M-Racing ( Car Setup Guide FI

A setup system is an invaluable tool in helping you properly setup your RC race car to win races. However, being able to measure your RC car or RC truck's settings is just part of RC car handling tuning.

This guide is intended to introduce some concepts and explain how different RC car settings affect your RC car's handling. We are continually adding to this guide and hope that it will help beginners and advanced RC drivers alike.

Camber angle

A wheel with a negative camber angle

Camber angle is the angle between the vertical axis of the wheel and the vertical axis of the vehicle when viewed from the front or rear. If the top of the wheel is further out than the bottom (that is, away from the axle), it is called positive camber; if the bottom of the wheel is further out than the top, it is called negative camber.

Camber angle alters the handling characteristics of a car. As a general rule, increasing negative camber improves grip on that wheel when cornering (within limits). This is because it gives the tire that is taking the greatest proportion of the cornering forces, a more optimal angle to the road, increasing its contact patch and transmitting the forces through the vertical plane of the tire, rather than through a shear force across it. Another reason to have negative camber is that a rubber tire tends to roll on itself while cornering. If the tire had zero camber, the inside edge of the contact patch would begin to lift off of the ground, thereby reducing the contact patch. By applying negative camber, this effect is reduced, thereby maximizing the contact patch.

On the other hand, for maximum straight-line acceleration, obviously the greatest traction will be attained when the camber angle is zero and the tread is flat on the road. Proper management of camber angle is a major factor in suspension design, and must incorporate not only idealized geometric models, but also real-life behavior of the components: flex, distortion, elasticity, etc.

Most RC race cars have some form of double wishbone suspension which allow you to adjust camber angle (as well as camber intake).

Camber Intake

Camber intake is the measure of how much the camber angle changes as the suspension is compressed. This is determined by the length and angle between the top and bottom suspension arms (or turnbuckles). If the top and bottom suspension arms are parallel, camber will not change as the suspension is compressed. If the angle between the arms is considerable, the camber will increase as the suspension is compressed.

A certain amount of camber intake is desirable to maintain the face of the wheel parallel to the ground as the car rolls into a corner.

Note: the suspension arms should be either parallel or closer to each other on the inside (car side) than on the wheel side. Having suspension arms that are closer to each other at the wheel side than at the car, will result in camber angles that vary radically (and a car that behaves erratically).

Camber intake will define how the roll-center of your race car behaves. The roll center of your car will in turn determine how weight will be transferred when cornering and this will have an important effect on handling (more on this later).

Caster Angle

Caster (or castor) angle is the angular displacement from the vertical axis of the suspension of a wheel in a car, measured in the longitudinal direction (angle of the kingpin when looked at from the side of the car). It is the angle between the pivot line (in a car - an imaginary line that runs through the center of the upper ball joint to the center of the lower ball joint) and vertical. Caster angle can be adjusted to optimize a car's handling characteristics for particular driving situations.

The pivot points of the steering are angled such that a line drawn through them intersects the road surface slightly ahead of the contact point of the wheel. The purpose of this is to provide a degree of self-centering for the steering - the wheel casters around so as to trail behind the axis of steering. This makes a car easier to drive and improves its straight line stability (reducing its tendency to wander). Excessive caster angle will make the steering heavier and less responsive, although, in off-road racing, large caster angles are used to improve camber gain in cornering.

Toe-In and Toe-Out

Toe is the symmetric angle that each wheel makes with the longitudinal axis of the vehicle, as a function of static geometry, and kinematical and compliant effects. This can be contrasted with steer, which is the symmetric angle, i.e. both wheels point to the left or right, in parallel (roughly). Positive toe, or toe in is when the front of the wheel points in towards the centerline of the vehicle.

Front toe angle

In general, increased front toe in (i.e. the fronts of the front wheels are closer together than the backs of the front wheels) provides greater straight-line stability at the cost of some sluggishness of turning response, as well as a little more drag as the wheels are now driving a bit sideways.

Toe-out in the front wheels, will result in more responsive steering and quicker turn-in. However, front toe-out usually means a less stable car (i.e. more twitchy).

Rear toe angle

The rear wheels of your race car should always be adjusted with some degree of toe in (although 0 degrees of toe is acceptable under some conditions). In general, the more rear toe-in, the more stable your car will be. Keep in mind, however, that increasing toe angle (front or rear) will result in decreased straight line speed (particularly when racing stock electric motors).

One related concept is that the proper toe for straight line travel of a vehicle will not be correct while turning, since the inside wheel must travel around a smaller radius than the outside wheel; to compensate for this, the steering linkage typically conforms more or less to Ackermann steering geometry, modified to suit the characteristics of the individual vehicle.

Ackermann steering geometry

Ackermann steering geometry is a geometric arrangement of linkages in the steering of a car designed to solve the problem of wheels on the inside and outside of a turn needing to trace out circles of different radii.

When a vehicle is steered, it follows a path which is part of the circumference of its turning circle, which will have a centre point somewhere along a line extending from the axis of the rear axle. The steered wheels must be angled so that they are both at 90 degrees to a line drawn from the circle centre through the centre of the wheel. Since the wheel on the outside of the turn will trace a larger circle than the wheel on the inside, the wheels need to be set at different angles.

The Ackermann steering geometry arranges this automatically by moving the steering pivot points inward so as to lie on a line drawn between the steering kingpins and the centre of the rear axle. The steering pivot points are joined by a rigid bar, the tie rod, which can also be part of the steering mechanism. This arrangement ensures that at any angle of steering, the centre point of all of the circles traced by all wheels will lie at a common point.

Slip angle

Slip angle is the angle between a rolling wheel's actual direction of travel and the direction towards which it is pointing. This slip angle results in a force perpendicular to the wheel's direction of travel -- the cornering force. This cornering force increases approximately linearly for the first few degrees of slip angle, and then increases non-linearly to a maximum before beginning to decrease (as the wheel slips).

A non-zero slip angle arises because of deformation in the tire. As the tire rotates, the friction between the contact patch and the road result in individual tread 'elements' (infinitely small sections of tread) remaining stationary with respect to the road.

This tire deflection gives rise to the slip angle, and to the cornering force.

Because the forces exerted on the wheels by the weight of the vehicle are not distributed equally, the slip angles of each tire will be different. The ratios between the slip angles will determine the vehicle's behavior in a given turn. If the ratio of front to rear slip angles is greater than 1:1, the vehicle will tend to understeer, while a ratio of less than 1:1 will produce oversteer. Actual instantaneous slip angles depend on many factors, including the condition of the road surface, but a vehicle's suspension can be designed to promote specific dynamic characteristics.

A principal means of adjusting developed slip angles is to alter the relative roll front to rear by adjusting the amount of front and rear lateral weight transfer. This can be achieved by modifying the height of the Roll centers, or by adjusting roll stiffness, either through suspension changes or the addition of an anti-roll bar.

Weight Transfer

Weight transfer refers to the redistribution of weight supported by each tire during acceleration (both longitudinal and lateral). This includes accelerating, braking, or turning. Understanding weight transfer is crucial for understanding vehicle dynamics.

Weight transfer occurs as the vehicle's center of gravity (CoG) shifts during automotive maneuvers. Acceleration causes the car’s mass to rotate about a geometric axis resulting in relocation of the CoG. Front-back weight transfer is proportional to the ratio of the center of gravity height to the vehicle's wheelbase, and side-to-side weight transfer (summed over front and rear) is proportional to the ratio of the center of gravity height to the vehicle's track as well as it’s roll center (explained later).

For example, when a car accelerates, its weight is transferred towards the rear wheels. You can witness this as the car visibly leans to the back, or "squats". Conversely, under braking, weight transfer toward the front of the car will occur (the nose "dives" toward the ground). Similarly, during changes in direction (lateral acceleration), weight transfer to the outside of the direction of the turn occurs.

Weight transfer causes the available traction at all four wheels to vary as the car brakes, accelerates, or turns. For example, because of the forward weight transfer under braking, the front wheels do most of the braking. This bias to one pair of tires doing more `work' than the other pair results in a net loss of total available traction.

If lateral weight transfer reaches the tire loading on one end of a vehicle, the inside wheel on that end will lift, causing a change in the handling characteristics. If it reaches half the weight of the vehicle it will start to roll over. Some large trucks will roll over before skidding, while on-road cars usually roll over only when they leave the road.

Roll center

The roll center of a vehicle is the imaginary point marking the center of where the car will roll (when cornering) when looked at from the front (or behind).

The location of the geometric roll center is solely dictated by the suspension geometry. The official definition of roll center is: "The point in the transverse vertical plane through any pair of wheel centers at which lateral forces may be applied to the sprung mass without producing suspension roll".

The significance of the roll center can only be appreciated when the vehicles center of mass is also considered. If there is a difference between the position of the center of mass and the roll center a “moment arm” is created. When the vehicle experiences lateral acceleration due to cornering, the roll center moves up or down and the size of the moment arm, combined with the stiffness of the springs and roll bars (sway bars in some parts of the world) dictate how much the vehicle will roll while cornering.

The geometric roll center of the vehicle can be found by following basic geometrical procedures when the vehicle is static:

Draw imaginary lines parallel to the suspension arms (in red). Then draw imaginary lines between the intersection points of the red lines and the bottom center of the wheels as shown in the picture (in green). The intersection point for these green lines is the roll center.

You should note that the roll center will move when the suspension is compressed or lifted, that's why it's actually an instantaneous roll center. How much this roll center moves as the suspension is compressed is determined by the suspension arm length and the angle between the top and bottom suspension arms (or turnbuckles).

As the suspension is compressed, the roll center will become higher and the moment arm (distance between roll center and the car’s center of gravity (CoG in the picture)) will decrease. This will mean that as the suspension is compressed (when taking a corner, for example), the car will have less tendency to keep rolling (which is good, you do not want to roll over).

When using higher grip tires (foam), you should set the suspension arms so that the roll center is raised significantly as the suspension is compressed. On-road nitro cars have very aggressive suspension arm angles to raise the roll center as the car corners and prevent roll-overs when running with foam tires.

Running parallel, equal-length suspension arms will result in a fixed roll center. This means that as the car leans over, the moment arm will be forcing the car to roll more and more. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the center of gravity of your car, the higher the roll center should be to avoid a roll-over.

Bump Steer

Bump Steer is the term for the tendency of a wheel to steer as it moves upwards through the suspension travel. On most cars, the front wheels usually toe-out, that is, the front of the tire moves outwards, as the suspension is compressed. This gives roll under steer (when you hit a bump when turning, the car tends to straighten). Excessive bump steer increases tire wear and makes the vehicle twitchy on rough roads.

Bump Steer and Roll Steer

In a bump, both wheels rise together. In roll one wheel rises as the other falls. Typically this produces more toe in on one wheel, and more toe out on the other, thus giving a steering effect. In a simple analysis you can just assume that the roll steer is the same as bump steer, but in practice things like the anti-roll bar geometry have an effect that modifies it.

Bump steer can be made more toe-out in jounce by lifting the outer ball joint or dropping the inner ball joint. Usually only small adjustments are required.


Understeer is a term for a car handling condition during cornering in which the circular path of the vehicle's motion is of a markedly greater diameter than the circle indicated by the direction its wheels are pointed. The effect is opposite to that of the oversteer and in simpler words understeer is the condition in which the front tires don't follow the trajectory the driver is trying to impose while taking the corner, instead following a more straight line trajectory.

This is also often referred to as pushing, plowing, or refusing to turn in. The car is referred to as being 'tight' because it is stable and far from wanting to spin.

As with oversteer, understeer has a variety of sources such as mechanical traction, aerodynamics and suspension.

Classically, understeer happens when the front tires have a loss of traction during a cornering situation, thus causing the front-end of the vehicle to have less mechanical grip and become unable to follow the trajectory in the corner.

Camber angles, ride height, tire pressure and centre of gravity are important factors that determine the understeer/oversteer handling condition.

It is common that manufacturers configure cars deliberately to have a slight understeer by default. If a car understeers slightly, it tends to be more stable (within the realms of a driver of average ability) if a violent change of direction occurs.

How to adjust your car to reduce understeer

You should begin by increasing the negative camber of the front wheels (never above -3 degrees in an on-road sedan or 5-6 degrees on an off-road car).

Another way to reduce understeer is to decrease the rear wheel negative camber (which should always be <= 0 degrees).

Yet another method to reduce understeer is to reduce the size or remove the front anti-roll bar (or to increase the size of the rear anti-roll bar).

It is important to notice that any adjustment made will result in a trade-off. Cars have a limited amount of grip that can be distributed between the front and rear wheels.


A car is said to be oversteering when the rear wheels do not track behind the front wheels but instead slide out toward the outside of the turn. Oversteer can throw the car into a spin.

The tendency of a car to oversteer is affected by several factors such as mechanical traction, aerodynamics and suspension, and driver control.

Limit oversteer happens when the rear tires exceed the limits of their lateral traction during a cornering situation before the front tires do, thus causing the rear of the vehicle to head towards the outside of the corner. More generally oversteer is the condition when the slip angle of the rear tires exceeds that of the front tires.

Rear wheel drive cars are generally more prone to oversteer, in particular when applying power in a tight corner. This occurs because the rear tires must handle both the lateral cornering force and engine torque.

The car's tendency toward oversteer is generally increased by softening the front suspension or stiffening the rear suspension (or adding a rear roll bar). Camber angles, ride height, and tire temperature ratings can also be used to tune the balance of the car.

An oversteering car is alternatively referred to as 'loose' or 'tail happy'.

How do you differentiate Oversteer and Understeer?
When you turn into a corner, oversteer is when the car turns more than you expected and understeer is when it turns less than you expect.

To Oversteer or to Understeer, that is the question

As mentioned before, any adjustment made will result in a trade-off. Cars have a limited amount of grip that can be distributed between the front and rear wheels (this can be enhanced through aerodynamics, but that’s another story).

All race cars develop a greater lateral (i.e. sideslip) velocity than is indicated by the direction in which the wheels are pointed. The difference between the circle the wheels are currently tracing and the direction in which they are pointed is the slip angle. If the slip angles of the front and rear wheels are equal, the car is in a neutral steering state. If the slip angle of the front wheels exceeds that of the rear, the vehicle is said to be understeering. If the slip angle of the rear wheels exceeds that of the front, the vehicle is said to be oversteering.

Just remember that an understeering car goes into the boards nose first, an oversteering car goes into them tail first, and with a neutral-steering car, both ends hit the boards at the same time. J

Other Important factors to consider

Any vehicle may understeer or oversteer at different times based on road conditions, speed, available traction, and driver input. The design of a vehicle, however, will tend to produce a particular "terminal" condition when the vehicle is pushed to and past its limits of adhesion. "Terminal understeer" refers to a vehicle which, as a function of its design, tends to understeer when cornering loads exceed tire traction.

Terminal handling balance is a function of front/rear relative roll resistance (suspension stiffness), front/rear weight distribution, and front/rear tire traction. A front-heavy vehicle with low rear roll stiffness (from soft springing and/or undersized or nonexistent rear anti-roll bars) will have a tendency to terminal understeer: its front tires, being more heavily loaded even in the static condition, will reach the limits of their adhesion before the rear tires, and thus will develop larger slip angles. Front wheel-drive cars are also prone to understeer because not only are they usually front-heavy, transmitting power through the front wheels also reduces their grip available for cornering. This often leads to a "shuddering" action in the front wheels which can be felt in the car as grip is suddenly being changed from planting the engines power on the road and steering.

Although understeer and oversteer can each cause a loss of control, many automakers design their vehicles for terminal understeer in the belief that it is easier for the average driver to control than terminal oversteer. Unlike terminal oversteer, which often requires several steering corrections, understeer can often be reduced simply by reducing speed.

Understeer is not just present during acceleration through a corner, it can also be found during heavy braking. If the brake balance (the strength of the brakes in terms of the front and rear wheels) is too heavy at the front this can cause understeer. This is caused by the front wheels locking and losing any effective steering. The opposite is true if the brake balance is too strong towards the rear wheels causing the rear end to spin out (like a child skidding on a bicycle). In ordinary road cars a safe brake balance (tending towards slight understeer) must be found.

Racing drivers, on asphalt surfaces, generally prefer a neutral condition (with a slight tendency toward understeer or oversteer, depending on the track and driver preference) because both understeer and oversteer conditions will scrub off speed while cornering. In rear wheel drive cars understeer is generally faster on a circuit because the rear wheels need to have some grip available to accelerate the vehicle out of the turn.

Spring rate

Spring rate is a component in setting the vehicles ride height and its location in the suspension stroke. Spring rate is a ratio used to measure how resistant a spring is to being compressed.

Springs that are too hard or too soft will both effectively cause the vehicle to have no suspension at all.

Wheel rate

Wheel rate is the effective spring rate when measured at the wheel. This is as opposed to simply measuring the spring rate alone.

Wheel rate is usually equal to or considerably less than the spring rate. Commonly, springs are mounted on control arms, swing arms or some other pivoting suspension member. Lets assume the spring moved 0.75 inches, the lever arm ratio would be 0.75 to 1. The wheel rate is calculated by taking the square of the ratio (0.5625) times the spring rate. Squaring the ratio is due to two effects. The ratio applies to both the force and distance traveled.

Suspension Travel

Travel is the measure of distance from the bottom of the suspension stroke (when the vehicle is on a stand and the wheel hangs freely), to the top of the suspension stroke (when the vehicles wheel can no longer travel in an upward direction toward the vehicle). Bottoming or lifting a wheel can cause serious control problems. "Bottoming" can be done by either the suspension, tires, chassis, etc. running out of space to move or the body or other components of the car hitting the road.


Damping is the control of motion or oscillation, as seen with the use of hydraulic shock absorbers. Damping controls the travel speed and resistance of the vehicles suspension. An undamped car will oscillate up and down. With proper damping levels, the car will settle back to a normal state in a minimal amount of time. Most damping in modern vehicles can be controlled by increasing or decreasing the thickness of the fluid (or the size of the shock valve holes) in the shock absorber.

Anti-dive and Anti-squat

Anti-dive and Anti-squat are expressed in terms of percentage and refer to the front diving under braking and the rear squatting under acceleration. They can be thought of as the counterparts for braking and acceleration as Roll Center Height is to cornering. The main reason for the difference is due to the different design goals between front and rear suspension, whereas suspension is usually symmetrical between the left and right of the vehicle.

Anti-dive and Anti-squat percentage are always calculated with respect to a vertical plane that intersects the vehicle's Center of Gravity. Consider Anti-dive first. Locate the front Instant Centers of the suspension from the vehicle's side view. Draw a line from the tire contact patch through the Instant Center: this is the tire force vector. Now draw a line straight down from the vehicle's center of gravity. The Anti-dive is the ratio between the height of where the tire force vector crosses the center of gravity plane expressed as a percentage. An Anti-dive ratio of 50% would mean the force vector under braking crosses half way between the ground and the center of gravity.

Anti-squat is the counterpart to Anti-dive and is for the rear suspension under acceleration.

Circle of forces

The Circle of Forces is a useful way to think about the dynamic interaction between a vehicle's tire and the road surface. In the diagram below we are looking at the tire from above, so that the road surface lies in the x-y plane. The vehicle that the tire is attached to is moving in the positive y direction.

In this example, the vehicle would be cornering to the right (i.e. the positive x direction points to the center of the corner). Note that the plane of rotation of the tire is at an angle to the actual direction that the tire is moving (the positive y direction). That angle is the slip angle.

The magnitude limit of F is limited by the dashed circle, but it can be any combination of the components Fx (turning) and Fy (accelerating or braking) that does not exceed the dashed circle. If the combined Fx and Fy forces exceeds the boundaries of the circle, the tire looses grip (you slide or spin out).

In the example, the tire is generating a component of force in the x direction (Fx) which, when transferred to the vehicle's chassis via the suspension system in combination with similar forces from the other tires, will cause the vehicle to turn to the right. The diameter of the circle of forces, and therefore the maximum horizontal force that the tire can generate, is affected by many things, including the design of the tire and its condition (age and temperature range), the qualities of the road surface, and the vertical load on the tire.

Critical Speed

Oversteering cars have an associated instability mode, called the critical speed. As this speed is approached the steering becomes progressively more sensitive. At the critical speed the yaw velocity gain becomes infinite, that is, the car will continue to turn with the wheel held straight ahead. Above the critical speed a simple analysis shows that the steer angle must be reversed (counter steering). Understeering cars do not suffer from this, which is one of the reasons why high speed cars tend to be set up to understeer.

Copyright Notice:

Some of the definitions found here were based on text found on wikipedia ( Feel free to print these out and / or distribute this document as long as you give proper credit.

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A fake Ferrari car confiscated in Sicily, south of Italy, is seen in this handout photo released by the police on February 28, 2008. Police accused 15 people of building Ferrari sports cars and selling them to car fanatics on a budget, most of whom knew they were buying a counterfeit classic.



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eyes Contact Lens Display System

Friday, 18 January 2008
researcher holding a contact with the circuit
The field of display technology has seen some impressive announcements recently, but this one tops the charts for this crew. The University of Washington has implemented microscopic manufacturing or self-assembly (capillary forces) to make a new kind of hybrid contact. This contact has a microscopic imprinted circuit with light emitting capabilities. This kind of breakthrough opens the door to a host a possible applications, including HUD overlays and immersive displays. Do not get too excited yet. There is also a patent filed under United States Patent 5682210 back in 1997, it is very similar in nature.
"Movie characters from the Terminator to the Bionic Woman use bionic eyes to zoom in on far-off scenes, have useful facts pop into their field of view, or create virtual crosshairs. Off the screen, virtual displays have been proposed for more practical purposes – visual aids to help vision-impaired people, holographic driving control panels and even as a way to surf the Web on the go.

The device to make this happen may be familiar. Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights.

Contact lense display in a rabbit's eye "Looking through a completed lens, you would see what the display is generating superimposed on the world outside," said Babak Parviz, a UW assistant professor of electrical engineering. "This is a very small step toward that goal, but I think it's extremely promising." The results were presented today at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' international conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems by Harvey Ho, a former graduate student of Parviz's now working at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, Calif. Other co-authors are Ehsan Saeedi and Samuel Kim in the UW's electrical engineering department and Tueng Shen in the UW Medical Center's ophthalmology department.

There are many possible uses for virtual displays. Drivers or pilots could see a vehicle's speed projected onto the windshield. Video-game companies could use the contact lenses to completely immerse players in a virtual world without restricting their range of motion. And for communications, people on the go could surf the Internet on a midair virtual display screen that only they would be able to see.

"People may find all sorts of applications for it that we have not thought about. Our goal is to demonstrate the basic technology and make sure it works and that it's safe," said Parviz, who heads a multi-disciplinary UW group that is developing electronics for contact lenses.
The prototype device contains an electric circuit as well as red light-emitting diodes for a display, though it does not yet light up. The lenses were tested on rabbits for up to 20 minutes and the animals showed no adverse effects.

Contact in rabbit's eye Ideally, installing or removing the bionic eye would be as easy as popping a contact lens in or out, and once installed the wearer would barely know the gadget was there, Parviz said.
Building the lenses was a challenge because materials that are safe for use in the body, such as the flexible organic materials used in contact lenses, are delicate. Manufacturing electrical circuits, however, involves inorganic materials, scorching temperatures and toxic chemicals. Researchers built the circuits from layers of metal only a few nanometers thick, about one thousandth the width of a human hair, and constructed light-emitting diodes one third of a millimeter across. They then sprinkled the grayish powder of electrical components onto a sheet of flexible plastic. The shape of each tiny component dictates which piece it can attach to, a microfabrication technique known as self-assembly. Capillary forces – the same type of forces that make water move up a plant's roots, and that cause the edge of a glass of water to curve upward – pull the pieces into position.


Turn One Computer Into Two, Completely Free

Canadian Software Lets You Turn One Computer Into Two, Completely Free

Userful turns one computer into many, allowing a single computer box to support multiple users at the same time. - Photography courtesy Userful
Using software created by an Alberta company, you can get a second computer in your house this holiday season free. In fact, the software is capable of splitting your PC into 10, saving you money and saving the environment at the same time.

Digital Journal -- Canadian company Userful is now giving away its Desktop Multiplier software to anyone who wants an extra PC free.

The software turns one computer into many, allowing a single computer box to support multiple users at the same time. All you need to do is connect an extra monitor, USB keyboard and mouse to your run-of-the-mill computer box, and the Desktop Multiplier software will make it possible for two people to work on the same PC at the same time.

The reason Userful is giving away its software is to prove an environmental point and show just how much "un-tapped value lies hidden in today's desktop PCs," as their company press release reads.

In an email interview with, Userful's marketing and PR manager, Sean Rousseau, said, "Desktop multiplier works so efficiently because it only copies the necessary portions of the operating system while sharing the rest between each user. However from a user's perspective it appears that both have their own independent PC since their actions and files are completely private and separate from each other."

As for the legality of splitting the operating system to work with multiple users, Rousseau also noted Userful's Desktop Multiplier runs on the open source Linux operating system, so turning one computer into two is perfectly legal.

In fact, Userful's software will allow you to create up to 10 independent workstations from a single physical computer tower. The software is currently used around the world in schools, libraries, hotels, and other businesses. The software manages up to 10 PCs through a central Web portal. For a detailed diagram of how it works, .

"Most of what happens in an office -- word processing, internet, spreadsheets, etc. --- uses very little of the computing power of modern PC's," said Rousseau. "We figured there must be a more efficient way to use our computers and so we developed the technology to have up to 10 of our employees working from a single computer simultaneously. It worked so well that we decided to share it with the world."

The company was founded in 1999 and is currently privately held. Userful was named Alberta's 10th fastest growing company earning under $20 million in revenue.

Userful says its software has led to "huge savings" for businesses and individuals by reducing the number of PCs one needs to purchase. The company says turning one computer into 10 can cut as much as 70 per cent from a business's hardware investment.

The company says: "Over a 3-year lifecycle on a 100-user deployment, Userful's Desktop Multiplier approach can save as much as $90,000 in hardware acquisition; $90,000 on software acquisition; and $100,000 to $200,000 per year in reduced software support and maintenance costs."

The idea of splitting a computer between multiple people certainly sounds great for IT departments everywhere, so we wondered if the system would be bogged down by up to 10 people using a single computer's processing power.

"How much it slows down your computer depends largely on how fast your computer is and what you plan on using the computer for," said Rousseau. "For an example of what you can do we recently tried overloading one of our 10 user stations just to see if we could. All 10 had office programs and email open, they each had multiple YouTube videos playing, and six of them were playing RuneScape all at the same time without any slowdowns at all."

In addition to cost savings, Userful is also finding an innovative way to be green in the PC market. It says 10 monitors, mice and keyboards on a single computer reduces CO2 emissions by up to 15 tones per year per system. According to the company, in the last year their software has saved more than 13,250 tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of taking 2,300 cars off the road.

In addition, it also saves you money because using one physical computer (rather than two) cuts down on your electricity bill, and it reduces hardware and support cost.

A group of kids laugh and pose for a photo beside a network that employs Userful software, allowing one computer to be turned into 10.

Userful is also helping out in another green space, as its software cuts back on computer waste: With an estimated 20 million PCs becoming obsolete in the U.S. each year, Userful says e-waste contains lead, mercury, cadmium, and many other toxic and bio-accumulative compounds that can compromise water and air quality. By sharing the same box, Desktop Multiplier reduces electronic waste by up to 80 per cent.

The current promotion comes with free two-user licences, so all you need is an extra video card (or a card that enables two monitors to be plugged in), a USB keyboard and a mouse. The company says the download will not affect any software on your hard disk.

So why is the company giving its software away for free? Rousseau told "We are giving this software away for personal use only because it is our hope that people will realise what an amazing product it is and recommended the commercial version to their workplace. It is free forever, enjoy!"

To download the software free, visit Userful's website.

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  5. Modern Theoretical Physics: Learn about quantum entanglement and other theories of physics in this course.
  6. Ben Franklin and the World of Enlightenment: You'll get to learn about Benjamin Franklin's life and achievements, as well as how he affected and was affected by the Enlightenment.
  7. Straight Talk About Stem Cells: This course discusses the fundamentals of stem cell biology as well as its surrounding controversy.
  8. The Geography of World Cultures: Here you'll be able to explore locational dynamics and the way they affect languages, groupings, and religions.
  9. The Future of the Internet: This course discusses the issues of network neutrality and ownership on the Internet.
  10. The Literature of Crisis: Learn the art of living and take a look at the circumstances of existence through discussions on writers and thinkers including Socrates and Shakespeare.
  11. Historical Jesus: This course considers the historical evidence of Jesus against that of traditional Christianity.
  12. Virgil's Aeneid: Here you'll get an analysis of this work that is essential to the canon of Latin literature.
  13. Computer Systems Colloquium: In this podcast, you'll hear from guest lecturers that discuss topics like VoIP encryption, computer architecture, and balancing methods.

UC Berkeley

These courses from UC Berkeley are freshly completed from the Fall 2007 semester, and they should be available in full. Highlights include environmental studies and issues in new media.

  1. Foundations of American Cyber-Culture: This course takes a look at computers, new media, and the world wide web.
  2. General Biology: In this biology course, you'll cover cells, genetics, animal development, form, and function.
  3. The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs: This course offers an introduction to programming and computer science.
  4. Structure and Interpretation of Systems and Signals: Get a look at mathematical modeling of signals and systems in this engineering course.
  5. Crossroads of Earth Resources and Society: Check out this course to learn about the way geological processes intersect with American culture.
  6. Issues in Foreign Policy After 9/11: This course discusses international issues and events with relation to 9/11.
  7. Metal Cutting: Here you'll learn about processes, procedures, and theories of metal cutting.
  8. Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice: Listen to this podcast to hear about juvenile courts, theories of delinquency, and the justice system.
  9. Human Emotion: Consider emotion with evolutionary grounding as well as a social constructionist approach.
  10. Time, Money, and Love in the Age of Technology: In this course, you'll take a look at the meaning of life, visionary business, and going beyond being human.
  11. Earthquakes in Your Backyard: Learn about seismology, tectonics, and natural disasters throughout history.
  12. The Ancient Mediterranean World: This course discusses the history of ancient Mediterranean empires.
  13. Search Engines: Technology, Society, and Business: Consider search psychology, economics, spam, and other topics relating to Internet search engines with this course.
  14. Introduction to Human Nutrition: In this course, you'll get an overview of digestion and metabolism.


MIT's courses feature either audio or video, sometimes both, and are available as podcasts by department feeds.

  1. Aircraft Systems Engineering: This course offers a view of the aircraft as a whole system, with an experienced astronaut as well as a shuttle project manager as professors.
  2. Introduction to Biology: In these video lectures, you'll cover core biology material.
  3. Introduction to Psychology: Introduction to Psychology is presented as a series of audio lectures, with accompanying lecture notes.
  4. Neuroscience and Behavior: These audio lectures discuss neuronal integration, anatomy, and physiology.
  5. Brain Structure and its Origins: You'll learn about CNS structures in this series of audio lectures.
  6. Animal Behavior: Learn about adaptive behavior from animals with this audio lecture course.
  7. Principles of Chemical Science: In this introductory chemical course, presented in video, you'll take a look at basic principles.
  8. Principles of Chemical Science: These video lectures build upon the previous chemistry course, further emphasizing basic principles.
  9. Media, Education, and the Marketplace: This set of video lectures discusses using interactive media to enhance education.
  10. Circuits and Electronics: Get an introduction to electrical engineering with this video course.
  11. Introduction to Algorithms: Learn about techniques in design and analysis of algorithms with these video lectures.
  12. Principles of Digital Communication: In this course, you'll focus on coding techniques for the Shannon limit of AWGN channels.
  13. Introduction to Copyright Law: This course offers both an introduction to copyright law and general American law.
  14. Engineering Ethics: Learn all about the ethics and philosophy of engineering through the cases in this audio course.


Duke offers a wide variety of podcast courses, from Italian to discussions on Nintendo.

  1. Nintendo: A History of Innovation: This course discusses Nintendo and some of its more innovative creations.
  2. Documentary Research Methods: Consider the relationship between Duke and Durham with student research and community fieldwork from this course.
  3. Gli Immigrati: In this course, you'll take a look at the situation of immigration both in Italy and the US.
  4. Gli Sport: Gli Sport considers popular sports in Italy and America.
  5. Italiano 2.02: Una Guida: This course highlights some of the important things in US and Italian culture, like museums.
  6. Italiano 2.02: L'Italia: Take a look at Italian culture, including food, agriculture, and monuments.
  7. Italiano 1: Progetto Museo: Learn about the operas of Museo Nasher in this course.
  8. Game2Know Focus IDC: This course considers topics in online gaming and beyond.
  9. How They Got Game: How They Got Game discusses RPG, Atari, WoW, and different genres of gaming.
  10. Young Latino Immigrants & School: This course will put you face to face with children of migrant farm workers in North Carolina and discuss their educational aspirations.
  11. Italiano 1: Conversazioni: This conversational Italian course covers descriptions, sports, film, and pasta.
  12. Principles of Effective eCommerce: In Principles of Effective eCommerce, you'll take a look at important figures of the Internet, such as Tim O'Reilly and Jakob Nielsen.
  13. Nursing Informatics: This course delivers graduate level content in systems and management.
  14. Business Ethics: In this course, you'll learn about business ethics, specifically the difference between stakeholders and stockholders.


Much of the media available from Harvard is presented as one full podcast, but we've hand picked a few of their courses and recurring series that you should look for.

  1. The City of Sardis: Approaches in Graphic Recording: Learn about the preservation and recreation of the ancient City of Sardis in this very detailed series.
  2. Human Systems Explorer: Available as video, this course looks at an interactive teaching tool that's used to teach pathophysiology.
  3. String Theory, Black Holes, and the Laws of Nature: These videos cover a beginning understanding of the basic laws of the universe.
  4. Women and War in the Twentieth Century: Consider the history of gender and war to get a better understanding of war itself with this series and tour of historical collections.
  5. Justice: This very popular course offers an introduction to moral and political philosophy, discussing great philosophers as well as debates on contemporary issues.
  6. 50 Years in Media: Changes in Journalism: You'll hear from eight panelists from the Harvard Class of 1955 as they discuss the changes journalism has experienced in the past 50 years.
  7. In the War Zone: How Does Gender Matter?: Here, you'll get access to discussions from a Harvard conference that considers gender and war.
  8. Interntional Relations: New Approaches in a Complex World: Take a look at important issues in international politics with this series.

Queen's University

This Canadian university offers a few iTunesU courses in engineering and social issues.

  1. ELEC 377: This core course for Computer Engineering covers basic concepts of operating systems.
  2. SOFT 423: You'll learn about advanced requirements in software engineering with this podcast.
  3. Ethnicity & Democratic Governance: This series discusses, globalization, democracies, social construction, and much more.


UCLA has BruinCasts for a number of courses online. Many of them are restricted for student use only, but we've listed the ones that are publicly open for the current academic year here.

  1. Atmospheric and Oceanic Science: Take a look at atmospheric circulation and its relation to the oceans in this podcast.
  2. Spectacle Entertainments of Ancient Rome: Look back at some of the ways Romans entertained themselves with this course.
  3. Genetic Engineering in Medicine, Architecture, and Law: In this course, you'll learn about the way genetic engineering touches many facets of daily life.
  4. Genetics: This genetics course takes a look at a number of topics, from Mendelian genetics to gene structure and function.
  5. Politics and Strategy: Take a look at the use of strategy in politics with this podcast.
  6. Social Psychology: This course takes on psychology as it relates to social situations.
  7. Freshman Computer Science Seminar: You'll get an introduction to important topics and key ideas for computer science and engineering with this course.
  8. Money and Banking: Take a look at the principles of money and banking in the US, processes, monetary policy, and more with this Money and Banking podcast.
  9. Life: Concepts and Issues: This course offers an introduction to important concepts in life science, such as the evolution theory.
  10. Electoral Politics: Public Opinion and Voting Behavior: You'll learn about political attitudes and public opinion in this course.
  11. Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory: Take a look at various topics in behavioral neuroscience with this course designed for Phsychobiology and Psychology students.
  12. Art as Social Action: Learn how artists can spark social action in this world arts and cultures podcast.

University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine

UCSF's Office of Continuing Medical Education currently has podcasts available on the subjects of depression and obstetrics/gynecology.

  1. Depression: Psychiatric Pitfalls & Treatment: Consider the treatment of depression with this podcast course.
  2. Depression: Anxiety Disorders and Exercise: This course taks a look at the link between exercise and anxiety disorders.
  3. Depression: Differentiating Unipolar from Bipolar and Treating Dementia: You'll learn about assessment and treatment of a few different mental afflictions with this course.
  4. OBGYN: Women's Medicine: This course will teach you to consider obstetrics and gynecology with a woman in mind.
  5. OBGYN: High Risk Pregnancies: Take a look at some of the risk factors and treatments for troubling pregnancies in this course.
  6. OBGYN: Issues in Women's Health: This course will ask you to consider health issues for women that every OB/GYN needs to know.

University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow has a handful of courses in podcast form, offering downloads through RSS as well as individually through their site.

  1. Kant: Take a look at A Priori, transcendental logic, and more in this course.
  2. 2D Digitisation: Learn about the importance and use of digitization in teaching and beyond through 2D Digitisation's 20-part lecture collection.
  3. Document Encoding: In this course, you'll learn about encoding standards, different types of text, and the examination of text.
  4. Consciousness: Listen to this course on consciousness, and you will get a look at the debate about consciousness in humans, animals, and machines.
  5. Heritage and Cultural Informatics: This course explores information technology as a way to improve access to cultural and natural heritage.


Yale offers a small sample of their courses online, with MP3 downloads for each session.

  1. Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics: This Yale podcast offers information on extra-solar planets, black holes, and dark energy.
  2. Modern Poetry: In Modern Poetry, you'll learn about major poets, concerns, and the characteristic techniques of modern poetry.
  3. Death: Face the inevitable with this course that explores death.
  4. Fundamentals of Physics: In this course, you'll get a good introduction to the principles and methods of physics.
  5. Introduction to Political Philosophy: Examine important thinkers and writings of Western politics in this course.
  6. Introduction to Psychology: Introduction to Psychology answers questions about the mind and provides an overview of the study of thought and behavior.
  7. Introduction to the Old Testament: This course discusses the Old Testament as it relates to religious life and Western Civilization.

More Courses

Learn even more from these podcast courses.

  1. Politique: Every week, you'll hear analysis on a new political subject in this course.
  2. Oxford Medieval English Lectures: Study Medieval English with some of Oxford's best in this podcast.
  3. Saviors: You'll learn about politics, economics, philosophy, and other news in this podcast.
  4. Controversy: Hear opposing views on science, politics, and more here.

serious bag is not amused

Great pictures makes you crazy

dead lock no way to move !!

Silicon nanowires get a charge from heat

Two ways to make silicon nanowires yield a potentially cost-effective ways to generate electricity from heat. One technique produces silicon nanowires with rough surfaces and the other silicon nanowires containing impurities similar to those used in computer chips. Thermoelectric materials hold the promise of generating electricity from the massive amount of heat wasted by factories, power plants, furnaces and vehicle engines. (Enhanced Thermoelectric Performance of Rough Silicon Nanowires, Silicon Nanowires As Efficient Thermoelectric Materials, Nature, January 10, 2008)

Contact lens displays

Laboratory rabbits are wearing contact lenses containing electronic circuits and light-emitting diodes for 20 minutes without adverse effects. The contact lenses are the first step toward contact-lens heads-up displays that would project computer-generated images onto the wearer's field of vision. (Contact Lens with Integrated Inorganic Semiconductor Devices, 21st IEEE International Conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems [MEMS 2008], January 13-17, 2008, Tucson, Arizona)


side walk ends !!

old Soccer players from last century

The paralysed finger

photo of hand

Try this…

Bend your middle finger and place the centre section on a table or hard surface. You will be able to lift your thumb, index, and little finger without moving your middle finger. But it is impossible to lift your ring finger.

What is happening?

The tendons in your fingers are independent from one another apart from the ones in your middle and ring finger. These tendons are connected, so that when your middle finger is folded down you cannot move your ring finger. It feels like your ring finger is stuck!

This experiment was written by Stephanie Weaver

Mobile Phone Tips 4 Things You Never Knew Your Mobile Phone Could Do

Very, very useful info.


There are a few things that can be done in times of grave emergencies. Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for survival. Check out the things that you can do with it:

FIRST Emergency

The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile; network and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked. Try it out.

SECOND Have you locked your keys in the car?

Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their mobile phone from your cell phone.

Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other 'remote' for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).

Editor's Note: It works fine! We tried it out and it unlocked our car over a mobile phone!'

THIRD Hidden Battery Power

Imagine your mobile battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370# Your mobile will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge your mobile next time.

FOURTH How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?

To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits on your phone: * # 0 6 #

A 15 digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. When your phone get stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

This is the kind of information people don't mind receiving, so pass it on to your family and friends

How to build your amazing steam candle for Christmas !

You’ll find out the very easy way to do your Christmas decoration.You can learn how to make a cool rotating steam engine using only a candle and a thin tube. It runs for hours!
I’ll use this technique for decorating my house for Christmas night.What about you?