Homepage of Dick Streefland

About myself

That's me

My name is Dick Streefland, and I live in Amersfoort, in the center of The Netherlands. I work as a software engineer at the Dutch branch of Altium, formerly known as TASKING. We make tools for embedded software development. Personally, I'm mainly involved with our common C compiler frontend that we use to build compilers for various microcontrollers. Occasionally, I also spend some time maintaining our collection of about 50 Linux workstations running Debian.

On this site, I will present some of my hobby projects, and links to useful stuff elsewhere on the Net.


I'm a big fan of Linux. I have been using UNIX since I started my study Computer Science at the Utrecht University in 1983, and loved it ever since. Unfortunately, I didn't have a UNIX system at home. Initially, I used a 6809-based home-brew system, with the OS9 operating system (from Microware, not Apple). Later, when MINIX came available, I ported the Atari-ST version of MINIX to a second-hand 68000 system. MINIX was a lot more UNIX than OS9, and I had source code (except for the C compiler).

I first learned about Linux around 1992, during meetings of the UNIX users group of the Dutch Hobby Computer Club. Initially, I played a little with it on my 386 PC at work. In 1994, I bought my first PC, a 486DX2-66 and started using Linux at home. Finally, I had a real UNIX system at home, and it even came with full source code for everything!

In the meantime, a few colleagues at work also got infected with the Linux virus, and we started lobbying to use Linux as development platform. Around 1994, we got permission to setup a Linux machine as a test. The number of Linux machines gradually increased, and the number of other workstations, such as Sun, HP, IBM and Alpha gradually decreased. In the end all development for the cross development tools was moved to Linux machines. We also use a couple of Linux machines as NFS file servers.

Registered Linux User #2361

Atmel AVR Microcontrollers


The AVR architecture from Atmel, consisting of the ATtiny and ATmega series, is a very nice design. In my opinion, the AVR architecture is much cleaner than for instance the PIC family. These chips are easy to program in assembly, but are also powerful enough to be programmed in C. The GCC port for the AVR generates very decent code.

The AVRs are very well suited for hobby projects, because many parts are available in a DIP package, they have an internal oscilator, and can be programmed via a serial programming interface, using only a single power supply. There are a lot of AVR resources available on the Net, a nice starting point is the AVR Freaks website.

The Atmel AVR Projects page describes some electronics hobby projects where I used an AVR microcontroller.

Digital Satellite TV

In 1993, I installed a 120 cm steerable satellite dish, with a Johansson JSRP-5000L (analog) satellite receiver. With this installation, I can receive approximately 25 satellites between 42 degrees east and 45 degrees west. I also have a 60 cm fixed dish pointing to the Astra satellites.

In August 1999, I upgraded my satellite TV system by adding a digital receiver, the Nokia Mediamaster 9500 S, also known as d-Box 1 in Germany. This receiver is a bit outdated now, but it was a great receiver at that time, provided you replaced the firmware with the DVB2000 firmware from Dr. Overflow. The Nokia 9200 and 9600 are similar to the 9500.

The Nokia 9500 has a serial port and a SCSI port, that can be hooked up to a PC. You can use these links to upload or download the channel settings or video, audio, and Teletext streams. A lot of PC software is available for these Nokia tuners, but unfortunately, almost everything is written for MS-Windows. Because I didn't find any Linux programs, I wrote some utilities myself. You can find them on my Mediamaster Tools page.

If you have a Mediamaster with the original remote control (not the D-Box one), and you have problems with the layout (e.g. you need to press MENU instead of TEXT to get Teletext), go to my DVB2000 Patches page. I've made a small patch that swaps three buttons of the remote control, and you can download the patch there. On that same page, there is a patch that adds automatic adjustment for daylight savings time to DVB2000.

In 2004, I built a digital satellite receiver from a Linux PC running the VDR software, which turns the PC into a digital video recorder. It uses a DVB-S card with an embedded MPEG decoder, which means that you don't need a fast CPU to decode the MPEG streams. In fact, I still use the small PC shown on the foto, which has a 200 MHz WinChip C3 CPU. The PC is diskless, it boots from the network, and mounts its filesystems via NFS.

My VDR machine



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