Monday, September 22, 2008

Chevrolet Volt

Production version of Chevy Volt unveiled

Posted by: Anthony Lim

General Motors has unveiled the much-anticipated production version of its Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle. The design of the Volt production car has evolved from the original concept that was unveiled at the 2007 North American International Auto Show.

Volt's up, you say?

Many of the design cues from the concept vehicle however endure in the production Volt, including the closed front grille, athletic stance, rear design graphics, outside rearview mirrors and more.

Inside, the Volt offers the space, comfort, convenience and safety features expected in a four-passenger sedan, with a variety of interior color, lighting and trim options. Modern controls and attractive materials, two informational displays, and a touch-sensitive infotainment center with integrated shifter will distinguish the Volt's interior from other vehicles in the market.

The Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) uses electricity to move the wheels (which feature specially developed low rolling-resistance tires sitting on 17-inch forged aluminium alloys) at all times and speeds.

Spiffy interior should win friends.

For trips up to 40 miles, the Volt is powered only by electricity stored in its 16kWh, lithium-ion battery; more than 220 lithium-ion cells are contained within the Volt's battery pack. The electric drive unit delivers the equivalent of 150bhp of power and 370Nm of instant torque, and a top speed of 160kph.

When the battery's energy is depleted, a gasoline/E85-powered engine generator seamlessly provides electricity to power the Volt's electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery. This mode of operation extends the range of the Volt for several hundred additional miles, until the vehicle's battery can be charged. Unlike a conventional battery-electric vehicle, the Volt eliminates "range anxiety," giving the confidence and peace of mind that the driver will not be stranded by a depleted battery.

Volt a lot of promise, for sure.

The Volt can be plugged either into a standard household 120v outlet or use 240v for charging. The vehicle's intelligent charging technology enables the Volt's battery to be charged in less than three hours on a 240v outlet or about eight hours on a 120v outlet. Charge times are reduced if the battery has not been fully depleted.

The Volt is expected to be built at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing facility, subject to GM successfully negotiating satisfactory government incentives. Production is scheduled to begin late 2010 for models in the United States.


Thursday, September 11, 2008


DIY Laptop Repair: More Costly in the End

Author: Anthony Williams Sr.

We all cringe when our computers start showing noticeable glitches; software programs that don't run right or a screen that starts to fade in and out. You want these issues fixed fast and for as cheap as possible. The simplest solution seems to be on the 'net: diagnose, repair and restart your laptop yourself.

For many of these problems handy solutions can be found online with step-by-step manuals written in plain English and with photographic guides that can be easily followed. However, for hardware problems and especially for Dell laptops in particular, these tutorials can get you into a whole mess of trouble if you are not experienced with laptop repair.

It is very easy to destroy your Dell laptop computer while attempting a little DIY.


If the source of your Dell laptop issues appears to be entirely software based then you can realistically diagnose and fix the issue with help from forums and Internet guides.

If the worst happens you can always restore your computer to factory settings and start from scratch (this is why you should always backup your data religiously!).

Dell laptops come with a great little step-by-step procedure for restoring the operating system or the entire computer in case of major problems. Of course if your computer has been infected with a particularly nasty virus then you still may need the help of a professional to revive it.


If all you want to do with your laptop is upgrade your memory then this too can be accomplished through a little DIY. However, there are specific steps involved and you must be able to complete these steps exactly as written to ensure your computer will still fire up afterwards.

One of the major issues when replacing memory or any computer part is static electricity. One little zap and the components are destroyed. That is why professionals use devices to remove static from their work area so this kind of accident isn't possible. For the home user you will have to make sure you keep the new memory board in its packaging until the very last moment. You will also have to ground yourself so that you can't transfer a shock to the inside of your computer. Handling these parts also takes precision work to ensure they don't become damaged on install.

For All Other Issues and Repairs

While many people on the Internet make laptop home repair appear easy, the reality is that it isn't. One of the main issues regarding laptop repair is that you have crack open the casing on your laptop to get to any faulty parts.

Just opening the case is a difficult thing. For Dell laptops you have pry out the rubber pads underneath in order to expose the screws that hold your computer together. This sounds easy but the fact that most people give up home repair in this stage should give you an indication of the difficulty. Also some manufacturers apply glue to these screws to keep them from loosening.

If you manage to remove the screws then you are faced with unsnapping the plastic bezel from the body without breaking it. Once inside you need to be able to diagnose the issue and replace any defective parts, all without accidentally damaging or frying any of the fragile components.

Most people try DIY laptop repair to save money. However, if done improperly you could be looking at not just a repair bill but also a whole new computer. In the long run it works out cheaper to let the experts handle your Dell laptop repair.


Sunday, September 7, 2008


When small is beautiful
by Angela Sargunan

Motor Company launched its all-new i10 five-door hatchback recently. This feature-packed runabout answers the needs of motorists in combining safety and functionality with emphasis on minimal operating costs.

It runs on the enhanced Epsilon 1.1-litre engine which gives more power through improved air intake and exhaust system, delivering excellent handling with a maximum torque of 99.1Nm/2,800rpm.

The vehicle also passes today’s stringent safety regulation with a reinforced body structure incorporating high-tensil steel against frontal crash and side impact.

It has a high mounted stop lamp integrated into the rear roof spoiler for enhanced visibility, ABS, dual air bags and a battery saver.

The i10 comes with front ventilated disc brakes and rear drum brakes, actuated by a master servo unit which ensures safe and immediate stops.

Front suspension is MacPherson strut with coil spring while back is coupled torsion beam axle with coil spring.

Wide tracts and a long wheelbase further contribute to the high speed and cornering stability of the i10, which runs on 14in alloy wheels.

A functional and attractive dashboard with logically-located controls makes driving a real pleasure. Even the transmission shift lever is located next to the dashboard for unbeatable convenience.

There’s a choice of manual or automatic transmission. The five-speed manual is ergonomically placed and precise to operate while the smooth and thrifty advanced four-speed automatic transmission adds big-car city convenience to the i10.

Both are located in the lower centre fascia and have a short stroke gearshift lever for easier and cosier driving.

Its unprecedented spacious interior can match that of cars in the larger engine capacity class. Figure-hugging seats offer a comfortable experience for the whole family while foldable rear seats enable the extension of luggage space in a jiffy.

“We are excited about our latest model and addition to our wide range of quality vehicles,” said Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors chief operating officer Dennis Ho at the launch.

“The i10 raises the benchmark for minis the world over in general and Malaysia in particular.”

The i10 is priced at RM48,999.80 (on the road) for the four-speed automatic and is available for bookings now.