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US Space Shuttle cockpit

Space shuttle cabin

So many wonderful buttons!

 

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user experience

Remember when designing anything: users will find the most efficient way to use your product, even if it’s not how you intended.

Test your product by pretending you have no time to deal with it.

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how it works: turbochargers

A turbocharger. It weighs about 10 pounds and is about the size of a cantaloupe.

I’m going to begin a series of explanatory pieces on how stuff works. This one is about turbocharged engines. I’m sure there are many tutorials on the internet, but this one aims to be as simple as possible, aimed at everyday non-technical audiences with plain language as briefly as possible.

What does “turbo” and “turbocharged” mean? What’s a turbocharger and why are they so awesome?

A turbocharger is a contraption that helps an engine produce more energy. In an automotive engine, that means the car will be able to accelerate faster when its engine is equipped with a turbocharger.

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Honda Si love & history lesson

Si badge

“Si” badge in the front grille of a contemporary Honda Civic.

The “Si” ( originally indicating “Sport injected”) is a trim of the Civic line from Honda. It’s Honda’s designation that the vehicle has upgraded performance characteristics compared to the other trims (LX, DX, EX, etc.). They often had different, more powerful engines installed from the factory, along with stiffer suspension and different tires for improved handling. The Si model followed the same body designs and general engineering as the other Civic models. This article summarizes the Si’s heritage and reviews the changes over the years.

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quality carried all the way through

When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.

Steve Jobs

The unseen design aesthetic of Apple’s Macbook. Beautiful inside:

performance
 

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beautiful engines

Even if you’re not a gear-head, perhaps you can enjoy the aesthetic quality of these engines. These are machines designed to convert the oxygen in air and mixed-in fuel into rotational power. Most people don’t see their engines very often, but I find some of them to be strikingly beautiful, as if some consideration for style must have been considered in their design.

For more of this sort of thing, visit beautifullyengineered.tumblr.com and reddit.com/r/machineporn

engine1280

Honda B18C5 1.8L DOHC found in the 1997 – 2001 Acura Integra Type-R.

htup-1206-04+1988-honda-CRX-si+B18C5

Same B18C5 engine as above, cleanly installed in a lightweight 1988-191 Honda CRX chassis.

civicR_mecha10_1280

Honda’s newer K-series, 2.0L.

gp7000_cutaway_high

Engine Alliance GP7000, a turbofan jet engine that is currently in service on the Airbus A380.

karltonscorvette4

Twin-turbo General Motors LS-series V8 built by CM Racing in a Chevrolet Corvette chassis.

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pop bottle challenge

You’ve got a faulty design when users must improvise. Not only true for soda machines!

soft drink dispenser

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