Month: September 2015

Week 2 Blog

During my second week of the SMART Desk, I have come to know and love the class even more.  I have used creativity to fix some interesting problems, such as devices not connecting to the Internet.  I have also used communication to relay information through our ticket system, both to the teacher with a problem and to my fellow SMART Desk students.  I have also used my problem solving and quick thinking skills to find solutions to student walk-up problems.

Tesla Model X (2016)

By Tim Stevens, CNET

It was early in 2012 that Tesla first unveiled the Model X, which at first looked like little more than a taller version of its all-electric Model S sedan. It was easy enough to assume that, with so much similarity between the two, the company would have its SUV on the road by the next year.

That of course would not be the case, but now it’s finally here, and we’ve finally gotten behind the wheel of the thing. We opened those falcon-wing doors, too, and while we’ll get to the impressions shortly, first let’s dispense with the details. The Tesla Model X is, at least initially, available only in Signature and Founders editions, which are basically fully loaded models with all the options boxes ticked. As such, they’re quite expensive.

The Model X P90D Signature, which has a 90kWh battery and 250 miles of range, costs $132,000 (around £87,000 or AU$188,000). Opt for the P90D Founders edition with the “Ludicrous Speed Upgrade” and you’ll spend another $10,000 — though it’s a free upgrade to any Model S owner who refers 10 people. Yes, that’s a lot of money considering you can get a base Model S for $75,000, but if you option up a Model S with similar options, you’ll see it’s only about a $5,000 premium over a similar AWD Model S P90D.

Pricing of the base 90D edition isn’t available at present, but expect it to start at around $80,000 — whenever they finally become available.

Regardless of which model you choose, you’re getting a roomy, seven-seater SUV that doesn’t offer much in the way of off-road pretensions. Instead, this is a sports machine, much more in the mold of a Porsche Cayenne or BMW X5. Its performance backs that up. Even the slowest model, at 4.8 seconds from 0 to 60, compares very favorably to the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid, which takes 5.4 seconds to match the same speed. Opt for the P90D and you’re looking at a 3.8-second 0 to 60 time, while the Ludicrous model gets you there in 3.2. That comes thanks to a 503-horsepower motor in the rear, and a 259-horsepower motor up front. Yes, that’s over 750 horsepower combined.

And you feel them. This car weighs a whopping 5,441 pounds, but you’d never know it off the line. It takes off like a slingshot and, if your head isn’t already back against the headrest, the car’s 713 pound-feet of torque will gladly put it there for you. Regardless of the size of the car, a launch like this is pretty breathtaking

Its competitive performance extends well beyond acceleration, too. That low-slung battery pack in the floor makes for some of the best handling in its class, handling that isn’t too far off from the Model S itself. The car turns in quickly and drives sweetly. In fact, Tesla’s so confident of the handling of its SUV versus the competition that it had both a Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5 here, ready for comparison. That battery pack also leads to an SUV that has the lowest rollover risk in its class. Tesla expects five-star safety ratings all-round.

At this evening’s unveiling, the Model X was demonstrated to be a fairly capable workhorse. Loaded up with seven passengers and both its front and rear stowage spaces full of cargo and luggage, the electric SUV towed a 5,000-pound trailer onto the stage. Obviously, this level of hauling will affect the EV’s range, but by just how much has yet to be determined.

And what about those controversial doors? They open upward, much like on a DeLorean, but with an extra hinge in the middle. On the plus side, this gives very easy access to the rear seats, much like on a van with a sliding door — but without making the thing look like a van. This is a particular boon if you’re strapping little ones into little safety seats. Even if you’re a fully grown adult the absence of a door in your path does make getting in and out much easier. The falcon wings open cleanly, but slowly, even in impossibly tight parking spaces. They require only 30cm (12 inches) of space to slide out of the way.

The Model X’s main trick: falcon wing doors.Tim Stevens/CNET

Negatives? Parking in low garages does limit the height that the doors can open, but they’re equipped with ultrasonic sensors to ensure that they don’t smack into the ceiling, and they’ll always open at least partially to let you duck out. (Even if the SUV somehow winds up on its roof.) The front doors get a few tricks as well. Both are powered, which means they can be closed by a button on the dash. And the driver’s door will even open by itself as you approach. How’s that for a warm welcome?

In many ways the interior is very familiar compared to what we’ve seen in the Model S, and by and large that’s a good thing. That massive, central, 17-inch touchscreen infotainment system is here with few changes. You’ll control much of the car’s heating and cooling, as well as the 17-speaker audio system, through here. The car also has exactly the same driver-assistance and automation features as the Model S, meaning it won’t be getting the coveted Autopilot feature earlier.

The structure and layout of the interior, however, is significantly different to the Model S. The biggest change is the windshield. The glass sweeps up and extends behind your head. Tesla calls it a Panoramic windshield, and says it’s the biggest curved piece of glass in a production car. It really opens up the cockpit and changes the driving, and the riding, experiences in a big way.

The middle-row seats have a so-called “monopost” configuration that, as you may have guessed, attaches them to the floor via a single post. It’s a little like an office chair. This frees up plenty of space beneath the seats on the floor, but it does mean they won’t fold down into it.

Should you need room to haul something bigger, Tesla showed that the car will work with a roof rack, though the company suggests that you instead take advantage of the no-cost hitch option on the back. Hanging your bike on a rear-mounted rack actually improves the aerodynamics of the car, whereas throwing your bike on the roof unsurprisingly kills it.

At first, at least, the Model X is not cheap, and with some 25,000 preorders to get through, it’ll be about a year before mere mortals can acquire one. However, like the Model S before, the Model X has all the makings of a great car. And with features like semi-autonomous driving on the software roadmap, it should only get better from here. The only question now is: How quickly can Tesla build them?


Original Article Here

Week Two 2015

This week I have tried to basically consolidate all of my responsibilities so that I can fulfill them more efficiently and more thoroughly. A couple times people have come up to the desk, and I have helped them. We finally were able to get the phone working for smart desk, so hopefully we will begin receiving calls through that system soon. I have also put more time and thought into the new desk that we are planning on fabricating. I have spent a lot of time making posters and the like for STEAM outreach club, of which I am a vice president. This week again consists of all standards except for 5.

Blog Post 2

According to the ISTE standards, I have demonstrated application of all of the standards while continuing work on the peer tutoring tracking system (except possibly number 5). In terms of communication, I have agreed, along with Mr. Beck, to set an overestimated deadline for November (early December) for the system. I have not done much with help desk tickets, but I have helped Dr. Frollini with technology issues that arise during AP Chemistry.

Blog Post Week 2

Over the last week, I have worked mainly on tickets and assigned projects from the tech department. Due to the fact that Michael was on vacation, myself and Mike Debski managed most of the High School issues including printers, wifi, internet, etc. Through some creative problem solving I worked on the issue that we have been plagued with over the last few weeks that prevented AutoCAD from opening on any of the PCs in the Fab Lab. The issue was solved and all is now working. Outside of school, the number of people wanting their iDevices fixed has gone up dramatically. I was able to help many people see their screens better.

Week 2 of Blogging

This week I worked mostly on support. We had a bit of a higher work Load since Michael Binkley was on vacation, and we were assisting with some of his regular tickets while he was away. I plan to meet with Mrs. Zirngibl next week about getting involved with SHOP@USC (as well as taking care of an issue she has a ticket in for). Working in support, I have met a few different ISTE standards, mainly the Communication and Collaboration standard. Using help desk I intereact with teachers (and students) in a digital environment. I also meet with both teachers and students face to face during my mods. Next week, as I start to get involved with SHOP@USC, I will be working more with the standard of “Critical thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making.” Overall, it has been a busy, but good week.

Blog Post #1

I haven’t done much yet, just getting used to the ticketing system and such. I’ve helped a few people with wifi issues and such, but nothing too huge as of yet. I’m still looking for a personal project of some sort, I haven’t been doing as much technologically lately, but I’ll try to pick something up sometime soon. That’s all that’s been going on for me so far, I’ve had a lot of other schoolwork as of yet.

Week 2

This week I’ve continued working on tickets in Help Desk. Help Desk has been a great way for us to communicate about technology issues at the high school, which directly satisfies ISTE’s 2nd standard on communication and collaboration. There have been a few walkups, but not as many as last week, so I think we should probably look into finishing the advertising projects for SMART Desk at the meeting next Wednesday. When those get done, there’s likely to be significantly more people asking for help.
I also learned more about the way our laptops connect and log into the district’s network and about how the Promethean boards are designed, which shows more progress toward ISTE’s 6th standard about technology operations and concept.
For next week’s meeting I will be finishing up the agenda. Most of the content is already there, but I will probably sending an email about it so that everyone can review the agenda if there is something they think should be added, moved, etc.

Blog Post Week One – AB

This week I have mostly been working on the peer tutoring system with Kevin. I have been looking into software to help support emailing out through the system. I have also worked on helping people when they walk up to the desk. I have also helped support the Computer Cart Reservation system. I have also though about how to possibly include some of the feature requests we have received for the system. Mike Debski and I started talking about how the desk that is possibly going to get made for the front of the library will look like. I have incorporated all standards except for number 5. All in all it has been a pretty normal week.