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JavaOne The most impressive Java gadget we've seen makes its debut more than 5000 miles away from this week's JavaOne Conference in San Francisco.

It's the engineering equivalent of a haiku: Robin Southgate's Java toaster, a device he assembled as part of his final year design project at Brunel University in England. The toaster dials a freephone number to get the weather forecast and burns the appropriate symbol on a piece of toast. And ... that's it.

We first told you about this on March 31, leading some of you to assume it was an April's Fool Day prank. It isn't, and here's proof.

Unlike the multi-megabyte JVM behemoths, this uses a $20 embedded microcontroller called TINI. Robin had originally intended to use a PC as a concept demonstration, but after hearing from wise Register counsel John Wilson, he turned to an all-in-one solution. More details on the potential are in our earlier story here.

We're still relieved that no one has yet exploited food as an advertising medium, but we suspect it's only a matter of time.

The toaster goes on show with other final year projects at the Degree Show at Brunel University next Monday, where speakers include James Woudhuysen and Clive Grinyer, the latter director of design at the Design Council. You can find more details here.

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