Sunday, 14 July 2019

Credit card-A great development of forgetfulness.

Credit cards are everywhere. Almost 70% transaction in Japan is through Credit cards. With the Olympics in the offing, the usage of ‘plastic money’ is getting more popular. The word credit comes from Latin, meaning “trust”. When you sell something to another person, but give them time to pay, you trust them to pay you back.  How did the idea of the first credit card start? Which was the first credit card? How credit cards have evolved? When was the first credit card introduced in India? The modern credit cards we all know grew in popularity in the 1950s, when banks started issuing them, but the concept of creating a physical object whose holder should be extended credit goes back well into the 19th century. The most common pre-plastic credit instruments were ‘charge plates’, celluloid “coins” and ‘charge coins’.

‘Charge plates’, often called ‘Charga-Plates’, are the predecessors to credit cards. Used until the early ’60s, charge plates are made of aluminium or white metal plates. They are about the size of a dog tag and are embossed with the customer’s name and address. Charga-plates were issued mostly by department stores, but also by a few oil companies and store associations. They were sometimes kept in the stores and retrieved by the clerk when an authorized user made a purchase. Between 300 and 500 different ones are estimated to exist.
‘Charge coins’ are believed to have been first issued around 1865. At first, they were made of celluloid, which is an early form of plastic. Later ones were made of copper, aluminium, steel or white metal, which is when they became known as charge coins. They came in various shapes and not all were round; some were triangular and others had unique shapes. These credit pieces were also mainly issued by department stores, and usually displayed the customer’s identification number and an image connected with the merchant.
      John Biggins introduced a card that allowed customers to charge purchases from local merchants in his neighbourhood. Customers had to have an account at Biggins' the bank where the charge was forwarded. His bank covered the cost and then got payment from the customer. Customers had to have an account at Biggins' bank where the charge was forwarded. His bank covered the cost and then got payment from the customer. This is a major development in the history of the credit card

Frank McNamara created a Diners' Club card — a small piece of cardboard used to charge entertainment and travel expenses — after forgetting his wallet at a business lunch. This was the first credit card in widespread use. ‘He wines and dines without ever spending cash’ This  was the advertisement of Diners Club in 1960s.Plastic was used to make an American Express charge card, which required payments in full at the end of the month. PVC plastic soon replaced the cardboard or thin, paper-like celluloid used in its contemporaries.

The Interbank Card Association worked with banks in Mexico, Europe and Japan. To reflect the global banks involved, the association changed its name to MasterCard. Driven by the prevalence of credit card fraud in the '60s, IBM rolled out the magnetic stripe in a pilot project with American Airlines and American Express. The magnetic stripe, which stored the credit card's data, was unveiled at O'Hare Airport in Chicago

1976As Bank America card expanded to other countries, it adopted the name Visa to reflect its reach. 981American Airlines was the first to roll out a rewards program for frequent flyers. The credit card market in India started out in 1981 when Visa issued the card. Andhra Bank was the pioneer of credit cards in India. The EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) chip was developed and launched in Europe, providing more security. Now the technology has caught on in the World. Today, Card issuers continue to work tirelessly to increase security and protect holders’ personal information. 

Sunday, 23 June 2019

The Gopher tree

                     "Gopher trees" can be seen in Gavi, Kerala, India and believed to be the only such trees in India. The tree, which is identified as gopher, is known as nirampalli. Gopher wood or gopher wood is a term used once in the Bible for the substance from which Noah's
ark was built. Genesis 6:14 states that Noah was to build the Ark of gofer.
Gopher is the Hebrew word translated “cypress wood”. This is an unknown type of material, although it undoubtedly refers to some sort of coniferous tree thought to possess great strength and durability. Cypress was often used by shipbuilders in the ancient Near East. Similarly, the cedars of Lebanon were prized by the Egyptians for the construction of their barques for transport on the Nile, for instance in the eleventh century B.C
Many modern scholars consider “gopher wood” to be cypress because cypress wood is extremely durable. Modern English versions of the Bible, such as the New International Version, the New Living Translation, and the New English Translation translate it as “cypress wood.” The Smith Bible Dictionary defines gopher as “any trees of the resinous kind, such as pine, fir, or cypress.”
Gopher wood", far stronger than anything we have today. The strength of seasoned timber is related to density. A dense timber simply has more stuff in it, cellulose, lignin etc, built into heavier-walled cells.
There is a Gopher tree near to my workplace in Gavi, Pathanamthitta, Kerala

Friday, 15 February 2019

E-Rickshaw and Power Theft in Delhi

                          It is pitch dark outside.Chotu is riding e-rickshaw through the heart of the city. His destination is clear, though it may differ from that of the previous day’s has been operating this vehicle for a couple of years. As Chotu could not afford the pleasure of having a new one, he hired a repaired one offered to him by a Babu, residing near to his colony. Babu’s men are punctual in collecting daily amount fixed as hiring charge, irrespective of his trips. On lean days, he finds it difficult to meet two end of life after paying hire charges, sundry expenses during his 10-12 hrs of riding etc.His mother is living separately in another thatched attic and Chotu’s income is the lone source of her income also. How he manages to pull on is a wonder to many.
                      He has now reached the destination and slowly removed the almost drained battery and moved to the other side of the park. The street lights are burning as if causing hindrance to his work. He proceeded further to the corner of park, near to a big banyan tree. There appeared a tall man from dark covering his face, exchanged batteries and the cash for charging also. Returned to the e-rickshaw,Chotu  is now moving to the opposite  direction aiming his colony to garage the vehicle.
                                          This is a common scene in Delhi after introducing e-rickshaw. There are more than 125000 e rickshaws operating in the capital city of India but licensed one are just one fifth of it. The charging facility is not adequate to cater the need of all e rickshaws, which needs 7-10 units per day per e rickshaw. How majority of others manages to function? The answer is Power Theft. There are thousands of Chotus in Delhi making the situation alarming. Power theft  is alarmingly high in Delhi.the cost of stolen Power is routinely passed to genuine electricity consumers who pay charges alarmly.Government and Discom should move in tandem to cub this social evil failing which the Discoms will be marching towards bankruptcy.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Measuring energy:

When you think of how difficult a task it was trying to measure something which you cannot see, cannot taste, cannot grasp and cannot hear, you will realize how great of an accomplishment it was for engineers like 
Oliver Shallenberger at Westinghouse to invent the watt-hour electric meter.
Since 1888 many other kinds of useful meters have been developed. When the average person thinks of a great invention, they think of the light bulb or television. However they don't realize that without good measuring devices almost none of our modern inventions could exist!

In this page we tell just a bit about meters and provide you links to some more technical explanations. If you ask 
Robert N. Hallthe inventor of the semiconductor laser (used everywhere in the world today) what his greatest invention was, he will tell you it was the lithium drift detector. From someone who really understands technology that tells you a lot about the importance of the tools we use to measure.

1.) Types of electric meters:

There are more types of meters, detectors, and measurement devices than could be possibly listed here, but we will list a few of the most prominent which have really changed our world.

Watt-hour Meter –
 This is one of the most important meters ever invented. This measures the amount of AC current used by a customer. With an accurate way to measure power devised in 1888, this helped make the electrical grid economical and in the 1890s the electrical industry flourished. On the business side of things it was necessary to measure use as it makes for a fair way to charge customers. The traditional watt-hour meter uses a disk that spins due to electromagnetic fields. A counter measures the number of rotations. The more energy one uses, the faster the disk spins.

 detects electric current .This was historically the name given to an 'ammeter', it works by using coils of wire on a base of a needle in between two permanent magnets. This is one type of "moving coil meter".Ammeter - measures electric current (amperes) There are many types of ammeters today.  Digital ammeters use a shunt resistor with volt meter and compute formulas to display the value.
Volt Meter - measures voltage (electrical potential) across a circuit
Ammeter –
measures electric current (amperes) There are many types of ammeters today.  Digital ammeters use a shunt resistor with volt meter and compute formulas to display the value. Volt Meter - measures voltage (electrical potential) across a circuit

Timeline of the History of Electric Meters:

Here is a short list of important events in the history by the Edison Tech Center.
1800 The electric age begins with Volta's battery which sparks many inventors and scientists around the world to start to experiment with electricity. There are no standards of measurement or meters to measure this force. No one yet understands what electricity is and therefore it takes another 90 years before more scientific explanations help to break down electricity into its elements which then are assigned standards by the IEC in Chicago and Paris in the 1880s-1890s.
1866 Transatlantic telegraph was completed. Basic galvanometer-type meters were used to set up telegraph systems.
1879 Thomas Edison desperately needs a way to measure the electricity his customers would use. He developed a chemical meter with two rods of copper in a solution, as power was used one of the electrodes dissolved, showing by mass how much power had been used. This invention was not ready for use when the Pearl Street Station started working with customers, so early customers got electricity for free. After a year Edison started using the chemical meter but it was not accurate and customers were unhappy.
Interesting Fact: JP Morgan ran 106 lamps from 3pm-6am but never paid more for this use since he only paid by the number of light sockets and for the physical bulb purchases.
1880s Elihu Thomson develops a chemical meter similar to Edison's except it used zinc sulphate bath which worked much better. Edison's companies immediately started using Thomson's meter as they were desperate to solve the problem of metering.
1880s Thomson builds one of the first reliable wattmeters. He used solid silver bars and brushes with an aluminum disk with a small motor. Once again everyone including Edison used Thomson's meter as a standard.
1880s Edison vs. the gas industry: Thomas Edison adopted Thomson's meters and changed to a model that charged customers for electricity use, however this angered many customers who had been convinced to change over from gas lamps because of the fact that the flow of electricity was free. Edison doesn't get enough credit for his taking the brunt of the gas vs. electricity battle. We have to thank Edison for hanging in there and operating at a loss for years before getting profit.
1886 Edward Weston develops a moving coil galvanometer type meter with stable permanent magnet which becomes the basis of Amp, Volt and Watt meters for the next 100+ years.
1880s Edward Weston refined a watt-hour based off of Thomson's work
1887 Oliver Shallenberger develops the first accurate voltmeter at Westinghouse with Philip Lange
1888 Oliver Shallenberger at Westinghouse develops a meter that is close to the modern watt hour meter and sets the new standard.
1890 Only 5% of US homes were equipped with electricity. Arc lamps for public street lighting and trolleys were the most profitable employment of the technology. The AC revolution of the 1890s would change that.
1892 J.A. Fleming starts work on what would become the vacuum tube in the 1900s.
1890s Elihu Thomson continues to improve electric meters. Thomson has been working with AC power since the 1870s and has more experience in the area than most people around at the time.
1890s The IEC - International Electrical Congress creates standards for measurement of electricity
1896 William Stanley develops a static ground detection meter. This method is still used today to help ground vehicles and facilities as a measure of safety.
This timeline was created by the Edison Tech Center, report copyright infringement by content strippers who target timelines like this.
1916 High Voltage Measurement: Chubb and others develop meters that use predecessors to vacuum tubes and make the first somewhat accurate ways to measure this dangerous and difficult form of power. Before this point they used the crude method of measuring the distance an electric arc could travel through air or a tube to figure out the high voltage.
1922 E.B. Moullin create the first real vacuum tube voltmeters using improved triodes.
1930 The IEC establishes more standard electrical units including: Hertz, Oersted, Gauss, Maxell, Gilbert, Var, and the Weber
1957 Rosewell Gilbert (of Weston) developed the dual slope analog-to-digital conversion circuit was developed and allowed for stable noise-reduced measurement by digital means.
1970s Digital multimeters begin to appear as the cost of solid state devices drops
1970s Vacuum tube meters finally kill off moving coil galvanometers which were still in use by large companies. Many employees take the older meters home and these enter collections including the Edison Tech Center's collection later on.
1990s Digital multimeters outnumber tube-based or magnetic multimeters
2000s Digital multimeters are produced by many companies, some reach prices as low as 90 cents per meter while others made by Fluke or Milwaukee have a higher standard of quality and reliability and fetch prices in the hundreds of dollars.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Some of us may be skeptical about the tick-tick sound heard from the cars’ indicator or turn signal. 
Have you ever heard how this sounds? We may be skeptical about the turn-talk sound that the cars 
are indicator or the signal. How did this sound? There is no reason why some manufacturers are
 trying to reduce this volume of cars as new version releases.. Bye-metallic sprinkler in the laser
 is simply  makes the sound click-click on the indicator as it is heated and cooled
Before explaining this, the history of indicators will be interesting. By the early 1920s,
 there were different mechanical indicators signaling in cars. But the sound of the tick-tick sound
 you hear is in the early 1930's.
Joseph Bell patented the first electrical device that flashed — and then in 1939,
 Buick introduced turn signals as a standard feature.. By the late 1930s, American 
car maker Buick regularly started flushing turn signals in their cars. Similarly, 
other car makers followed the similar procedure. By 1950, the indicator / turn signals
 were forced into cars. From that point onwards, this voice is accompanied by indicators.

Thermal style flashers used to drive electricity to the indicator bulbs. By-metallic sprinkler
 in the flashlight is used to power the bulb into small intervals. The click-click sound on the
 indicator is the result of the heat and cooling of the spring.

. But the sound continued even from the thermal style floors and the electronic style
 flashersElectronic-style flashers are due to click-click sound and hese flashers work through a small chip.


Thursday, 19 April 2018

Why power theft in India is a complex problem?

Film Review
Why should I be scared of the government when electric current doesn't scare me? asks Loha Singh, who purloins electricity and provides illegal connections for a living in Katiyabaaz (Powerless), a riveting new documentary on power theft in India.
Singh, an irascible young man with a gift for invective, is the pivot around whom the film rotates.
He snaps off and mangles wires to the main public supply cables for a pittance to provide electricity to scores of homes in a decaying city. His grateful customers regard free electricity as a right or buy stolen power because they cannot afford to buy it. One of the most poignant moments in the film is when Singh returns to his fragile mother in their crumbling family home and she implores him to "leave this dangerous job" and do something honourable for a living. Singh's eyes well up in a moment of self-realisation of his bleak and hopeless life.
Loha Singh is, at once, the hero and villain of Katiyabaaz. Introduced to the filmmakers Deepti Kakkar and Fahad Mustafa by a drinking buddy, he is a man who, as Mustafa tells me, "typifies [the city of] Kanpur - a swaggering pride arising from having to make do in the most desperate of circumstances".


The film is set in Kanpur, which once prided itself as the Manchester of the East for its thriving factories and is today a derelict city, teeming with people and battling shortages. Thickets of electricity wires hang precariously over congested roads as residents endure up to 16 hours of power cuts a day. Three million residents live without power. Traffic crawls and the air is polluted. Water is scarce.
A well-meaning and seemingly efficient woman officer arrives to take charge of the bankrupt state-owned power supply company. She vows to trim losses, make consumers pay their bill on time and launches a drive against power thieves. She also infuriates a smooth local politician belonging to a powerful regional party who, at one point, barges into her office railing against her initiatives. "Both the poor and rich steal electricity," she says. "How much can the government subsidise?"
She is right. In Uttar Pradesh, one of India's most politically influential but electricity-starved states where Kanpur is located, a fifth of the more than 10 million consumers are typically without power at any given time. Transparency International found that the state's public electricity providers are widely viewed as corrupt.
A study found that power thefts in the state typically rise before local elections, suggesting that it is linked to large-scale theft by people who are likely to vote a politician who turns a blind eye to the problem. Interestingly, the study found that power theft in Uttar Pradesh was more about "political capture of public service delivery by the local elites" rather than political criminality or weak institutions.
In Katiyabaaz, however, both the power thief and his consumers appear to be struggling to live with dignity - and power.
The film, which took two years and 20m rupees ($316,828; £197,869) to make, follows the fortunes of the power thief, the bureaucrat and the politician through a series of incidents in the run up to state elections in Uttar Pradesh.
In the end, the populist pro-free power politician wins the elections. The bureaucrat is transferred to an insignificant town. Harried consumers breathe easy. The power company continues to bleed with a third of its losses caused by power theft. Kanpur still reels under 15 hours of blackouts a day. Loha Singh continues to risk his miserable life as a power thief, snapping wires by day and getting high on cheap booze at night.
"Change is tough," the polite woman officer says in a revealing interview in her mosquito-infested government bungalow. "I have to take the middle path, use softer options in the beginning. If I start tough, I will go," she says.
She goes, anyway. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Katiyabaaz holds out no promise of a better-lit future.
In many ways, this dark, moody, slyly political and occasionally funny film is a perceptive commentary on why change is so tough - and complex - in India.[Courtesy:

Credit card-A great development of forgetfulness.

Credit cards are everywhere. Almost 70% transaction in Japan is through Credit cards. With the Olympics in the offing, the usage of ‘pla...