February News


Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula and Gippsland

We spent some time in Melbourne, then toured the Mornington Peninsula before driving through Gippsland. The trip down was along the quickest route between Adelaide and Melbourne, returning along the Great Ocean Road.

Melbourne docklands

Sunset over the Melbourne Docklands and Yarra River.


Fitzroy Gardens Conservatory

The Fitzroy Gardens Conservatory, close to the Melbourne city centre.


Cunningham Pier, Geelong

Cunningham Pier — Geelong.


Cape Paterson shells

Shells at Cape Paterson in Gippsland.


Boat houses along Mornington Peninsula

Boat shelters along the Mornington Peninsula


Shop in Koonwarra, Gippsland

Quaint shop in Koonwarra, Gippsland


Seaweed at Anglesea, Great Ocean Road

Seaweed on the rocks at low tide — Anglesea, Great Ocean Road

The Ultimate Service Call

Our present hardware projects are close to Adelaide in case we need to upgrade or repair any items during the prototype evaluation phases. Just as a reminder of some difficult “call-outs”, the mechanical fish below needs hands-on, not remote diagnostics.

Under the Sea sculpture

Fish Tales carved by Fred Dobbs and Natasha Kamenskaia. “Under the Sea” exhibition at Frankston.

The sand sculptures were part of Under the Sea from 26th December 2012 to 28th April 2013 at the Frankston Waterfront. According to the website, 3,500 tonnes of sand were used in the exhibits! We visited at the end of February, on a rainy day, but the sculptures had stood up remarkably well. There is a resident maintenance sculptor, but this is not the same as your efforts on the beach with the kids (a long time ago). Absolutely stunning!

Under the Sea sculptures

Under the Sea sculptures, Frankston Waterfront


Hubble Repairs

The copyright notice for the Hubble photographs is available at Hubblesite.org, and generously places many of the images in the public domain. The material in the photo below is credited to STScl and NASA.

Some years ago in the paper based electronics magazines, the ultimate service call adverts had a picture of the mechanical arm on the Space Shuttle grabbing a satellite. Later an untethered astronaut was shown holding onto the Hubble telescope — surely one of the more expensive service calls?

Hubble repair crew

March 7, 2002. Astronauts Jim Newman and Mike Massimino remove the Faint Object Camera (FOC) from the Hubble Space Telescope to make room for the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The ACS installation marked perhaps the most significant scientific upgrade of Hubble's life up to this point.

Photo taken from 2002 Hubble repair, credit to STScl and NASA. The photo description link is here.


Freescale announced ARM 64-bit license

On 26th February, Freescale announced their license deal with ARM for the A-50 series of 64-bit cores. These will probable become available in 2014 or 2015. AMCC has slipped their delivery dates, but the project was indeed ambitious. This area will change the computing landscape (certainly embedded and networking).

For a print friendly version of the announcement, see Freescale and ARM Extend Relationship with Cortex-A50 Processor License for Future i.MX and QorIQ Products which will hopefully work with the embedded ampersands.


Tales from the woods


Coffee Shop in Lorne, Great Ocean Road

Breakfast stop at Lorne, Great Ocean Road

A nice little coffee shop with an adjoining shop of artist collectables.

Maits Rest, Great Otway Park

Giant tree ferns and old Myrtle Beech trees in Maits Rest, Great Otway National Park.

Maits Rest along the Great Ocean Road is well worth the stop. The round trip through the forest is about 2km. There are not many places left that developers have not taken care of, and this is not a large reserve. Unfortunately, the early inhabitants destroyed much around the reserve.