Excitement and exhaustion

Whew boy, am I ever busy. I’ve been coding today until my brain bled, trying to finish a .NET C++ assignment. The assignment itself wouldn’t give me too much trouble normally, except the focus of this course component is speed, so the lecturer’s going to be going over the code with a fine toothed comb looking for poorly performing sections. The biggest issue I’ve had so far is that the vast, vast majority of the tips he’s taught us for speeding up unmanaged code (use reference parameters, inline functions, etc.) don’t carry over to the managed world; either the managed extensions don’t support it (“what, you want a const function? Not on my watch!”), or it’s already inbuilt (“Everything’s a reference!”).

But I digress. I’ve got a bunch of things to yack on about here today, so I’ll just fire them off in semi-random order. Sorry for the brain-dump.

First and obviously foremost for me – one week on and no issues reported so far with the new LUFA 100505 BETA. That means that things are looking good for the scheduled release date. I didn’t expect any issues with this release (most of the changes are minor core changes, or changes to the demos/apps) but it’s still nice when I release code and I’m not immediately hounded due to its bugginess. I’m still looking for beta testers as always, so if you have a bit of free time and an existing LUFA project have a play with the beta and report back.

Next: I’m thrilled to report that two companies so far have bought a commercial LUFA license. I realize to everyone else that this isn’t the sort of news that anyone outside my family cares about in the slightest, but I have to put it out there or I’ll give myself an aneurysm in my excitement. Of course I respect the company’s privacy and won’t release the names here, but one of them is very well known and I’ll be very interested to see how they end up using LUFA in their products. I still stick by my “free except if you’re really nice or don’t want to give me credit” licensing scheme for LUFA, but it’s really, really, really nice to get large lump sums every now and again for my efforts.

I’ve also nearly finished Smokey’s new Arduino book (yes, yes, I’ve been busy!) and I can now wholeheartedly recommend it with a clear conscience. I wish I could post a review on Amazon for him, but alas it seems I’d need to sign up and actually buy something first, so for now I’ll probably save it for a future blog post instead. Suffice to say that the book is really great for people getting to grips with the whole “physical computing” thing they’ve been hearing about. Of course the book’s content is a little too simple to really give me any new insights into the world of AVRs, but the conversational style narrative and exquisite hand-drawn pictures and diagrams give it a warmth I haven’t felt from a textbook before. Good stuff.

A few days ago I came across a really neat post about the LUFA Mass Storage Device demo code, and how to modify it to support SD cards instead of the existing Dataflash code. That’s something I get more than my fair share of requests about, so I suggest you all mozy on over and take a look – the guy’s modifications are open source, so you can try it out immediately. Even if you’re not removable-card inclined, the post does a good job of outlining the major demo components in case you want to make your own modifications. I really do need to document each individual demo more thoroughly to show off the bird’s-eye view of how the bits fit together, but I think there will need to be some major advancements in time travel and/or human cloning before I can do so.

And now, the big-one, the pants-wettingly, up-and-down jumpingly, gameshow-screamingly exciting news that’s been occupying my every waking thought while not working: I think I’ve got an internship! Well, not just an internship. An internship at the mecca of engineering. That’s right, hopefully I’ll be able to sort out the nitty-gritty details so I’ll be able to work for 1o-12 weeks at the end of the year right here:

Totally (not) the Atmel Norway HQ

Well, actually, that’s not it at all, but I’ll be blowed if I can find any real pictures of Atmel’s Norway HQ – but that’s at least a 40 degree hotter version of how my mind envisions it will be. That’s right, I’ll be off to Norway for an Atmel internship! It started with an email requesting me to submit a job application, and a few pleading emails (on my part) later and the gears have been set into motion. If all goes well, I’ll be spending a good three butt-freezing months in the most sacred building on earth. I’ll have to bring my camera, take lots of pictures, and try to ambush Eivind, Kristian and whoever else works there. Suffice to say that I’m just a little bit exited about the whole thing.


Comments: 6

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Santiago Saldana

Just wanted to say congratulations on the internship. I figure there would have to be something terribly wrong in the world if with the amount of experience and effort you’ve put into AVR programming you DIDN’T get an opportunity with them.


Cheers Santiago! It’s not all set in stone (lots of things to organize, like visas, accommodation, etc.) but if it goes ahead I’ll be one very happy (and cold!) chappy. I can’t possibly think of a better place to spend my required industry experience time for my course than the heart of Atmel.

– Dean


That is awesome, it gave me a bit of a thrill too when I read your news, such a wide open opportunity! A direct result of your good work…


Wow, all sorts of congratulations! You’re the man, Dean!


Atmel couldn’t have found a better engineer. You deserve every ounce of success you get considering all your hard work.



Hi Dean,

Saw Michael Collas yesterday at Hackers and learned of your fabulous news. What a superb way to start your career. Well deserved.




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  • 30 Years Old
  • Australian
  • Lover of embedded systems
  • Firmware engineer
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