November 10th, 2005

flex brain!

Soldering and DCF

Yesterday, I found a notice from the mailman in our letterbox: he had tried to deliver a package, but (of course) no-one was at home at the moment he made his rounds. The package had been re-routed to the post office (it was an ensured package, so I had to sign for it), where I could collect it.
Luckily, I work close by the post office in question. Also, it is open until 18:00 on weekdays, which makes it possible for me to get my stuff without having to take time off from work to do so. Unfortunately, this morning I forgot to take the notice with me, so I had to cycle back home and to the post office after work -- but since I also live close by my place of work, this wasn't an unsurmountable problem.

The package contained the Aoyue 936 soldering station I had ordered through a group buy. For only 41 euros, I got the soldering station and two spare tips, sent to my home! It heats up more quickly than the soldering iron I used previously, it is anti-static (static discharges may damage active components!) and you can set the temperature. The iron holder is easy to work with, and safer.
I am very satisfied with my purchase. :)

I needed something to test it out on, of course. I had one of the DCF77 modules unpacked, and I wanted to test it out. After a bit of soldering (and finding out what an 'NPN open collector output' means), I managed to get a LED blinking according to the signal. And it worked! Software to decode the signal with the PIC will follow, this'll have to do for today.
Counting (Shuffle)

New anime

Mai Otome: A new look at a proven franchise. It is, in essence, a completely new series inspired by Mai Hime. The character designs are updated, but are certainly recognisable. Everybody has gotten a different role, though -- and characters that were on the sidelines in Mai Hime are more on the foreground in this series.
It's a SF world, where the 'Otome' battle against monsters that are summoned by some sort of religious fanatics. The Otome protect the nobility against the attacks.
If you liked Mai Hime, you'll like this one, simple as that.

Paradise Kiss: Based on the popular manga (just like 95% of the anime out there). Yukari, a model high-school student, becomes involved with a group of fashion school students, who have formed their own label, named 'Paradise Kiss'. They want her to model for them, but Yukari thinks they are weird and refuses. However, she lost her student handbook on the steps to the cellar housing the studios of ParaKiss -- so she has to go back. When she sees how the fashion school students do their best to make beautiful clothes, she gives in and becomes the official ParaKiss model.
The visual style takes some getting used to, but it works quite nicely for the series.

Angel Heart is about a woman who has been an assassin for a crime syndicate since she was a child. She commits suicide, but the syndicate steals a donor heart (!) and saves her life. She refuses to wake up, though -- until the woman whose heart she has received appears in her dreams.
Highly melodramatic. Not really our thing, but if you like endless scenes of naked women floating in darkness, contemplating on how their lives suck, you might enjoy this one.

Lamune is your typical highschool harem slowmance. This time, the male lead isn't especially kind and clueless, though he does seem like a good guy. Main focus seems to be the girl next door, whose mother runs a restaurant, but since it is based on a dating game, there will be other females floating around the male lead as always. Designs are pretty good and the animation is good as well.

Blood+ is, apparently, a sequal to the movie Blood: the Last Vampire. Apparently that vampire isn't as unique as the title makes it out to be, because there are quite some nasty monsters in this one. Saya, a highschool student, has lost all her memories from more than a year ago. She lives with the proprietor of a cafe, placed there by some shady governmental organisation.
One afternoon, Saya forgot her running shoes at school, so she returns to to collect them -- but then she encounters a monster and blood starts splattering everywhere...
Big-budget production with good animation, but not for those with a weak stomach.

Canvas 2: Harem-anime, this time the male lead is an arts college student who doubles as the 'advisor' of a high-school art club. He has a 'younger sister' whose parents died in a car crash (since which she is allergic to the color red), and there are teachers and high school girls and oh my! Oh, and he hasn't painted anything in a long time, for reasons that are not entirely clear.
It looks OK, and it has enough panty-shots to keep you interested. ;)

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's: Sequel to 'Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha'. Jumps right into the action -- young as they are, the magical girls sure don't pull any punches when they get into a fight. Not having seen the first series, this one left me slightly confused.