Prizes, winnings and completions

So, big things have been happening. The biggest thing for me recently is the conclusion of my University course, with the final presentation of my thesis project. Somehow I managed to avoid the wrath of the demo-gods, and both my presentation and hardware demonstration worked without a hitch. I was actually a little smoother in my presentation than my mid-year attempt, which I attribute mostly to knowing the content back to front rather than any real improvement in confidence or style. When you’ve been working on a single project for several months, the details tend to stick in your mind and you hardly need to glance at the presentation slides. With the conclusion of the project I’ve thrown up the last of the materials (including both mid and end year slides) into the SVN for posterity. I’m sure I’ll come back to it at some point, to refine the Bluetooth stack further.

I’m still awaiting my end of year results, but I’m really only hanging out for the one actual subject of Digital Control Theory I attended this semester; should I receive a passing grade (and I am darn near certain I will, given I passed the more difficult analogue version of the subject last year) I’ll be receiving both my diplomas. I’m not worried about my project score; I was invited to attend a special “Hooper Memorial Presentation Night” last week to give a special project presentation along with a few other excellent student peers, but managed to contract a nice cold that stole my voice for two days. Despite that setback, I managed to win the prize in absentia for the “Best use of a Microcontroller”, with my friends Luke and Brian winning “Best soldering work” and “Best Masters Project” prizes respectively. Damn good engineering all round. I’ll be picking up my perspex trophy and cheque/cash soon – I finally get something to put in a trophy cabinet that I suppose I need to purchase now.


Since my time until the big move to Atmel is getting close, very close in fact, I decided to throw up a quick placeholder page with a little countdown as a reminder to myself to hurry up and get organized. As is always the case with small things meant to fly under the radar it promptly gained a bunch of interest, including none other than the Adafruit Industries technology blog. A minor mention, but it’s odd to feel like a D-grade celebrity for the day. I even got sent a photo of the countdown page showing on the Atmel Apps integration server in the department where I’ll be working, so it seems I made a decent impression last time I was there after all. I guess being a socially awkward loudmouth isn’t such a detriment in an engineering company.

I’ve seen a lot of questions/panic about LUFA and what will change once I’m employed, but have no fear; I voiced my concerns many months ago and I have been assured that I can continue to work independently on it in my own time without interference. Given the amount of money Atmel’s spending to get me over there and employ me, they’d be daft to do anything anyway and force me to resign, since they already have their own competing stack being developed internally. I’m not worried, so the masses shouldn’t be, either :).


Coming back from a three-day mini-holiday over the weekend to the Gold Coast, Queensland had me a little shocked at the larger than usual inbox explosion; while 25-30 emails in three days is a tiny number in today’s “CC ALL THE THINGS” corporate culture, that’s twenty five to thirty support issues I have to track down and respond to with each taking up to an hour or two. Within the pile of emails however was something a little special; apparently a Google employee has nominated LUFA as a project that “deserves to be recognized”, as part of Google’s Open Source Programs office (the same people that organize Google’s Summer of Code program). That means a US$175 gift voucher to spend at the Google online store, plus an unspecified “free gift”. I’m usually damned wary about emails spouting free awards, but the headers check out, some background research shows the program to be legitimate, and the email was far to personalized to be a phishing attempt. I’ll know more once I receive my crate of new Google t-shirts that I plan on wearing around Atmel, just to confuse everybody. UPDATE: Email was indeed legitimate, a stack of T-Shirts are on their way to me. Shame I had to use almost half the voucher amount just on shipping, however.


I’ll leave now with a quick anecdote. While I was on holiday I went with my girlfriend to visit two of the large theme parks located there; “Warner Bros Movie World” and “Seaworld”. The former consists of standard roller-coasters, simulators and the like, plus one single ride, which will soak you with water at the end via a plunge down a waterfall. Here’s where the marketing kicks in: at the ride exit, there’s a booth where you can pay $5 to dry yourself off. My University marketing course should have taught us that – manufacture the problem, then sell the poor captive shlebs the solution for a nominal fee.



Comments: 3

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Hi Dean,

Congrats on all the awards, real and pending.

Pedantic again … Seaworld would be the latter not the former if it was indeed the place offering the $5 drying service.




Cheers Ross!

It’s a little unclear there – but the drying service is at Movieworld. Seaworld has lots of obviously water-themed rides, so people bring their swimming gear, but it’s Movie World that has the one non-obvious ride that soaks you, then charges you to dry you off. More fun rip-offs: You can’t bring your own food, so they charge $15/Burger and $9/Drink. Some rides require you to rent one-time use lockers at $1 for your belongings if you don’t have someone to hold onto them for you – and if you leave your stuff in them for over an hour (possible with the line lengths) you are charged $8 to retrieve them. On the upside, I will never feel bad for Warner Bro’s in relation to piracy, ever again, so it’s a net win.

– Dean


My mistake. $8 is robbery…


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Vital Stats

  • 35 Years Old
  • Australian
  • Lover of embedded systems
  • Firmware engineer
  • Self-Proclaimed Geek

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