Backyard wood fired pizza oven DIY – Day 2


Today we stripped the formwork from inside the oven… This took about an hour or so.



The oven at the start of day 2



The oven at the start of day 2



Cutting the door out with power saw and hand saw






Door arch removed



Photos of the inside formwork




Photos of the inside formwork



Photos of the inside formwork



Photos of the inside formwork



Removal of formwork



Removal of formwork



Removal of formwork





Backyard wood fired pizza oven DIY – Day 1

Last weekend we watched a few videos on youtube and then decided that we had the knowledge required to build our own brick pizza oven in the backyard. This process took about 8 hours with 2-3 people working, we still need to render the outside and tile the inside floor but here is the progress so far.

The chosen position.

Measuring out the 1.5m radius from the center peg

3mm ply nailed to the timber pegs for formwork and reinforcement cut

Added plastic waterproof membrane to protect concrete

Pouring 100mm thick concrete base

The template for the arch made from two sheets of 12mm ply with a wrapping of 3mm ply around the sides and top

Concrete slab finished

Starting to brick over arch and around the walls in the still wet concrete

Completed arch

Beginning of the formwork to hold up the brick work while it goes off

The completed formwork to hold the brickwork. This is made of a center post and a few supports from timber wrapped with 3mm ply to form the dome.

Another view of the formwork with the first row of bricks being put in.

Halfway bricked up

Added old clay pipe for chimney

Finished for the day

Sleep for windows 7

I often use my computer as a media player as i go to sleep.

I threw together these two shortcuts to turn my computer off after a hour.

These auto timed shutdown shortucts open the command prompt and schedule a shutdown with the windows shutdown command.

One shortcut starts the shutdown timer and the other one stops the runnning timer incase you change your mind.

These could also be reconfigured to time delay sleep,  hibernate or restart.

Download the two shortcuts here

Shutdown Shortcuts


Lame but mildly successful hacking attempt on my ubuntu 10.4

Ive seen this attack occur on a windows xp machine running realvnc a number of years ago but this time it hit my ubuntu 10.4 machine.


I am currently working away from an internet connection so i am using my phone tethered with my computer to get online (see my last post). This configuration gives my laptop my public IP address ( ie no network address translation).

I was sitting at my machine just about to start programming and all of a sudden my mouse starts moving.

I looked at the gnome to panel just as it flashed the “your computer is being remotely controlled” message from the VNC server vino built into ubuntu.

The remote connection then typed the following message as if it was trying to run that command.

You can see the command now in line 8 of my program. Windows users will recognize this as an attempt to open the windows command line.

The remote connection terminated a second later and the attack was over.

I then opened my remote desktop preferences to check whether or not I had turned it on

It doesn’t appear that anyone should have had access as the service was not really activated.

If you look closely you will see however that even though the options are greyed out the box for “allow others users to control…” was ticked and all the security boxes were unticked. I cannot remember what settings i had before the attack and its possible that as part of the attack the settings were changed but as all it tried to do was run a windows command (as far a i could see) i can only assume that the attack was probably not written to attack gnome.

All in all made for a good laugh seeing a windows attack play out on a linux machine. I just hope nothing else happened that i didnt see.


Edit: I had a bit of a flip through my system logs and it looks all clean.

Tether your Sony Ericsson Aino or U10i on Linux / Ubuntu

My carrer is Optus in Australia and i’m using Ubuntu 10.4 and i want to be able to connect to the internet via my sony ericsson aino also known as the U10i

Heres the quick how to.


Plug in your phone with the usb cableIt will then try to connect to your computer and look for the windows software (this default can be changed)


Click cancel on the phone and then choose the linux option

Now on your ubuntu desktop click the network manager icon in the system tray

Now disconnect from the USB wired network this appears to take priority over the 3G connection so the easiest way to get around it is to disconnect from the wired PC-Phone network.

Now Right click the network manager icon

and choose edit connections

Select the Mobile Broadband tab and edit the connection

The phone number shown is generally accepted as common for most carriers but the APN will come from your phone.

On your phone go to Settings–> Connectivity –> Internet Settings

It should look something like this

from here the APN is “internet” as that is what is written under the Connect using heading.

Now click Ok to all the open windows and click on the network manager icon again and now select “Optus” or the name of your carrier and you will be connected


How to use an Xbox1 controller on your PC


I wanted to be able to use my old Xbox1 controller to play racing games on my pc.

I found here

Some basic instructions but i did not want to cut up my controller cable but I had an old bricked Xbox in the cupboard that i could pull the ports out of and cut them instead.


Xbox socket out of the bricked Xbox

Cut the end of the USB cable


Usb cable with the unneeded end cut off

Line up the colours (the extra yellow from the Xbox socket is not required


USB cable and the Xbox socket ready for solder

Solder and heatshrink


Post solder and heatshrink

Final product


Final product

Result of “lsusb” command on Ubuntu


Command line showing success under Ubuntu 10.4

I’m still trying to sort out the driver situation for windows 7 64bit and windows vista 32bit.

I will update this post when i have more info but just two links for now…










A Great SVN GUI for Ubuntu

I have been fighting with a mix of CLI and GUI tools for linux for ages now. After having a great experience with TortosieSVN for Windows to move to linux and not find anything that suits me was quite a surprise. After google led me to i started to use using the PPA for ubuntu it looks and works great.

If you want a context menu full featured SVN client built into Nautilus and a few other apps check it out

Check out the screenshots at

A few atmega links so i can find them again


stu_san – Jul 23, 2008 – 05:51 PM
Post subject: RE: Sample Codes for ATmega128/1

Okay, you asked for it… Laughing My Complete List O’ Newbie Links!

First of all, learn how to ask questions the smart way. Visit this site (There are translations into most languages, so not being able to read English is not an excuse.)

Beginner sites/topics:

AVR C tutorial

Embedded Electronics – Beginning with everything

A From-Scratch AVR Tutorial

Book: Arnie Aardvark’s AVR Aper?u

Book and Dev Kits: Smiley Micros – Smiley frequently posts on this forum!

Arduino development board with a large community support

ZBasic microcontrollers, Basic programmed, AVRs inside

Learning C:

Programming Tutorial: C Made Easy

How C Programming Works

And don’t forget books!

The C Programming Language is almost a necessity.

Absolute Beginners Guide To C

Writing Solid Code I personally recommend this. Lots of good tips.

Again, check out Smiley’s book.

AVRFreaks Tutorials:

The AVR Tutorials forum of contains a lot of stuff for you:

[TUT] [SOFT] WinAVR Beginner’s Quick Start Guide for ATMEGA128

[TUT] [SOFT] Setting Up AVRStudio to use GCC

[TUT] [HARD] AVR Programming Methods (Loading Code On Your AVR)

[TUT] [C] Bit manipulation (AKA “Programming 101 For Embedded Code”)

[TUT] [C] Modularizing C Code: Managing large projects

[TUT] [C++] AVR C++ Micro How-To

Interrupt Handler Syntax, By Compiler

[TUT] [SOFT] Using the USART – Serial communications

[TUT] [SOFT] Using the USART – Interrupt driven serial comms

[TUT] [C] Newbie’s Guide to AVR Timers

[TUT] [C] Creating an RTC using an internal counter/timer

[TUT] [C] Using the EEPROM memory in AVR-GCC

[TUT] [C] GCC and the PROGMEM Attribute

[TUT] [C] Newbie’s Guide to the AVR ADC

Good stuff from the AVR-Libc Manual:

AVR-libc Manual: Index

AVR-libc Manual: Frequently Asked Questions

AVR-libc Manual: Memory, Malloc, and External SRAM

AVR-libc Manual: Delay Routines

AVR-libc Manual: Interrupts

AVR-libc Manual: How to Build a Library

AVR-libc Manual: Mixing C and Assembly

Other good topics:

BASCOM-AVR – Basic for AVR processors

KAVRCalc – Calculator of AVR-specific stuff

Introduction to the “Volatile” Keyword

GCC Optimization flags – what they mean

[TUT] [C] Creating an RTC using an internal counter/timer

[DIS] [ASM] Dirty Math Tricks: Adventures in Division by Ten

Mechanical Switch Debouncing

Care and Feeding Of Watchdog Timers

Atmel App Notes – all sorts of good topics here!

Porting code from IAR to Avr-GCC

These tutorials may not answer all your questions, but they will allow you to get further faster. You’ll be able to ask better questions!

A list of RTOS links for AVR processors:

First off, check out the RTOS list in the Tuorials section: [TUT][SOFT] RTOS for AVR

All of the following are in the above tutorial

FreeRTOS: A Free RTOS for microcontrollers

AvrX: Real-Time Kernel for AVR processors

YAVRTOS: Yet Another Atmel AVR Real-Time Operating System

AVRAsmOS: A tiny OS for small AVRs

pc/OS RTOS Kernel (for larger AVR processors >= mega128)

uSmartX: Non-Preemptive Priority-based Multitask RTOS

Opex – good for smaller RAM, marked “beta”

uC/OS – Extensively tested, certified for avionics, but *not* cheap

Advanced Topics:

Linker Scripts

AVR Eclipse on Ubuntu 8.04

[MAN][HARD][SOFT] Hardware Random Number Generation

Charlieplexing: DIY, How-To

Charlieplexing: Reduced Pin-Count LED Display Multiplexing

How to use MMC/SDC (Attaching SD cards through the SPI)

FatFS File System Module for AVR

A Page O’ AVR Links

A nearly up to date photo summary of pinball table

Basic table layout mostly finished now that the aluminum rails are installed.

Pinball 023.

Pinball 024

Pinball 025

Pinball 026

Early flipper prototype.

Pinball 028

Flipper assembly.

The solenoid closes and pulls on the short piece of aluminum rotating the bolt in the top left that is attached to the flipper on the topside of the table

Pinball 031

The shooter assembly.

Pinball 035

Pinball 036

The complete flipper.

Pinball 037

The completed front of the table.

Pinball 039

Two sets of three targets.

The ball strikes the front circle and pushes the backplate against the ‘L’ shaped part screwed to the floor. Electrodes are connected to the two components and this will be used to send score signals to the micro controller.

PinBall 006

PinBall 007

PinBall 008

My first bumper finished.

I will need to replace the rubber. As the ball strikes the rubber the rubber presses on one of the two switches which trigger the hammer (in the middle) which hammers back on the rubber.

PinBall 009

PinBall 010

PinBall 011

The underside of the hammer

PinBall 017

The drink holder to be fixed to the side of the table

PinBall 012

PinBall 013

The front underside of the table showing both flippers finished and the ‘safety light’

PinBall 014

A dell (its not quite standard) small form ATX power supply and power plug

PinBall 018

PinBall 019

Underside shots of both flippers, one hammer and the powersupply

PinBall 020

PinBall 022

This is nearly the table up to date, the second hammer has been finshed and i have started to design the round bumper things to go in the back. More at the end of the semmester.