Tony and museums (was Xerox Alto..)

Jules Richardson jules.richardson99 at
Sun Oct 17 19:54:46 CDT 2010

Fred Cisin wrote:
> In USA, it is called a "dimmer switch" and "dual beam", and high beams are
> NEVER called "main", possibly due to the likelihood that the clueless will
> misinterpret that to mean that they should almost ALWAYS be in the "high"
> position.

It's just "lights" for dipped beam around here, and "brights" for mains. How 
widespread that is in the rest of the US (or even this state) I'm not sure; 
maybe it's just a regional thing.

> The filaments in a dual beam "sealed beam" headlight are not individually
> replaceable.  If you can intercept one being discarded, the use of the
> remaining filament makes it a very handy load for power supply testing.

Indeed. Plus our local farm supply place sells sealed beam lights cheaply, so 
there's not likely to be a shortage of them any time soon (well, unless the 
government makes up put CFLs in our cars ;)

> The dimmer switch is now on the steering column in a multi-purpose
> combination switch that controls enough things that it is not generally
> considered to be repairable, in lieu of replaceable.
> I remember when the dimmer switch was a button for the left foot.

Yes, our truck has it down by the left foot. On our more modern Toyota it's 
one of the 'stalks' on the steering column, which is where I've seen it on 
most vehicles in the last 30 years.

JOOI, how many countries other than the US often have vehicles with a parking 
brake mounted in the front footwell? Almost always on UK vehicles it was 
between the front seats (where it is on some US vehicles, but not so many). I 
remember Australia and New Zealand having the same setup as the UK, but I'm 
not sure what other countries do...



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