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Well, its sure been a while...

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Having no exams in winter this year is a glorious thing. Very glorious indeed. So what happened to all my free time exactly? I cant say I'm anywhere near as present here - or in many other places as I'd like to be as of late... The unfortunate truth is that I now spend more time than I'd like in the lab in college - or freezing in a field somewhere watching a flight computer try and do its job. Thankfully, british winters are 8 parts grey, 80 parts wet and miserable, 1 part sunny, 1 part nice and 10 parts of "what exactly is this weather?!".

Project work is fun - its begun shifting an entire floor of the science section from windows to linux, 2 years of electronics students from PICs to AVRs for all the 'non assessed' stuff, and tradition C/ASM coders to FPC. Yeah, seriously.

So, maybe I should shed some light on what we here in the UK have been up to as of late - Im not sure Ive posted it up here in full really but heres the bottom line: A VTOL UAV with a low price point that'll be open source hardware and software in the near future. Who'dve thought you can get over 1,600 program cycles per second from an 8 bit, 16MhZ AVR thats doing dynamic thrust vecroting around a mobile centre of mass . It wasn't really easy but it got done.

As for the dramatic changes so many IT gurus of college are so thrilled about - it would seem the straightforward thinking of pascal and more importantly, the expansive low level libraries (yes, we're looking at you synapse, and the FPC team) could win over so many people so fast. RS232 serial ports at 9,600 baud - takes you back doesnt it? Or maybe that should be 56.6k in my case since I'm still a relatively new human . OpenGL GUIs may not be pretty, but when you've got 20 8 year old dells to run them on they still fly - and I've yet to see much overtake bare opengl straight on top of xlib as far as speed goes.

That said, I'll have to see if I cant cobble together some screenshots and photos to place up here at some point...

Note: Scrolling down I now realize there are categories for me to file this into. I'd like to say project presentation but it isnt really one yet... I'd also like to say developer diary but it isnt really developer-y either... Guess we'll find out what happens if I leave it blank...

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