June News


Financial Year End

Always a great time of year for the money courier service companies. Well, we managed to do better than the likes of Enron, although the images of directors slipping out via the back stairs with billions of dollars of shareholders' money has little resemblance to us, or the gentleman from Zimbabwe.

This is our second year of looking into our finances for the tax office. We remain a family held business with no bank debt, and have self-funded our current experimental work. The future direction is a series of products based on ARM processors.

What we can divulge is that the products will be networked via CAN and Ethernet. A little work on power-over-Ethernet will determine if it is worth avoiding separate power cabling for distributed I/O. We remain committed to input voltages of 24VDC, with several evaluation boards for the various switch mode devices that arrived mid-June.

While defining specifications, we priced several panels and electrical components — quite a surprise on how much some of the dumbest products cost without any silicon. At these prices we can get the stuff lazer cut and NC punched which is the next phase in the specifications. To think that a PC case with a power supply costs much less than a 200 × 300 × 80mm panel in Adelaide! These were certainly not the prices we recall on another continent, so when printers retail locally for less than $60 including shipping and ink, its not the freight. Anyone care to find out what the markups are?

A caption for the photo on the right?
Dividends: Some go to the tax office, some for lavish parties with a select group of bankers to celebrate another bailout, and what remains will be spent on silicon and red wine.

The 2011-2012 financial year was good for some

Money Man

“An unidentified man carries some cash for groceries in Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, March, 5, 2008. The Zimbabwean currency tumbled to a record 25 million dollars for a single US dollar Wednesday as Zimbabwe battles with the worlds highest inflation currently pegged at over 100 000 percent.” — AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi


Tales from the woods


Wooden desktop

A 2m pine slab sanded and coated with an epoxy polyurethane. This was previously just polyurethane, but after the last coat on the poplar slabs, there was a fair amount over, so we removed the computers off the desk and added a final coat.

We have been busy with a few pieces of wood for our new offices. The functional stuff is just shelving and a large area for testing. For the more challenging endevours like writing software, we prefer the feel of real wood to the plastic laminated desks in corporate fowl runs.

Poplar slab sanded and coated

There are two poplar slabs that we sanded and coated. The above photo is not very high resolution, but the patterns are stunning. These will one day be the supports for another raw slab of almost three meters that needs a final sand and coating.

Poplar slab sanded and coated

It is not uncommon to get a tree slab in Australia that has a touch of fire damage. Although not obvious from the desktop slab, there were darker rings on the outside possibly due to fire. Here the bottom (or maybe top) has a burn that may have contributed to the amazing patterns above it. As for “Tales From The Woods”, this one is when you get burnt on some technology — much like our Transputer, DEC Alpha, MIPS and PowerPC years of investment. We could put FPGAs in as well, but then there would be a much bigger section of black. Anyway, as shown, it all builds character.


Financial Investment

We will be transfering overseas investments to Australia over the next month or two. These will contribute to funding research into projects we are working on with a customer in North America.

Rest of June

Well, June is done and dusted, the tax is behind us and we can get back to work we enjoy. We had put in a good push of renovating, preparing test areas, and indulging in some wood work. Coding took a back seat, but we will show what was ordered from Texas Instruments next month.