Thursday, July 3, 2008

Small cars...great engineering...

Hey guys, sorry for the long delay for this post. I was down with a very terrible flu virus last Tuesday after attending a seminar at Sime Darby Convention Centre and had been bedridden since then till Sunday....and the schedule this week didn't even permit me to post a single word.

Talking about the seminar, it was about the software Matlab that I'm using for my research now and that the distributor of the software, Mathworks has been organizing this yearly Matlab Day to promote the software among educators and researchers as well as people from the industries. This time round, the venue has been changed to the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Mont Kiara as opposed to the Sheraton Hotel in Subang for the previous 2 outings.

However, this year's seminar was a tad too boring for me except for some interesting facts on how to speed up the codes execution and also on the auto-generation of C codes from the M codes. What really got me awake during the seminar was the opening speech/keynote.....quite regretably to say....haha

The speaker was speaking on some general problems in certain car models that ignited some of the great engineering solutions in the automobile industry and that is exactly what I want to share with you today.

1) The Subaru 360. The first mass produced car by the company in 1958 and the interesting thing about the car was that it was only powered by a 2-stroke 356cc engine. With an engine half the capacity of a typical Kancil, I think that should Subaru continues its production today, it would have garnered some sales in conjunction with the hike in petrol price :-p And with a top speed of 60mph (approx. 96.5km/h), I don't mind driving this car everyday to uni at all. Till today, who would've thought that a 2-stroke engine car had ever existed on our Earth, especially one that is smaller in capacity than some of the 'kapchai' motorcycles ridden by those mat rempits today :-p

2) The second car that I'm gonna talk about is the Mini Cooper, no not the one driven by Mr Bean, but rather the new one produced under the BMW family of 4-wheelers. Again, plagued by space constraints, this car has one thing that other cars don' the hefty price is one thing but it, till this day is the only car with an all-electric steering wheel. Yup, it doesn't have the conventional mechanical-axle to turn the wheels when you the driver turns the steering. That's really good engineering to me, well at least till the day the battery runs flat and that you'll beg that you have a battery pack attached to your body like Iron know....just in case :-p

So all in all, engineers are smart people who drive the world with their great innovation prowess....just too bad that I'm not one of them :-p

And before I end, to my beloved cute-adorable-irritating sis, Happy Birthday to you :-) God bless... and may you be well and happy and good...haha


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