December News

Leonard Mill

Leonards Mill, Second Valley. View from outside deck before the lunch visitors arrive, taken 31st Dec, 2014. We could not have asked for better weather, and the lunch was excellent. To find out more, see Leonards Mill home page.



Ale-dagger a word that gives the lie to the common nostalgic view of the English past as euphoria, peopled by decent, honest, peaceable, sturdy chaps. The ale-dagger was commonly worn to the ale-house in the sixteenth century 'for use in ale-house brawls', as the Oxford English Dictionary so succinctly puts it.

Taken from Beer Bible on Blackrock site.

A little further (under letter B)
Beer drinking records ...are not attempted nowadays nor the details kept. It is not only swinish but dangerous. In 1960, a one-legged Sydney man, Harold Fulton, drank sixty 10-ounce beers in 8 hours, a feat surpassed a short time later in Kumara by a 34-year-old New Zealander, Edward Case, who guzzled 61 long beers (totalling 4 gallons and 2.5 pints) in less than 8 hours.
That must have been prior to present pricing. It also points out that the folk at the bottom of the planet are not only good at rugby and cricket.

Software Development

We had a chance to delve into Apple's Swift language. At the moment still on the interactive console, so cannot really make any comments. It is going to take a lot to improve on the vanilla C language and the C++ work that followed. The rest of the month was dedicated to wood work and some time off visiting the tourist locations around McLaren Vale.

ARM 64-bit?

Much activity by the various marketing departments and sacrificial technology temples, but little managed to escape the swamps in 2014. Note to marketing: Perhaps just change the dates on the optimistic PowerPoint presentations. Don't forget to update press releases, and lastly, datasheets might be useful!

Tales from the Woods

Spansion and Cypress merger

See Cypress and Spansion to Merge in $4 Billion All-Stock Transaction, dated 1st Dec, 2014. The product lines are impressive, both have ARM microcontrollers and memory capability, so lets see what the merged lines are like a little later.

Cavium availability?

Cavium claim availability of their 48-core ARMv8 device in a reference platform. See Cavium Accelerates Customers Time to Market with ThunderXTM Reference Platforms in Industry Standard 1U and 2U Form Factors, dated 1st Dec, 2014.

Beer report

Last month we mentioned the possibility of process control on a small scale for beer brewing. We managed the first batch manually, have bottled the beer and will see what it tastes like in a few months. There was no requirement for heating, and with the punishing summer months ahead, a bit of cooling is more likely.

Have a Merry Christmas

For those who celebrate Christmas (whether in church or shopping malls), we trust you enjoyed the time off and spent wisely, as the credit cards (like the national debt) will have to be paid off at some stage. If you are travelling, drive nicely, even the 4×4 owners on congested sealed surfaces. For a change, petrol actually came down this December. It looks like the petrol barons are trying to stop electric vehicles from becoming viable or to keep the large guzzlers on Ozzie roads. Perhaps the retailers decided that the spending public would tilt the scales if they thought there was some positive news — indeed they did spend!