New Version of Google Maps is Frustrating

I was just trying to get a directions list earlier while in the midst of navigation on a mobile. I know this is easily possible with the old maps, but now it is not possible with the latest google maps.

There seems to be far less features available on the new maps app. The google map app updates seems to be taking backward steps. Google is making a good app, worse.


Simulating circuits with the Altium Designer

Some notes:

  • The circuit design interface is simple and easy to use. Just need to learn some keyboard shortcuts:
  • – p p to place a part
    – spacebar to rotate a part
    – x or y to flip along x or y axis.

  • The libraries containing the parts required need to be opened.
  • circuit documents can be easily copied into new projects from other projects from explorer.
  • the installer does not offer any choice of drive target
  • the messages pane can be docked into the left pane area.
  • some useful voltage sources: PWL, VSIN, VCO-Sqr
  • Some issues:

  • Error messages can be very cryptic and the system does not do much to help with making resolution easy.
  • You cannot attach a netlabel to GND. It seems to cause spice simulation problems. The system will just return a cryptic error if you do.
  • Some problems necessitate manually removing the .NSX netlist file within Altium’s output folder to resolve.
  • If a circuit document is removed, any previous simulation plots that were based on the circuit that remain in the project are not automatically cleared. Had me scratching my head for a while wondering why my simulation wasn’t working.
  • stray wires may be difficult to find, and can cause compile errors. I am not sure how to find items based on position, when errors report them.
  • coloring of waveforms in simulation plots are difficult to figure out and change.

Setting up Lenovo X61s – driver difficulties

I reinstalled the OS (XP) on an Lenovo Thinkpad X61s and I have sorted all the drivers required for all devices, but a few remain stubbornly unrecognized. They are identified in Device Manager as USB ROOT hub devices (there are six of them).

I’ve tried all the available relevant drivers I can think of from the Lenovo site. I have also tried all the drivers I can find on other X61/X61s machines that I have.

I have also tried to update the driver via windows’ automatic device driver locate process. And tried to use all the .INF files I can find on this machine and others. No joy so far.

The machine seems to be otherwise sufficiently functional, so I will perhaps just come back to the problem later.

Powershop review

I’ve been with Powershop for 4 months now, and so far the electric service costs with them have been cheaper compared to the previous electric provider we had, even on top of that provider’s 20% discount for paying on time. My actual electric bill comes to an average of $50+ per month exclusive of the discount that I got when I signed up.

Powershop currently have a promo going where new members can get $75 credit when referred by a current member.

Get Up seem to be endorsing Powershop as well.

Lately, I did notice per unit rates seem to have gone up on Powershop. Hopefully that will go down after the winter months.

The actual rates today:



From time to time, there are promotional rates offered, like the one listed in the image above (the first item).

If you are interested in trying out Powershop, leave me a comment to say you are interested, and I can send a referral – we would both get credits. There are no commitments so, people are free to join and leave if they aren’t satisfied. Powershop facilitates both the joining or exiting and make it easy.

ME Bank is offline again?

This is the second time now that ME Bank Internet banking is unaccessible. How disappointing.

The previous instance was when they had announced a system upgrade that was supposed to just be for a weekend, but stretched for a couple of weekdays as well.

One can only speculate what the cause might be:

  • bad application systems
  • bad IT support
  • some other infrastructure issue

What do you think?