Month: February 2013

Mountain Goat Brewery: Delicious ale and an awesome tour

The Mountain Goat brewery is located in a factory district in east Richmond. Every Wednesday, they open their bar at 5pm and offer at least one free guided tour around the brewery at about 6:30pm. Taking this tour gave some great insights into the brewing scene of Melbourne. I grew very fond of the Australian beers (still remembering my first Little Creatures) and most likely the only good outcome of the high tax on alcohol is that brewing small batches of beer is a very common hobby. On my first visit to the Australia, I was amazed that you can buy

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Implementing CSMACA for the SmartPacketRadios

One of the projects during my research visit at the Monash University’s Wireless Sensor and Robot Networks Laboratory was the implementation of CSMACA for the SmartPacketRadios. The SPRs run on an Atmel AT90USB1286 microcontroller and the Hope RFM22B transceiver. It was lots of fun to program and play around with the sensor nodes. So far, they used ALOHA for the MAC layer. A new shipment of nodes was just rolling in to extend the testbed in Clayton. Thus, a more sophisticated MAC protocol was required to minimize message collisions. The CSMACA implementation is pretty straightforward. Before the actual transmission, the node

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Prahan Market: Coffee cupping and portabello mushroom burgers

Every Saturday, the Market Lane Coffee place at Prahan Market offers a free coffee cupping with 5 different roastings. We arrived just in time, the Prahan Market is on the other side of town and the tasting starts around 10am. The cups were already set up in the tiny tasting room, there were 2 sample cups for each coffee on a beautiful wooden table. Anthony followed us through the tasting and started grinding the beans. He then poured hot water in all cups and then it was time to wait for 3-5 minutes to extract the coffee. After the little

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A wonderful dinner at Attica

So we finally decided to try out the delicious food at Attica in Melbourne. They serve an 8-course vegetarian menu that sounded really, really great and so it was! It was almost our last week in Melbourne, and we felt like a treat after a week of overnight hiking and car camping. We were lucky to get a table since we just called two days ahead and they were able to confirm a space for us a day later. Bettina already wrote a great review of the food, thus I will spare my energy but link to her post instead

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The first eggplant on the veggie patch

It took almost 3 months, but finally the first eggplant is growing in the veggie patch! The color looks already fine, now we just have to wait for it to get bigger and bigger! Hopefully it takes up the speed of the watermelon which has grown in the last weeks to the size of a football. I am pretty sure it is not yet ready to harvest, but it looks great already! If you look closely, you will see lots of fingerprints of curious people on the watermelon. Picture gallery

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The palaces of Berau

Coming back from Derawan, we stayed half a day in Berau until our flights out of Kalimantan in the next morning. Berau is a busy little city and seems to profit quite well from the mining and logging industries. There are a couple of sites worth a visit, most famous are the two palaces (keratons) of Gunung Tabur and Sambaliung. Gunung Tabur is still inhabited by the daughter of the last sultan of Berau, and she is in her early 90s. After we spent some time in the museum, in which almost everything is in yellow, we visited the daughter

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Swimming with jelly fish on Kakaban

The one day trip we were most excited about on our stay on Derawan was going to Kakaban, an atoll about 45 minutes by speedboat that houses a large salt water lake packed with sting-less jellyfish. You can snorkel and swim with them and seeing them floating and paddling was super-awesome and magical. The lake is totally packed with them, as soon as we jumped of the jetty, we found ourselves surrounded by the jellyfish. We swam around very carefully trying to avoid bumping into them. The jellyfish seem a bit fragile and flippers should not be used in the lake. There

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Baby turtles on Sangalaki island

After a couple of very relaxing days on Derawan island, we chartered a speed boat with some other travelers to visit the nearby islands. Sangalaki, which is even smaller than Derawan, houses an upscale dive resort and a sea turtle research station and hatchery. Fortunately, we chose a good date for the trip – the night before, a batch of baby turtles hatched and we saw them practicing their swimming skills in a little sheltered pool. They stay in the pool for a couple of days before they are released into the sea at night. A walk around the whole

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