Know whats weird?? I got out my multimeter and put it on the continuity test mode and tried it on all pins (started with the pins you defined as VCC and gnd) and I didn't get any continuity? Shouldnt it be beeping???
If you put the negative multimeter lead on the negative battery terminal, and the positive multimeter lead on the GND pin of the chip on the board, I would think the multimeter would show continuity.I'll try this at home tonight and let you know if it works for me.
Absolute Maximum Ratings*...Voltage on any Pin except RESETwith respect to Ground ................................-0.5V to VCC + 0.5V*NOTICE: Stresses beyond those listed under "Absolute Maximum Ratings" may cause permanent damage to the device. This is a stress rating only and functional operation of the device at these or other conditions beyond those indicated in the operational sections of this specification is not implied. Exposure to absolute maximum rating conditions for extended periods may affect device reliability.