Oct 21

Microsoft Xbox History

Microsoft Xbox History

The original Microsoft Xbox was released on November 15, 2001 in North America, February 22, 2002 in Japan, and March 14, 2002 in Australia and Europe. It was Microsoft’s first foray into the gaming console market.

Microsoft Xbox History

As part of the sixth-generation of gaming, the Xbox competed with Sony‘s PlayStation 2Sega‘s Dreamcast (which stopped American sales before the Xbox went on sale), and Nintendo‘s GameCube.

The Xbox was the first console offered by an American company after the Atari Jaguar stopped sales in 1996. The name Xbox was derived from a contraction of DirectX Box, a reference to Microsoft’s graphics APIDirectX.

The integrated Xbox Live service launched in November 2002 allowed players to play games online with or without a broadband connection, It first competed with Dreamcast’s online service but later primarily competed with PlayStation 2’s online service.

Although these two are free while Xbox Live required a subscription, as well as broadband-only connection which was not completely adopted yet, Xbox Live was a success due to better servers, features such as a buddy list, and milestone titles like Halo 2 released in November 2004, which is the best-selling Xbox video game and was by far the most popular online game for years.

Oct 19

Restoration Plan for Success

Restoration Plan for Success

By Mark Simpson

A loud groan from the car trailer’s suspension broke the silence as we winched the old Ford truck aboard. The old pickup was once Ralph’s dream, as thoughts of driving his family around the neighborhood or in the local Fourth of July parade fueled his passion. But, like so many other unfinished projects I’ve bought over the years, Ralph’s dream failed to become reality when a lack of resources and knowledge stalled the project.Plan for Success

As years passed, his patience and persistence for the project diminished and soon the old truck merely reminded him of the space it took up in the garage.
I’ve always believed that for every car in attendance at the local car show there are at least a dozen more sitting in garages, sheds, and fields. Truth be told, many car projects suffer the same fate as Ralph’s, although with a little planning and honest personal assessment prior to purchasing a new project, many more dreams could become reality.

The scenario always plays out similarly. It starts with the proverbial “great deal.” You know, the $500 Chevelle that’s only a little rusty, or Grandpa’s Buick behind the barn that’s only missing a few parts. Before laying down your hard earned cash for that “great deal,” take a moment to consider what needs to be done and whether you have the skills, time, and resources to get the job done. The time and cost to complete a car can escalate quickly. Rare parts, replacement panels, and unforeseen problems can all take the steam out of your progress if you’re not prepared.

Ask questions before you buy! Not only from the seller, but from other car enthusiasts as well. There are many cars that have unique problems or simply have parts that are unavailable. Knowing what to expect and how to deal with it before you purchase will help keep your project on track.

Once the decision is made to buy, planning the progress of the build is key to ensuring a successful completion. Keep your expenses within budget and your progress expectations conservative, while leaving ample time to spend with friends and family. When all is said and done, you’ll want them to enjoy your new ride as much as you do. A friend and fellow enthusiast once told me, “Nothing happens in the garage after nine o’clock that can’t wait until tomorrow.” His message was clear as it related to cars and life alike: it’s not so important how quickly you get to the end, but rather that you enjoyed the journey.

Oct 18

History of the 1955-1959 Chevrolet Trucks

History of the 1955-1959 Chevrolet Trucks

Chevrolet’s Task Force trucks debuted in March 1955 looking very much like the company’s newly redesigned passenger cars.

Designed by Ned Jordan, these pickups featured a stylish wraparound windshield, hooded headlights, and an egg-crate grille, while the traditional pontoon-style fenders found on Advance-Design models (1947-55) were eliminated.

Like the “Hot One” on the automotive side of the fence, a Task Force half-ton pickup could also be fitted with Chevy’s historic 265-cid overhead-valve V-8. The 235-cid six remained standard. Most notable among appearance updates were quad headlights, introduced in 1958.

History of the 1955-1959 Chevrolet Trucks

 

Also introduced in the spring of 1955 was the Cameo Carrier, Detroit’s first truly stylish pickup. Available only in Bombay Ivory with red cab accents, the ’55 Cameo featured a fiberglass-skinned cargo box that further begged car-line comparisons. Cameo production continued through 1958, with color choices appearing in 1956. Following in the Cameo’s tire tracks in 1958 was Chevy’s new Fleetside pickup, another fashion-conscious model featuring cab-wide bedsides in steel.

This generation of Chevy 3100 trucks were the first no-excuses pickups from GM, thanks to all models having either the fully pressured oil system 235-cid six or the ubiquitous small-block V-8 engine—with both coupled to an open driveshaft. Torque tubes were out, meaning owners who were seeking a taller or deeper rear axle (or any powertrain imaginable) could easily undertake an engine swap. Task Force trucks were made in much smaller numbers compared to the previous generation of “Advance Design” trucks, so fewer are available today.

Oct 14

Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus Flower

Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus Flower (Hibiscus brackenridgei) is the state flower of Hawaii. Hawaiian hibiscus is a moderately popular ornamental flower in Hawaii. Hawaiian hibiscus shrubs bear blooms almost every day, but the blossoms last only for a day even when on the bush.

Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus Flower

Yellow Hibiscus in southern California by:Lindsey Hightower

The striking and beautiful yellow Hawaiian hibiscus is also known as the pua aloalo or ma’o hau hele in the Hawaiian language.

Although, the hibiscus (a plant cultivated for its blooms or blossoms) is associated with the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean and the plant family Malvaceae includes a variety of species that are native to the Hawaiian Islands, those flowers regularly observed are generally not the native hibiscus flowers.

The Hawaiian hibiscus flowers are full, conspicuously large and bright yellow with a prominent staminal tube surrounding the long and slender style. There are 2 subspecies in the Hawaiian hibiscus group. The yellow Hawaiian hibiscus flower that comes under this species is the official state flower of Hawaii.

The large Hawaiian hibiscus flowers are 4 to 6 inches in diameter. Hawaiian hibiscus are yellow, generally with a maroon center, and form singly or in small clusters at the ends of the branches.The staminal column of the Hawaiian hibiscus flowers is yellow, and the flowers open between 2 and 4 p.m. and close between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.The Hawaiian hibiscus has become endangered in its natural habitat.

Facts About Hawaiian hibiscus
Hawaiian hibiscus shrub grows to a height of 3 to 15 feet tall with a diameter of 8 to 15 feet. Young Hawaiian hibiscus plants have smooth tan trunks; the trunks of older plants have a wrinkled appearance.
Hawaiian hibiscus flowers are found on all the main Hawaiian islands except Ni’ihau and Kaho’olawe, but the flowers are not common in any location.
Hawaii changed its state flower from the native red hibiscus (Hibiscus kokio),on June 6, 1988, to the Hawaiian hibiscus – ma’o hau hele, the only species of yellow hibiscus.
The leaves on Hawaiian hibiscus have toothed edges, 3, 5, or 7 lobes, and are up to 6 inches long and equally wide.
The seeds of Hawaiian hibiscus are contained in 3/8 to 3/4 inch oval capsules. The capsule is covered with soft hairs. It is dry and tan when mature and opens to release the seeds. The seeds are 1/8 inch long, kidney-shaped, and covered with fine hairs.
Hawaiian hibiscus flower plants can be grown from cuttings if rooting hormones are used.
Hawaiian hibiscus bloom from spring through early summer with occasional flowers during the rest of the year.

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