Christmas 2011

I’ve been a bit slack posting here around the last few weeks; first there was Christmas, then I managed to contract one of those horrible colds that just seems to linger and linger (yes, two in the same freaking month!). I’m a little doped up on the cold and flu medications at the moment, so please excuse any incoherent sentences.

Firstly, a belated picture of my shiny paperweight trophy:

Hooper Trophy

Which I won in my University’s Hooper Memorial presentation night. I was actually quite looking forward to giving my presentation there as it would be good practice for my impending employment, but alas I managed to contract my first cold and had no voice on the night. I’m told Robert Ross, my (now Ex-) University lecturer did a decent job presenting my material in my absence, which is pretty remarkable given the sparse content he had to work with. Thanks Robert! With my prize money – actually a $250 gift voucher for Soanar Plus (great company, horrendously awful website that is shamed even by Atmel’s) – to buy this:

Soldering Station

A fairly neat soldering station which I haven’t had a chance to try out yet. It’s no Weller or Hakko, but frankly I don’t need something of that caliber for the amount of soldering I do, and this one has a hot-air gun! Time to start learning how the heck to use said hot-air gun on Youtube. Now that I know where to get cheap PCBs made, I might have a crack at designing and constructing a small surface mount board during the year in my spare time.

Last week or so I met up with the Melbourne AVRFreaks members for the last time – for a while at least – to have a drink in the city and exchange the usual social war-stories. They’ll all a great bunch of blokes (except Ross, he’s an awful, awful person) and I was very happy to see Alan and Mike turn up, as I haven’t seen either of them in a while. I really will miss all the Melbourne freaks while I’m over in Norway and our fun little gatherings every few months, but I hope I’ll be able to stay in touch over Skype and email. I guess I’m exchanging one set of awesome guys for another once I leave for Trondheim, as I also really want to see the Atmel AVR Applications group again. Just kidding about the above Ross, since I know you read this ;).

On the LUFA front, I’m afraid I have some bad news; I haven’t managed to complete the re-design I planned. That’s not for a lack of trying; I currently have three internal branches trying different tactics, but so far I’m unhappy with the results. Going to a full interrupt solution to match Atmel’s own V2 stack (and make the code more architecture-port friendly) is proving to be harder than I thought, and will take quite a bit of time to get right. For now I plan on releasing the current trunk out in the new year just before I leave, as it contains a variety of bug-fixes both small and big that I want out in the wild while I concentrate on moving to the other side of the world. Speaking of which, I start my move in a week’s time, and I’m both very excited and completely terrified. Right now I’m busy packing and trying to stuff my face with as many different foods as I can before I go into a land where a night out to dinner costs as much as an engagement ring.


We had a really bizarre Christmas this year, although it was really good to be back with my family – next year I’ll definitely come back for a few weeks to spend Christmas at home. While my last Christmas looked pretty much like this, the same day here in Melbourne this year looked like this:

Large Hailstones on Christmas Day - Warrandyte, Victoria, Australia.

Keeping in mind that this is Australia. Here in the Greensborough/Diamond Creek area we got hailstones the size of walnuts, and rain/lightning of the truly biblical variety. I was in the car when the hail started and we had to pull over under shelter to prevent the windshield from being smashed in, and afterwards it looked like some prankster had jammed open the switch on the great drink ice dispenser in the sky. I’ve never seen anything quite like it – and it led to some pretty serious flooding. This isn’t my video, but it’s pretty much exactly what I experienced myself. I think I like light fluffy snow better.

Since I’ve received a number of emails asking for more information on my internship at Atmel (what I did, where I stayed, what it was like, what Norway is like, how did I apply, etc.) I think I’ll write up another post tomorrow with a FAQ. I can’t promise my own experience will mirror everyone else’s, but I think there’s some value to getting it in a public place anyway. UPDATE: Internship Q&A post located here.


Comments: 2

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The “ever present awful Ross” strikes again …

“for Sonar Plus (great company,” … it helps to get their name correct … God I love this unpaid job!


Just making sure you’re paying attention Ross! I’ll fix that up now…

– Dean


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Vital Stats

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