Lynne Richer

Lynne was born in Cornwall, Ontario. She works for the International Development and Research Center in Ottawa. Lynne enjoys cycling, the outdoor life, playing the piano and a good meal.

Menno Spijker

I was born in Delft, the Netherlands. I grew up in a little town Schoonhoven on the river Lek (= the Rhine) in the country. Schoonhoven is known for it's silver crafts. As I grew up, my interest in technical things developed. It started a bit destructive by plugging a loudspeaker into the 220V outlet. Later on, in a similar experiment, the intercom that enabled the neighbors to "baby-sit' from home also got the shock of its life. Needless to say that neither the loudspeaker or the intercom survived it.

After high school I studied electrical engineering at the TH Rijswijk. During my study, I was a member of the Delftsche Studenten Bond, a student club in Delft. To develop the social skills (like beer relay race) and to party from time to time. During this time I got to know the magazine Audio & Techniek and its editor John van der Sluis. I did some co-op work at Audio & Techniek and for my thesis I designed a "musical" Digital to Analog converter for CD-players. I also wrote an article about my modification of the Philips HF309 tube amplifier. That article started the "HF309 hunt" as many audio hobbyists wanted to get the great sound of these little green cubes. After my study I kept writing articles about audio equipment from time to time for Audio & Techniek. Unfortunately the magazine didn't make it to the new millennium and went out of business in 1999.

My first job was at X Integrated Circuits BV in Rotterdam as an integrated circuit designer. XIC was a small company and sometimes we didn't know if we would survived until the end of the week. But it was a good time and I learned a lot. During this period I got involved in digital Phase Locked Loops. Rob and I designed one for Mitel Semiconductor in Canada. This brought my to Canada to finish the first design. Of course things didn't go as planned and we even suspected evil powers in the digital simulator. To neutralize these suspected evil powers, Rob van der Valk and I ran the simulator while blowing our garlic breath towards the monitor, playing organ music on our headphones and holding the cross in front of the monitor. That helped, we got the chip working and it was patented later on.

Five years later while I was in Ottawa again for a period of three months, I went on a Sunday bike ride with my colleague Harold, his wife Marion and a nice girl that I had not met yet, Lynne Richer. While chatting with Lynne, we lost Harold an Marion on the way up to the Champlain lookout. As Mitel, or Zarlink as it is called now, made me a good offer when it was time to go home again, I made the decision to make Ottawa my new home. Lynne and I found ourselves a nice home in the west end of Ottawa close to the Ottawa River.

My interests these days are travel, photography, audio and cycling. Both Lynne and I are members of the Ottawa Bicycle Club and enjoy road riding and mountain biking. We make tours throughout the season in Ontario, Quebec and Vermont. In the winter of 2000, we biked for six weeks through Guatemala and Belize. A great trip of which you can see some pictures in one of the picture galleries.