Archive for the ‘General’ Category

APCO Confrence

February 18, 2007
Tomorrow I am travelling to the Gold Coast, Queensland for the annual APCO conference:
"Association of Public Safety Communications Officials"
We are presenting about our work on a standard for a new hightech police car.
I am talking about system integration.
Will be a long day, up and back in a day.

Catch up

February 3, 2007
I’ve back from Redmond for about 12 days but been rather busy or too tired to blog.
I have some further comments to make on the training material .. further blog
I had a great 2 night stopover in Waikki , Honolulu on the way back.
Quite a contrast to the snowin Redmond.
I’ll upload some pix.
Had a two day coporate retreat with the CFCP group that I am currently working with with VPAC.
Theh retreat was at Phillip Isalnd Victoria where the Fairy Penguins (8 inch) abound.
VPAC: Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing
CFCP: Centere For Computational Protyping (A subgroup of VPAC) closely connected to the Auotmotive CRC.
I freak out on the hirewire stuff (5 m) and the flying fox (10m)
I’ll upload some Phillip Island photos. No fairy penguins .. here’s a link:
I am working on the SAFE Vehicles project which is looking at teh integration of equipment in emergency vehicles in an ergomic, safe, energy efficient and formal but extensible manner.
My task is the system integration.
Since getting back I have been upgrading my laptop to Vista.
I’ll blog that.

Warney, got a job and things

December 27, 2006
– Yesterday we went to the Boxing Day Cricket Test (Aust v England) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The highlight was seeing Shane Warne take his 700th (and 704th) wicket.  That will be the last time we see him at the MCG (except for those who attend for England’s 2nd innings) given that he is retiring after the Sydney ( next) test… It is also the last time we will see Glen McGrah in a test becuase he too will retiring later next year after the ODI World Cup.  It was great to be there amongst the 89,000+ crowd, gust short of the world record for a test.
– I signed on to a new job with VPAC today as part of the Automotive CRC.  This is a 6 month contract starting next week.   I still intend to develop a consulting business for embedded development and training.  I will set this up over the next 6 months.

White Christmas

December 24, 2006
There’s snow on them thar hills…
Black ice on the Monash Freeway…
Snow (possible) in the Dandenongs!
Have a good Christmas fire fighters.

The Fires

December 22, 2006
It got to about 35 deg C today and very windy.
But .. the rain came!
Not a lot but but short and heavy while it lasted.
Hope the fire regions got lots.
Much more is expected on Christmas eve including snow in the fire regions.
That would be a good Xmas present!
Some showers expected next week too, but I hope it doesn’t rain on Boxing day .. I’m going to the Boxing Day Test (Cricket) at the MCG.

Microsoft Virtual Server Hosting

December 20, 2006
I am considering setting up hosting Microsoft Virtual Server.
The client gets
– a specific Instance of MS Virtual Server
– Fixed External IPs
– DNS Registration for External IPs
– Specific bandwidth and disk storage
– a mechanism to manage the virtual server.
It is then up to the client to provide the VMs to run on the Virtual server and Virtual server configuration.
They choose from a specific combination and provide the required license keys.
So everything that runs on the VM is sandboxed except for those services using the external IPs.
Feedback is welcome on this.

Fires and bike ride to Lara.

December 20, 2006
The fires continue to rage in NE Victoria.  Some properties lost.  One life lost as well as several injured firemen from New Zealand.
Last I heard 3/4 million hectare had been burnt and the fires had linked up on a 10+ firefront.
The fires are about 150km (as the crow flies) away form Melbourne.  Today we awoke to the smell of smoke and the sun not being able to be seen all day.  This was the day I planned to ride to Geelong along a new bike park and some back country roads.  I went anyway:
– Essendon to Western Ring Rd at Brimbank Park
– Bike Path along ring road towards Geelong Rd
– New Bike path along old sewer trunk from Brookland to Werribee  (Break at Mum’s)
– Werribee to Little River (Old Geelong Rd)
– .. To Base of Flinders Peak in You Yangs (Lunch break)
– .. To Lara
– .. To Nth Geelong
– Along Geelong Rd until could turn of and follow bike path along waterfront to pier at Geelong
– The caught train home.  I was able to put my bike in the luggage area and relax on a nice and soft chair, all for $7.50.
This fair was good for zone 1 as well back to Essendon.
Exactly 100 kms, 4hr 57 min travelling time, averaged 20.7 k/hr
The new sewer trunk bike path is a godsend.
That used to be a dangerous and difficult part of the journey to Werribee.
Geelong Rd is a bit hairy wheer there is no service road.
The Southerly made it a bit hard going in places when I was tiring a bit but picked when getting to Lara.
Smoke didn’t worry me, but then I don’t have respiratory problems.

I’ve left RMIT

December 17, 2006
As of COB last Friday (15th July) I am no longer at RMIT.  At this point in time I am either semi-retired, unemployed or using up some of my vacation.  Given that we are one week out from Christmas I don’t mind not having jumped straight into another job.  It seems strange that after 17 years of puting my heart and soul into a job, that you are suddenly cast adrift.  Its hard to come to terms that my office etc are no longer mine.  All sorts of facilities are no longer available for my use. 
My RMIT email address will remain active for 3 months.
The last day was an anticlimax.  Only a few people around to say good-bye.  No correspondences from head, VC.  So I ended up having a long lunch which went into the evening with friends who made a point spending time with me given that I was leaving work.
This is the way the world ends.
This is teh way the world end.
Not with a bang but a wimper.. TS Eliot
Thank you and goodnight.


November 6, 2006
Here’s a (brief) BIO:
  David Jones has been a lecturer in Computer Engineering for 17 years at RMIT University.  He has been at the forefront in teaching of mobile and embedded systems to undergraduate and post graduate students.  In particular he teaches courses involving Windows CE and Mobile .NET (Compact Framework).  His students have had success with international embedded competitions with Microsoft.  David is also a Windows CE and Windows XP Embedded trainer.  He has presented for Microsoft on a number of occasions including at MEDC this year in Las Vegas and in Melbourne.

 David’s other interests includes athletics, cycling and AFL football. 


Leaving RMIT

October 27, 2006
Haven’t been blogging lately due to my changing circumstances.
Despite all of my contributions to RMIT’s profile with students, teaching of Windows CE, introducing .NET and .NET CF to student courses, I have been declared redundant!   No critcism of my teaching, I drew the short straw.  CS&IT had been trying to stop us (CSE) teaching software for some time.  As part of a joint schools’ review, it was unilaterally decided that that we would drop our software stream and 2 of my courses were no longer needed…Although I had got an agreement (with CS&IT) that my "Mobile & Embedded .NET" course as well as my "Server Systems Engineering" course were OK to still be taught by the school. 
The bottom line is that like elsewhere student intake into IT programs is on a downward spiral so staff reductions are on the march.  With my school dropping our Software Systems Engineering stream, the above 2 courses were no longer core so on-ya-bike for me.  Two of my courses are still being taught. The 4th year course foucused upon Windows CE is to be changed to Linux.  When I said that I am the only one who can teach CE it was laughed off: We  all can teach everything. 
My other disappointment is that I have just rolled out a new course while this was all going on "Introduction to Embedded Systems".  This has a focus upon Embedded System functionality without resorting to assembler.  ie Focus is upon counter, timers, ADC, IO etc using Parallax Stamp material.  I’ll post some project reports on the above link.  Some of the projects completed were:
  • A light sensitive cat flap
  • A hex crawler
  • A Quad walker
  • One of those 2 wheeled devices that move maintaining balance using accelerometers

These were all done in the final weeks of semester as an outcome of the course, having in general not done embedded systems.

I intend to find some employment in industry.  See my CV on
Looking for CE, XPE, Mobile .NET, Microcontrollers
Maybe get some sessional lecturing??
Also I will be a CE6 and XPE trainer next year (already CE 5 trainer).