By Ed Sobey

With greater than a hundred and sixty entries detailing every little thing from the junk buried in table drawers to that mysterious field blinking away within the coat closet, this sensible advisor navigates via sleek workplace know-how. every one access contains a sensible description of a tool (what it really is and the way it really works) in addition to details on who invented it and the way its layout has advanced through the years. units are grouped in keeping with their habitats—in the convention room, striking from the ceiling, or attached to a computer—to help in quickly and simple id. fixing place of work mysteries, akin to why mobile keypads have their ones within the higher left nook whereas calculator keypads position those within the reduce left nook, this attention-grabbing source decodes the usually complicated technological landscapes of daily places of work.

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Qxd 7/20/07 3:30 PM Page 45 Two-Way Switch B E H AV I O R Allows you to turn a light on or off from either end of the office. Think about that for a moment and then try to draw a diagram of the wiring that would allow the switches to work from two locations. Pretty tricky. H A B I TAT Two-way switches are mounted on walls in rooms that have two widely spaced entrances. You might want to turn on the light as you enter the room from either side, so a switch is available at each entrance. H O W I T WO R K S One side of the light is connected to power, and the other side is connected to one of the switches.

Qxd 7/20/07 3:30 PM Page 60 Fire Extinguisher B E H AV I O R It quickly puts out the flames of a small fire. Because it has limited capacity, it should not be used to fight a raging fire. H A B I TAT Fire extinguishers are mounted on walls, sometimes inside a case with a protective door. H O W I T WO R K S Most fire extinguishers put out fires by covering the burning material and excluding oxygen (from the air). Without oxygen, the fire goes out. Inside the extinguisher are the smothering agent and a pressurized container with carbon dioxide.

An antenna collects time signals from satellites and passes them on to a computer and transmitter. This device directs all the clocks in a building by transmitting the time data by radio. qxd 7/20/07 3:30 PM Page 39 I N TE R E S T I N G FAC TS The ancients defined an hour as one-twelfth of the time from sunrise to sunset. They divided the daylight into 12 segments, and night into 12 more segments, apparently to mimic the 12 lunar cycles of a year. Sunrise marked the first hour of the day, and sunset marked the end of the twelfth hour.

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