Thursday, May 9, 2013

Using Computer Parts and Science to Defrost My Lunch (Part One)

I have been a little absent lately. My only excuse is that life and priorities got in the way lately.

One thing will never change though. My need to create and re-purpose. And on that note, today's post is not so much about the re-use of furniture, but instead, old electronics or at least some parts of old electronics. Here was my dilemma:

I tend to be a person who forgets to plan ahead.  Possibly through procrastination or just out of already having too much on my mind or plate to realize that I missed something. In this case, I tend to forget most often to make a lunch at night before I go to bed. Or, I just get lazy and pass the chore off to the next morning. This is a bad idea of course on the best of days because I already know 'full-well' that I am a terrible morning person. Deep down inside, I know that I am just setting myself up for failure.

So what does one do if he is running late and doesn't plan ahead for lunch? He grabs a frozen leftover out of the freezer, throws it in his lunch-bag and runs to work. So, the new problem is that this leftover will probably not defrost before the lunch hour. Then I will waste most of my lunch hour trying to defrost the frozen center of my lunch in the microwave. Of course, all this causes is uneven food and heat distribution and you are forced to eat that frozen 'chunk' in the middle or toss it away completely. It also means that your coworkers will grow impatient because they need to 'nuke' their lunch as well (and may also have a frozen brick to contend with).

The trick I started using was that I would take out my frozen 'lump' and set it on top of my metal filing cabinet. The aluminum material in the cabinet acts as a natural hot/ cold absorber (ask any science teacher about natural temperature transfer and metals). This would help speed up the process, but would rely on the room's temperature and the natural distribution between cold and heat. This wasn't good enough for me, so I took it one step further.

I work in the IT department at my company and quite often have old or spare parts piling up in a corner of my office. If you have ever looked inside a computer, there is always one spot that holds a fan and a large aluminum 'fin-like' heatsink block directly under it. This serves to draw the heat away from your processor by transferring it to the aluminum and into the open air. The fan serves to help pull away the heat and replace it with cooler room-temperature, in effect, cooling down the processor beneath.

I also wondered how well this would work for frozen things?

Stay tuned because I have a few ideas I want to try out!

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