OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office

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Most of us will agree that a good cup of coffee
is at least as important as a fast scope and a
hot soldering iron when debugging a new micro-
processor design.  Nonetheless, JK micro has gone
without a coffeemaker because nobody wants to smell
or drink old burned coffee that's been sitting on
the burner too long.

All this has changed.  Today I purchased a Phillips
Senseo coffee machine.  This marvelous device will
make a small or large cup of excellent coffee in
about 1 minute.  It uses one-shot coffee "pads"
which are available in dark, medium, light and
decaff roast.  It's very low maintanance and the
coffee is at least as good as a $1.25 cup at the
local coffee shop.  My personal test for good
coffee is whether or not I can enjoy drinking it
black.  The answer is yes.

Oh, and it's microprocessor-controlled so I guess
this is on-topic (:

Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
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I must have rank beyond my job title, because at my new job I have a
cube right next to the coffee machine. I don't recall the brand, but
it makes hot chocolate (indifferent quality, instant mix), mocha,
coffee (strong, medium or weak), decaf, or hot water for tea. The
front is transparent and while the unit is in operation, a light turns
on inside so you can watch the coffee being ground and the brewing
piston move up and down.

It uses regular unground coffee and a belt of filter paper, so in
theory it could be (but isn't) stoked up with good stuff like Jamaican
Blue or Starbuck's. I don't much like coffee machines that use
proprietary capsules or other single-use, single-source carriers for
the sacred bean, because you can't change grades when necessary.

Of course, despite this luxury, I can't get a roll of solder or a DB9
connector without going into a semi-comprehensible AS/400 materials
management system and requisitioning it on 5-day delivery from a
warehouse in another country (which warehouse buys from Digi-Key,
BTW), so it's nice to see mgmt has the right priorities :)

Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
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Yes there are vending machines with GMS phones/modems in them. These not
only order stock and report problems but can also process credit card
sales on line.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
\/\/\/\/\ Chris Hills  Staffs  England    /\/\/\/\/\
/\/\/ snipped-for-privacy@phaedsys.org       www.phaedsys.org \/\/
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
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I have seen the technology demonstrated on soda machines, and I've
also seen it integrated with various other technologies (e.g. linked
in with a billing infrastructure so you can pay with methods other
than cash, such as billing to a cellphone account or paying with a
contactless e-cash tag). I don't think it's widely used, though.

Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
snipped-for-privacy@larwe.com says...
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Hello from Gregg C Levine
They are. They are widely used in Japan, and in some parts of the EU. No I don't
know from experience, more like from discussing the issues from people who have
been there. I think in S America for the e-cash approach, certainly with Brazil,
for
the buses, they use i-Buttons from DallasSemi-Maxim.
Gregg C Levine drwho8 atsign att dot net


Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
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The embedded market is DEFINITELY hotter now than it was a year ago. I
got three very interesting responses, two of which led to interviews
and offers, and about two dozen that I didn't follow up because they
involved relo (If anyone wants to go to Toronto and/or Korea, ATI is
hiring... there's also seemingly a lot of embedded work in TX and AZ).

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The position I'm in has a significant (40% or more) project management
component as well as raw engineering, so there are considerable
opportunities for networking and making an impression on people. We'll
see. Softly, softly, catchee monkey. I'm kind of enjoying just being
part of middle America for a while.

In the meantime, it's exciting to see my name as EPL on project specs
at a company that actually matters.

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Yeah, I had one when I worked for Rubbermaid (actually, two - one T&E
and one unaudited P-card for parts purchases under $1000). But I'm not
going to get one at this new company. They have central purchasing for
everything (because they buy things 50,000 at a time), and it just
happens that all the parts I am likely to want are warehoused at the
manufacturing facilities, which are in other countries. CERTAIN parts
are warehoused here in NY, but they're mostly finished goods or
subassemblies.

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It's a model that I've also seen in supermarkets, 2-line LCD, about a
dozen buttons on a membrane keypad. It doesn't have any brand
information on it at all (but I'm guessing it's probably made by
another division of the company!). There is an optional coin/banknote
acceptor module, too (not fitted to the ones at my workplace).
Unfortunately it's locked, and the ancillary staff at work are
apparently invisible daemons - even if I stay late or arrive early, I
never see anyone restocking the fridge or coffee machine, or
vacuuming, or cleaning the bathrooms... these things just happen by
magic. The thing must weigh 100lb, and it's permanently attached to
mains water, so not exactly the kind of thing I can heft over the
partition to examine in private :)

Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office


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I am willing to relocate to any english-speaking country (insert
joke about Texas here), so please point any recruiters who call
you at my resume at http://www.guymacon.com/ - I do a fair amount
of consulting in Canada and wouldn't mind a captive position.

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Hmmm. Harry Potter technology, or have they figured out how to
outsource janitorial functions to India?  :)

--
Guy Macon, Electronics Engineer & Project Manager for hire.
Remember Doc Brown from the _Back to the Future_ movies? Do you
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Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office

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MPE worked on such a machine just before the dot.bomb and network
crashes. They even solved the problem of vending fresh milk in
coffee machines ... but then the venture/vulture capital people
ran away.

Stephen
--
Stephen Pelc, snipped-for-privacy@INVALID.mpeltd.demon.co.uk
MicroProcessor Engineering Ltd - More Real, Less Time
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Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
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Yes there are, I designed such a system (although it was for dispensing
payment cards rather than coffee :-(). It connected to a server via an
analogue modem and could either be polled for its status or call the server
when various thresholds had passed (stock too low, cash level high). It
would also call the server to authorise credit card transactions. I suspect
the deployment of such enabled systems is down to economics - for "low
value" machines it may be easiest just to send out a person on a regular
basis - once the usage pattern has been established there would be few
hiccups.

    Andrew



Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
snipped-for-privacy@acm.org says...
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Hello from Gregg C Levine
According to my sources it even spawned an RFC describing how you could
physically connect a vending machine to the campus network. Anything the user
wanted in a vending machine, happened. I looked at the RFC (don't have the
number with me), for network enabling an appliance before it became actually
possible. For my company we were not able to implement it, but it was a nice
read.
I think it was written and tested inside the campuses that make up all of the
Cambridge, Charlestown, Boston area.
Gregg C Levine drwho8 atsign att dot net


Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
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<snip>
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Uhoh - Philips and microprocessor in the same sentence... ah well. Never
mind.

;)

Steve
http://www.sfdesign.co.uk
http://www.fivetrees.com



Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office

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Ack.


Avoiding the "pads" is possible by using a slightliy more expensive
(starting at ~500EUR) automatic coffee machine like a Saeco
Magic/Royal... or Jura Impressa.

IMO that's part of a minimum workplace equipment <g>.

Oliver
--
Oliver Betz, Muenchen (oliverbetz.de)

Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
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I have the black one (wanted the blue one but they were out of stock
at Wally-World).  Pretty nifty.  A little on the noisy side when it is
priming its pump.

I think the Folger's brand coffee pads will fit too.  I am tempted to
try some origami on a coffee filter and fill it with my own fresh
ground beans.  Probably just an accident waiting to happen...

Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
On 10 Jun, in article
........
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Sounds like a true 'engineer', as in

        "If it ain't broke, fix it until it is"

--
Paul Carpenter        | snipped-for-privacy@pcserv.demon.co.uk
<http://www.pcserv.demon.co.uk/ Main Site
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Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
Gevalia all the way, there coffee is awesome and I got a 12-cup with
brew timer for signing up.  I agree with one of the other posters, I'm
not too comfortable with buying propritary coffee pads, and coffee
from Philips?  I think they should stay out of the food buisness.....
OTOH, that coffee maker (Senseo) it'self is pertty sweet, except for
the propriatary coffee pad bit.

-Jim

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Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
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<rant>
Nah, you USians wouldn't know a decent cup of coffee even if it hit you in
the face :-)
Of course, Gevalia is muuuuch better than the average muck served in the US
but I yet have to find a country were a better cup is served as in the
Netherlands.
</rant>

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They aren't proprietary coffeepads, at least not over here. The original
Senseo pads are from Douwe Egberts, a major coffee brand, and there are
quite a few other brands selling pads. And then there's of course the
'house'-brand in each supermarket.

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It does indeed make the best coffee I have ever had.

Meindert



Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
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The Senseo / Douwe Egberts' coffee pads are distributed in this
country by Sarah Lee, known mostly for their mass produced pastry
products.  There are several other products on the shelf that look
compatible but I haven't tried any yet.

Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
Op 19 Jun 2004 09:27:35 -0700 schreef Rob Young:

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Sarah Lee _owns_ Douwe Egberts.
In _this_ country, Douwe Egberts is the distributor.
I my city you can smell the factory once or twice a week.
Usenet is not restricted to USians ;-)

Coos

Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office
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Interesting.  I didn't know who owned whom.  

On the side panel of the packages I bought, it said "distributed by".
Nothing about ownership.  It is not uncommon for two similar products
to be on the store shelf both with different brand names but those
brand names are owned by the same parent company.  And in the case of
international products, there are agreements worked out by expensive
lawyers so that the company names on the outside of packages are more
familiar to the people in their respective countries.  All designed to
sell more to us Usenet-readin', coffee-drinkin', consumer-cattle...
;-)

And yes, I know the Usenet is world-wide.

And I also know the smell to which you refer.  There is a Folger's
coffee factory in Kansas City and I've driven by many times and could
smell it.  And there is a small coffee house up the street from me
that roasts small batches (wonderful smell). Smells much better than
the cattle feed-lots and slaughter houses in the town where I grew up.
 The smell of the Folger's plant makes me happy and I think of coffee.
 The smell of the slaughter house does NOT make me think of a juicy
steak... :-)

Now if we could just slip some microcontroller discussion back into
this thread again... ;-)  Perhaps international law to require RFID
chips in every coffeebean...

Rob

Re: OT - Got a new coffeemaker for the office

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What the Senseo machine lacks is an automatic start; turn on the
machine, put in the pad, press and hold the 1 or 2 cup button
for two seconds, so that it remembers to start when it has heated
up. Now you have to wait 90 seconds, before you can hit start.
This is only a simple software change that needs to be done.

Another thing I'd like to see is that it won't start when
the lid isn't locked down, and that you can't start it
again without opening and closing the lid (assuming that
one only does that to replace the pad). I had a couple of
times I forgot to replace the pad, or to put a pad in
with the lid unlocked. This requires a switch on the lid,
and increases the cost of course.

--
Thanks, Frank.
(remove 'x' and 'invalid' when replying by email)





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