Author Archives: Sam Nicholson - Page 2

PCB Etching at home

Whilst working on a new Tally system for YSTV, I decided making a PCB for the Arduino control board was a better option than the three separate veroboards I was trying to use, which would probably only work once. Read more »

That Friday feeling

Traffic is a strange thing. I’m unfortunate enough that my 30 mile commute requires me to take the M4, or one of a number of similar, parallel roads, all of which get jammed up far too easily. Most mornings the motorway is busy, as is the exit sliproad in to Bourne End where I work. Whilst I struggle to make sense of this (why does every man and his dog want to go to Bourne End?) the weirdness is in how busyness changes across the week.
Naturally on a Monday morning and Friday evening traffic chaos is above average, which makes sense as people travel home for the weekend on a Friday and back to work on a Monday, but why is there less traffic on a Friday morning? This morning it took me half as long to get to work as on this weeks wet Wednesday and there was barely any traffic anywhere. What’s that about?

I need a new theme…

This one doesn’t really work, ideally it should go all the way to the bottom of the page and not look so naff in the bottom bar. In an ideal world I would roll my own, but sadly I don’t have anything like the time.
On an interesting aside, after suggesting in a discussion about serial protocols for small processors that if for better speed than SPI you’d need to roll your own I was told the expression originated from writing your own kernel drivers or other low-level code to solve a problem, rather than using a pre-existing library.

However, I suspect it actually refers to rolling your own cigarrettes from parts rather than buying them complete. I’m curious, has anybody in the software circles ever come across the former definition? And does anyone have suggestions as to a better high-speed serial bus than SPI for microprocessor interconnect (parallel buses are out).


I’ve finally set up a blog, something I’ve been meaning to do for about 4 months! Over the next few weeks I’ll start writing all the posts I’ve had ideas for over the last few weeks and months and actually put them up here, so watch this space!

In the meantime, a little about me: I’m currently studying for a degree in Electronic Engineering at the University of York, going in to what should be my third, and penultimate year, however I’m taking a year out at the moment to do an Industrial Placement with Renesas Electronics Europe through the UK Electronic Skills Foundation scholarship scheme. In my free time I’m also a techie at York Student Television where I do hardware/software development and maintenance on various bits of broadcast equipment, although more in a supporting role this year since I’m “in exile” as it were.

It goes without saying that everything written on here represents my own opinions, not those of my employer, York Student Telelvision nor anyone else I am related to.

Find me on LinkedIn as Sam Nicholson and on twitter as @samdnic