Did you know that April was originally the second month of the Roman calendar, before January and February were added by King Numa Pompilius about 700 BC? Me neither. What I do know is that it is my favourite month of the year merely for the fact that we get to see more sunshine in the months that follow it!

Here’s what I’ve been up to during the month of April:

Manually created a bunch of footprints for a PCB design. This, without a doubt, is my least favourite part of the entire design cycle. The component in the picture (a power inductor) was actually the easiest one since it only has two terminals, creating QFP footprints without a ‘land-pattern generator’ is painful!

Received this awesome (purple!) robotics chassis from Oomlout, haven’t done anything cool with it yet though.

Played with some RFID stuff for an internal University project.

(I forgot how crucial rubber bands are to the entire Arduino plus breadboard prototyping movement!)

Tried creating a ‘current logger’ for monitoring dynamic power consumption but failed miserably. Turns out measuring really small currents accurately is not an easy task, do get in touch if you have any suggestions!

Did some timing analysis for the interrupt/polling latency on the Arduino running the TVM with the help of my cheapo logic analyzer. Christian wrote all the tests, I just ‘pressed the buttons’ :)

Gave a talk on programmable logic at OSHUG #9. More on this in a few days time! (Photo Credit: Skills Matter)

Went to the Planet Thanet Easter Beer Festival 2011 with the usual suspects and had an awesome time indulging in some pretty good beers and food.

Finally, attended the first ever BarCamp meetup in Canterbury and listened to a variety of talks, saw some interesting projects and participated in PowerPoint Karaoke (which is a great laugh!) I also repeated my programmable logic talk, which was fun :)

A brief geocaching break after Mex’s talk on the subject.

Ben’s awesome collection of clocks.

Tris doing his PowerPoint Karaoke talk.

Congratulations to my buddy Edd for winning the prize for the best talk, which was about their ‘Hackathon Gunther Daemon’ project.

So, April was fun. I am going to dedicate the entire month of May to writing a runtime environment for my PhD project so I suspect I won’t get to do much hacking on the side. I am actually looking forward to spending a month focusing primarily on a single subject, fingers crossed things go according to plan.

Until next time, cheerio!