristband worn by the child.

Teachers may be asked to monitor the student’s progress with his/her listening devices, which in many instances may be new. Parents will be the main source of information for educators of children with hearing difficulties. Therefore, the collaboration between families and school educators is the most important factor in the educational success of the student with hearing loss.


Troubleshooting an Electric Range: Repair Stove Cooktops and Ovens: Viking, Jenn Air, Maytag, Thermador

Troubleshooting an Electric Range: Repair Stove Cooktops and Ovens: Viking, Jenn Air, Maytag, Thermador

Troubleshooting an Electric Range

Although there are many gas ranges out on the market, the electric range (or electric stove) continues to lead in sales. Virtually every home has one – everybody eats. Competition among manufacturers is fierce; Maytag against General Electric, Hotpoint VS Viking, and so on; the list goes on and on. Troubleshooting an electric range isn’t too difficult.

Most of the tests are simply continuity tests with a Fluke digital multimeter or a similar electrical multitester. A basic understanding of home wiring is also recommended.

Although electric ranges may seem complicated, they really aren’t. There are minor differences between brands and models, but they’re basically the same, so troubleshooting is rather generic. They operate on a 240/120 volt circuit – 240 V drives the heating elements and 120 V drives everything else: the inevitable clock, lights, and everything else.

Because of the dual voltage requirements, there will be two breakers or fuses. This implies that there are two places to check if power isn’t evident and two places to isolate power when doing maintenance or replacing electric stove replacement parts.

Electric Range/Stove Troubleshooting Guide

No Power Anywhere

  • No power to the unit? Not plugged in or the circuit breaker is tripped.
  • Bad power cord? Test and replace as needed.

Oven Door Won’t Close as Expected

  • The hinge is broken? Replace or call service.
  • Oven door mis-aligned? Adjust the door.
  • Door springs loosened or broken? Adjust or replace.

The Stove Surface Heating Element only Provides High Heat

  • Bad burner switch? Replace the range burner switch

Oven Light not Operating

  • Is the bulb loose or burned out? Replace oven light bulb.
  • Bad light socket? Replace the socket.
  • Is the light switch malfunctioning? Find out by testing; replace if needed.

All Heating Elements don’t Heat at all, or Heat Partially

  • Bad power cord or terminal block has a bad connection? Test and replace as needed.
  • The range is only getting partial power? Check circuit breaker or fuse.

Oven won’t Self-Clean Properly

  • Smoke eliminator bad? Call service.
  • Broil or bake element bad? Find out by testing; replace if needed.
  • Temperature control gone bad? Find out by testing; replace if needed.
  • The oven door is unlocked? Ensure the door is locked and try again.
  • Clock timer bad? Check the clock timer fuses – replace as needed.
  • The oven selector switch is bad? Find out by testing; replace if needed.

Range Surface Elements Don’t Heat at All

  • Element terminals have loose connections? Reposition the element.
  • Range element shorted out? Find out by testing; replace if needed.
  • Burner switch is bad? Find out by testing; replace if needed.
  • Element receptacle bad? Find out by testing; replace if needed.

Running the Electrical Oven Produces Excess Condensation

  • Oven vent has becomed clogged? Clean out the vent and the duct.

The Conclusion…

These diagnostic tests should cover most of your electric stove troubleshooting situations. For a more detailed explanation, always look to the model-specific literature.


Reduce Energy Bills For Gas and Electricity: Cut Utility Bills and Reduce Fuel Poverty

Reduce Energy Bills For Gas and Electricity: Cut Utility Bills and Reduce Fuel Poverty

Energy bills have increased by about 40% so saving money on gas and electricity bills is important. Reduce fuel poverty through utility comparison and cost cutting.

Gas and electricity prices have risen substantially in the past 12 months. The National Housing Federation suggests that “Annual electricity bills are expected to increase to more than £500 a year, while gas bills soar to around £900 by this year.”

Taking action to reduce energy bills for gas and electricity is a priority. The good news is that this objective can be achieved through greater home efficiency and by using the services of utility comparison sites.

Cost Cutting Methods On Gas and Electricity to Reduce Fuel Poverty

  1. Pay by direct debt. Most utility bills can be reduced by up to 7% by paying by direct debit for gas and electricity. This helps offset some of the recent price rises and cut fuel poverty.
  2. Online energy plans. The prices secured online are in the region of 20% cheaper than standard price plans.
  3. Use dual fuel. Utility bills for gas and electricity can be combined allowing the customer to save money on standard single price plans.
  4. Loft and wall insulation. Putting insulation in place can substantially reduce heat loss. It is worth talking to the local council if fuel poverty or debt problems are an issue as many offer schemes to assist.
  5. Shower instead of taking a bath. Taking a bath uses up vastly more hot water and results in higher energy bills.
  6. Boil less water in the kettle. Boiling a full kettle of water uses unnecessary energy and increases utility bills.
  7. Close curtains at night. Closing curtains after darkness sets in helps keep heat in the room.
  8. Use the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full. Performing washes with half loads is wasteful and will increase costs.
  9. Wash clothes at night. Night rates are vastly cheaper than day rates so making this switch will also save money.
  10. Don’t heat rooms that aren’t occupied. Heating unoccupied rooms is just plain wasteful, not to mention costly.

Use Online Utility Comparison Sites To Cut Fuel Poverty

A number of utility comparison sites are available to compare gas and electricity prices. They have up-to-date data on all leading utility providers allowing customers to get the cheapest gas and electricity. Performing a check every 12 months ensures that the best prices are being attained.

It is possible to reduce fuel poverty by taking sensible measures to prevent wastage and get the cheapest gas and electricity prices. If money is an issue, there are a number of ways to save money on non-essential bills so that priority debts can be effectively targeted.


Transportation Technology from MIT: Electric Bicycles, Scooters, and Mini Cars for a Cleaner World

Transportation Technology from MIT: Electric Bicycles, Scooters, and Mini Cars for a Cleaner World

Amid concerns about the environment, health, and sustainability, researchers at MIT have developed several exciting new alternatives to traditional transportation.

The future of current transportation systems is in jeopardy, with rising fuel costs, dwindling oil supplies, traffic congestion in cities, and more. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), researchers are working to find alternatives to the cars and trucks people have been using. Some options people are exploring are to promote the use of bicycles instead of cars or to introduce small, energy-efficient vehicles to city streets. With new technologies including motorized wheels for bicycles, stackable cars, and special scooters invented as part of the SmartCities project, giving up traditional vehicles might be easier than ever before.

Motorized Bicycles with GreenWheel

Bicycles were once a standard transportation option even in North America, but the convenience and relative affordability of cars in the late twentieth century changed all that. However, concerns about the environment, health, and rising costs of driving are making cycling more popular again. In Europe, bicycles have long been a preferred method of transport, and most cities are planned with cyclists in mind; bicycle paths have become standard features along many roads. North Americans have been slower to catch the cycling spirit, but the health and environmental benefits of using human-powered vehicles are making people think more seriously about riding bicyles. With new technology such as GreenWheel, people can have the benefits of motorized vehicles together with all the advantages of bicycle-riding.

Bicycle-Sharing Programs

GreenWheel is part of SmartCities, a series of projects researchers at MIT are promoting, designed to help expand transportation options for communities. Its Mobility-on-Demand program makes bicycles and light electric vehicles like scooters available to the public for a small fee based on use. Some cities have picked up on this idea and implemented bicycle-sharing programs in which riders rent bicycles at one of several locations around the city and return them to another site when they are done.

The Vélib’ program in Paris, for example, has been very popular since it first began in 2007. Although theft and vandalism have been problems for Paris, the idea is still gaining ground in other cities, and the GreenWheel technology could help. For people who cannot afford cars or who enjoy the versatility and health benefits of cycling, motorized bicycles could help considerably.

Scooters and Stackable Cars

Other SmartCities programs developed at MIT could help to change transportation. The CityCars program features rechargeable two-passenger electric cars, which could run along bus or subway lines. These small, stackable cars could greatly reduce the problems of traffic congestion while still giving people the flexibility they need. Another innovation is the RoboScooter, a foldable electric scooter that can be used in all kinds of situations where cars are impractical. Traditional vehicles might not disappear from the roads any time soon, but inventions such as these could help the transition to more energy-efficient vehicles.

Solving the Problems of Alternative Transportation

Although the idea of replacing cars with smaller, “greener” vehicles appeals to many people, some problems still have to be solved. One of the biggest issues in North America is safety. Unlike the streets in much of Europe, most North American roads are built primarily for cars, and riding anything smaller can be very dangerous. Cyclists are the most vulnerable, but even drivers of motorcycles and other small vehicles can easily be injured. Better bicycle paths and separate lanes for smaller vehicles, however, could help.

If the new technology from MIT works, it could be a unique solution to the world’s transportation issues.


Electrical Safety Equipment in the Home

Electrical Safety Equipment in the Home

Most people don’t realize that electrical safety equipment is around us all the time. Without it, even our homes would be a very unsafe place to be.

Electrical safety equipment is all around us in our homes. Many people don’t think about the basic principles of electricity, how dangerous it is, and how we are protected every single day from this powerful element by equipment that is designed solely to keep us safe. Much time, planning and preparation has gone into keeping us safe from electricity and electrical hazards. A guide to individual state’s electrical regulations can be found here (NEIS). Following is a description of what electricity is and how we are protected from it by electrical safety equipment.

What Is Electricity and Why Is it So Dangerous?

In our homes electricity is the flow of electrically charged particles through wires. These particles are called atoms. Atoms are the smallest breakdown of anything. Atoms have three parts, protons, neutrons and electrons. The protons and neutrons don’t move. It is the electrons that move around the protons and neutrons. As these electrons move an electrical current is formed. Electrical current is measured in amps or milliamps. Although there are many factors that determine the hazards of an electrical current, know that as little as 20 milliamps can fatally injured or kill a person. Anything over 5 milliamps is considered dangerous. If exposed to as little as 6 milliamps of electrical current, muscle control could be lost and it may not be possible to let go of the electrical source.

As the electrical current moves through the path that has been created for it, the wire, it is encased within plastic. Plastic is used because the electricity can not escape or flow through it. The electrons become the source of energy. For illustration, imagine a light switch is in the on position. As the current gets to that light, the bulb will come on because the energy it needs is being supplied. When the switch is flipped off, the current is stopped or blocked and the light does not work. Electricity is wonderful and useful but it is also very dangerous. There are several ways that we are protected from being exposed to those electrons or electrical current.

What Are Some of the Electrical Safety Equipment Devices That We Use in Our Homes?

I’ve already mentioned that electrical current can not flow through the plastic of a plastic insulators. Have you noticed that all of your outlet covers are plastic? This is to protect you from any possible sources of electricity. Another thing you may have noticed are outlet covers in the bathroom or near the kitchen sink that are square and have two little buttons on them. These devices are called ground fault circuit interrupters or GFC I’s. GFCI’s are there to protect people from electrical shock. The GFCI detects how much current is flowing. If there is an imbalance or too much current the GFCI will “trip” or cut the power off. GFCI’S are designed to trip when as little as 5 milliamps imbalance is detected.

Similar to GFCI’S, an art fault circuit interrupter or AFC I’s are now required to be installed in homes by the National Electric Code. Some electrical appliances convert electricity into heat, appliances like irons for example. Sometimes too much heat is created where the appliance is plugged into the wall. If a spark happens at the outlet, this is called arcing. An AFCI device detects electrical arcs and shuts the outlet down. AFCI’s are not installed at the receptacle, but at the main service panel to the home.

Other safety equipment that you may have seen in the home are fuses or circuit breakers. A fuse is an over current protection device that interrupts the flow of current if too much enters the fuse. It is basically a metal strip or wire that melts. The current is interrupted and halted at the fuse box. Once a fuse melts it has served its purpose and needs to be replaced. A circuit breaker also detects over-current and interrupts current flow. Circuit breakers trip open which interrupts the flow because the contact wires are forced to separate. Circuit breakers in the home can most often be manually placed back into the closed position to restore current flow.

Sometimes Electrical Safety Equipment Is Not so Obvious

There are many other not so obvious electrical safety devices that are in our homes. Large appliances and heavy duty extension cords for example have 3 prongs on the plug. This third prong is called a ground pin. The main purpose of a ground pin is to prevent electrical shocks. If any metal parts inside the wire or appliance gets too hot, the current is redirected back to the earth or ground and away from the appliance. You probably protect children in the home by inserting plastic plugs or caps into outlets that are not in use. Another piece of safety equipment that you may or may not see is the dryer vent. Although more so designed for fire safety, aluminum flexible dryer vents provide more safety than paper vents on electrical clothes dryers.

There are many ways that the home is equipped with electrical safety equipment and devices. If you look around, I’m sure that you will notice most of these items in your home too.


Electric Scooter Safety Tips: A Safe and Economical Form of Motorized Transportation

Electric Scooter Safety Tips: A Safe and Economical Form of Motorized Transportation

Electric scooters can be an economical form of transportation. They are also a great way to go green and save fossil fuels. Here are some safety tips.

There are many reasons to choose an electric scooter as a next vehicle. They can help save the environment by not using gas at all. Electric scooters are also less expensive than buying a car, and much easier to find a parking space for.

However, before making the choice to buy an electric scooter, be aware of what safety rules one needs to consider both on and off the road.

Have the Right Electric Scooter Gear

Check with your state regarding electric scooter laws, and always use the right gear. Some states require a helmet be worn any time when riding an electric scooter. It is also often required to wear specific shoes so feet are comfortable when stopping at stop signs or traffic lights. Long sleeves and pants might be the best choice for riding a scooter as well.

Consider that bugs or objects can fly into a person when riding down the road. If riding in the winter, take extra precautions against the cold, since there is no shield from the elements.

Obey Traffic Rules

Traffic rules should always be observed. Never ride on unauthorized roads or sidewalks. Scooters are required to follow the same rules as all other vehicles. Stop at all stop signs and use turn signals when turning. Most scooter accidents occur because vehicle drivers don’t see the scooter when it is stopping or turning.

Legal Requirements for Electric Scooters

Most states have rules regarding licenses and insurance of electric scooters. If one will be operating the vehicle on a public road or highway, then there is probably the need for insurance and registration. Most states also require that the driver of the vehicle be at least 16 years of age and hold a valid driver’s license.

Follow Manufacturer Guidelines

Most electric scooters are not designed to be driven in the rain or at night. Many scooters do not have head lights for night driving, and can be very difficult to see in the dark. Most of these vehicles are also not able to withstand exposure to water. Since these scooters are powered by batteries, they can give the owner a shock, if the battery gets wet.

Most electric scooters are designed to carry the weight of one adult rider. Never carry passengers that will exceed the scooter weight limit. This can cause the vehicle to sink down, and could cause a wreck if the wheels are touched by the fenders. Also never tow or pull anything with a scooter. The frame and body are not designed to withstand this kind of stress.

Inspect the Scooter Before Riding

Because most components of an electric scooter are exposed to the elements, be sure to frequently check for damage. Nuts, bolts, and controls can become loose or weak over time and lead to a wreck. Make sure to test the steering mechanism and brakes before going into traffic. Keep the scooter in a sheltered environment, such as a garage when not in use.

Use caution when charging, as electric scooters must be charged by plugging the batteries up into a power outlet. If the wires or charging connectors become worn or frayed, they will need to be replaced; otherwise, they will create a fire hazard.

There are a number of things to consider before buying an electric scooter. While it may seem as there are a lot of negative aspects of owning a scooter, observing these safety issues will allow one to enjoy a wonderful form of transportation. Scooters are fun to ride, and are much less expensive than operating a gas powered vehicle.


Teaching Children About Input and Output: Technology Activity for Students New to Computing

Teaching Children About Input and Output: Technology Activity for Students New to Computing

Add an activity to a discussion about input and output devices by having students bring examples from home that might not be available at school.

Though schools still struggle with keeping their technology current with the market, many children have access to more advanced devices at home. Teaching them about input and output can include the basic examples usually available at school, such as the mouse, keyboard, monitor and data projector. A home-to-school connection, which relates directly to students’ own experiences, is made when they are asked to bring examples of devices from home that are not typically found at school.

What is Input and Output?

Computer input is the information that goes into a computer to be processed. It can come from a simple device, such as a keyboard or mouse. Input can also come from less traditional devices such as scanners, joysticks, and game consoles.

Computer output is the opposite of input; it is what comes out of the computer after information is processed. It can be through common devices such as a monitor, speakers, or printer. Output can also come from devices such as a data projector, digital video camera, or digital media player.

There are also devices that can do both input and output. These are called multifunction devices. Examples of multifunction devices include Internet telephones and modems.

Activity Using Student Provided Technology Examples

Once students understand the basics of input and output, they are ready to look for examples. Either as an assignment or as extra credit, ask students to bring from home either a physical example or an image either printed from online or cut out of a magazine.

In class, ask each children to show their devices and explain what they can do with each. For example, an MP3 player can get music from the computer and play it later. Then, ask the class to determine if the device is input, output, or multifunction. Students should then record their answers on a table or in a spreadsheet.

The lesson can be extended to include a math component as well. Once all of the devices have been identified students can calculate how many of each is provided. They can find the percentage of each type as well as create a pie graph.

Input and output are abstract terms and can be confusing for some students. Showing them examples of simple devices available at school can help, but students become more involved and better able to make concrete connections when they find and bring examples from home.