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Encyclopedia > Appliance

The word appliance has several different areas of meaning, all usually referring to a device with a narrow function:

  • A certain class of computer products, where the device has a specific function, and limited ability to configure.
  • A Post Rock band signed to Mute Records. The trio were active between 1996 and 2003. Listen to tracks from their three albums and four EPs at the Appliance Myspace pageand view the Appliance website

A United States Army soldier plays foosball with two prosthetic arms Jon Comer, professional skateboarder with a prosthetic leg. ... An orthosis is a device that is applied to a part of the body to correct deformity, improve function, or relieve symptoms of a disease. ... Braces Dental braces (also known as orthodontic braces or brackets) are a fixed appliance used in orthodontics to correct alignment of teeth and their position with regard to bite. ... Lightning strikes during a night-time thunderstorm. ... Electric egg beater Small appliance refers to a class of home appliances that are semi-portable or which are used on tabletops, countertops, or other platforms. ... A major appliance is a large machine which accomplishes some routine housekeeping task, which includes purposes such as cooking, food preservation, or cleaning, whether in a household, institutional, commercial or industrial setting. ... Toilet found in a Boeing 747 aircraft A toilet is a plumbing fixture and disposal system primarily intended for the disposal of the bodily wastes: urine, fecal matter and vomit. ... Many modern sinks are made of stainless steel such as this self-rimming example In plumbing, a sink or basin is a bowl-shaped fixture that is used for washing hands or small objects such as food, dishes, nylons, socks or underwear. ... A plumbing fixture is a device which is part of a system to deliver and drain away water, but which is also configured to enable a particular use. ... Impact of a drop of water. ... A fire apparatus, fire engine or fire truck usually refers to a vehicle designed to fight fires. ... Post-rock is a music genre characterized by nontraditional use of rock instruments and high musical density. ... Mute Records is a record label formed in 1978 by Daniel Miller primarily to release his own single, T.V.O.D./Warm Leatherette, under the moniker The Normal. ...

Networking of home appliances

Main article: Home automation

There is an increasing trend to network home appliances together, and combine their controls and key functions. For instance, energy distribution can be managed more evenly so that when the washing machine is on, the oven can go into a delayed start mode, or vice versa. Or, a washing machine and dryer may share information about load characteristics (gentle/normal, light/full), and synchronize their finish times so the wet laundry does not have to wait before being put in the dryer. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Intelligent building, Building automation, Room automation and Smart Environments (Discuss) It has been suggested that Domotics be merged into this article or section. ... Home appliances are electrical/mechanical appliances which accomplish some household functions, such as cooking or cleaning. ... Front-loading washing machine. ... Oven depicted in a painting by Millet An oven is an enclosed compartment for heating, baking or drying. ... Delay is: In sound effects, any of a class of effect that adds one or more delayed versions of the original signal, to create effects such as echo or flanger. ... This page includes English translations of several Latin phrases and abbreviations such as . ...

Computer appliances

Traditionally, all computing functions were written as software applications running on top of a general-purpose operating system. The consumer (whether home computer user or the IT department of a company) bought a computer, installed the operating system or configured a pre-installed operating system, and then installed one or more applications on top of the operating system. An e-mail server was just an e-mail application running on top of Linux, Unix, Microsoft Windows, or some other opearting system, on a computer that was not designed specifically for that application. Image File history File links Splitsection. ... Application software is a subclass of computer software that employs the capabilities of a computer directly to a task that the user wishes to perform. ... An operating system (OS) is a computer program that manages the hardware and software resources of a computer. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Linux (IPA pronunciation: ) is a Unix-like computer operating system family that uses the Linux kernel. ... Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®) is a computer operating system originally developed in the 1960s and 1970s by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ... Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of proprietary software operating systems by Microsoft. ...

Specialized applications have recently started to use a different model. Instead of installing firewall software on top of a general purpose computer/operating system, the engineers have built computers that are designed specifically for the task. This has taken four forms:

1) The vendor builds an ASIC, so there is no separate "software" or operating system. The device has a limited interface, usually terminal console or web-based, to allow some basic configuration by the consumer. The manufacturer often has some way of accessing deeper configuration mechanisms. This article does not cite its references or sources. ...

2) The vendor uses or creates a general-purpose computer, and designs a new operating system that integrates the application into the operating system. Cisco's IOS is an example; the Unix-like operating system has firewall functions and network/firewall configuration commands built into it. Sometimes, the device is also sealed, so the consumer has no access to reinstall the operating system or replace it with another operating system. The consumer may also be restricted to a small group of configuration commands, while the more deatailed and lower level functions of the operating system are only available to the vendor. The more this "locked down" approach is carried out, the closer this type of device comes to appearing like an ASIC device. A Cisco ASM/2-32EM router deployed at CERN in 1987. ... Cisco IOS (originally Internetwork Operating System) is the software used on the vast majority of Cisco Systems routers and all current Cisco network switches. ...

3) Off the shelf computers and operating systems are used, but the user interface and "box" are designed so the user cannot access anything on the computer, except for the application interface that the vendor has created. Since the underlying computing architecture is locked down and essentially invisible, it becomes difficult to discern that the device really functions on top of general purpose hardware and operating systems. Linux, and BSD to a lesser degree, has become the operating system of choice for this type of appliance. Recently the term software appliance has also been used to describe such a pre-packaged, black-box combination. Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD, sometimes called Berkeley Unix) is the Unix derivative distributed by the University of California, Berkeley, starting in the 1970s. ... A software appliance combines a software application and a streamlined version of system software (OS, file system, application server, etc. ...

4) The hardware itself has disappeared and become a so-called virtual appliance (also known as a virtual software appliance) using any one of a number of virtual machine technologies. Within this virtual machine is essentially the same stack of software plus operating system as in form 3). A virtual appliance is a minimalist virtual machine image designed to run under VMware, Xen, Microsoft Virtual PC, QEMU, Usermode Linux, CoLinux or other PC virtualization technology, providing network applications like firewalls or webservers. ... In computer science, a virtual machine is software that creates a virtualized environment between the computer platform and its operating system, so that the end user can operate software on an abstract machine. ...

Sometimes, these techniques are mixed. For example, a VPN appliance might contain a limited access software firewall running on Linux, with an encryption ASIC to speed up VPN access.

Some appliances are solid state, while others use a hard drive to load an operating system. Again, the two methods might be mixed -- an ASIC print server might allow an optional hard drive for job queueing, or a Linux-based device may encode Linux in firmware, so that a hard drive is not needed to load the operating system. In computing, firmware is software that is embedded in a hardware device. ...

The term "appliance" came to be applied to these devices because of their similarity to home appliances. Home appliances are generally "closed and sealed" -- not serviceable by the owner; in computer appliances, the hardware box is usually sealed and not repaiarable or upgradable to the user. Home appliances usually have a button or dial interface designed to allow the user to adjust its functions within a limited set of parameters; computing appliances have a limited user interface to configure the device within parameters allowed by the vendor, while underlying aspects of the device that support its function are only configurable by vendor technicians. A home appliance may have a motor, but the motor can only be used within the appliance's function, and not for other purposes; computer appliances that use a general purpose computer platform hide the operating system commands and functions from the user, and only expose the application interface.

Some examples of computer functions that are often available as appliances are:

With the rise of software appliances, further examples now exist in both hardware-installable and virtual form factors: It has been suggested that network layer firewall be merged into this article or section. ... // In cryptography, encryption is the process of obscuring information to make it unreadable without special knowledge. ... It has been suggested that MPVPN be merged into this article or section. ... Deployed at the gateway or in front of the mail server, anti-spam appliances are hardware-based solutions integrated with on-board anti-spam software and are normally driven by an operating system optimized for spam filtering. ... E-mail spam is a subset of spam that involves sending nearly identical messages to numerous recipients by e-mail. ... A computer virus is a computer program which distributes copies of itself, even without permission or knowledge of the user. ... S/MIME (Secure / Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is a standard for public key encryption and signing of e-mail encapsulated in MIME. // S/MIME was originally developed by RSA Data Security Inc. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Network-attached storage (NAS) systems are generally computing-storage devices that can be accessed over a computer network, rather than directly being connected to the computer (via a computer bus). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Unitrends is a privately-held software company headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina. ... Bare-metal restore is a technique in the field of data recovery and restoration where the backed up data is available in a form which allows one to restore a system from bare metal, i. ... Over fifty GPS satellites such as this NAVSTAR have been launched since 1978. ... A taxi in Kyoto, equipped with GPS navigation system An automotive navigation system is a satellite navigation system designed for use in automobiles. ... Google, Inc. ... Digital video recorder A digital video recorder (DVR) (or personal video recorder (PVR)) is a device that records video without videotape to a hard drive-based digital storage medium. ...

  • MediaWiki appliance
  • Gallery appliance
  • Asterisk VOIP appliance

Some consider the PDA to be a form of appliance, since most consumers do not make use of them as general purpose computing platforms. palmOne Tungsten T5 Personal digital assistants (PDAs) are handheld computers that were originally designed as personal organizers, but became much more versatile over the years. ...

See also

  Results from FactBites:
Appliance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (858 words)
Such items as toilets and sinks are not appliances, but plumbing fixtures, because they operate only with water and not with energy input.
The term "appliance" came to be applied to these devices because of their similarity to home appliances.
Home appliances are generally "closed and sealed" -- not serviceable by the owner; in computer appliances, the hardware box is usually sealed and not repaiarable or upgradable to the user.
  More results at FactBites »



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