Category Archives: Tech

The Future is Now

The new fast charger in the Summerside Canadian Tire parking lot is now working. It costs a pretty penny, but I wanted to try it out to make sure I understood how it worked. It’s easy: plug in, wave pre-loaded Flo card at station, press green button, charge. The one at the O’Leary corner Tim Horton’s is also supposed to be online.

Had the funny experience again today of describing what it is like to own a GM product to someone who sells GM products. I’m not usually an early adopter of anything, so this is a funny place to be. Good thing I like to talk!

Shiny new station, filthy new car.
I’ve been calling this connection CHAdeMO, but it’s CCS/SAE…I think!

Charge it!

Been watching this activity next to the Summerside Canadian Tire store for the past couple of weeks. Maybe a new EV charging station? I believe it would be the first commercial one in the city.

Watts up?

So much has been happening this fall. I’ve been trying to catch my breath since the beginning of October. Things are finally slowing down and I can reflect a bit more on the fun bits (the not-so-fun bits can just scram!).

We had the fantastic experience of hosting three people who were doing the inaugural walk of a new 700 km trail around Prince Edward Island. I met the trail planner, Bryson Guptill, at Peter Rukavina’s unconference in June, so when I heard on CBC Radio that Bryson was having difficulty finding off-season accommodation in the western part of PEI, I emailed to offer him a bed and transportation to and from their trail.

A commemorative medallion from Bryson and gang, created by potter Michael Stanley.

They ended up staying for three nights over two weekends. It was fun to meet some interesting people and play the role of “trail angel.” They were delightful guests and it was great to support their dream. Bryson has just finished a book about the trail that is at the printers and will soon be available at The Bookmark and Bryon’s Etsy store. And Peter created this great map of the trail, so it all comes full circle!

Our solar panel installation was completed October 9, then we waited for Maritime Electric to install a second meter to finish the process and hook us up to the electrical grid. Some unfortunate miscommunication meant that didn’t happen until the second week of November, but now we are up and running. The amount of electricity we are generating isn’t spectacular, but it has been quite cloudy of late and the sun is low in the sky. You can see some of our stats here.

Watch an animation of our solar panels at work on December 11, 2019.

Last spring I started thinking about purchasing an electric vehicle to replace my 2012 Honda Civic. I will outline my EV shopping experience shopping some other time, but the quick version is that I was told more than once that no one wants an EV on PEI! I finally found someone who wanted to sell me an EV, and December 5 I took possession of a 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV from Township Chevrolet in Summerside. My first impressions: quiet, torquey, high-tech, efficient, fun. I still have some things to figure out, but so far I really enjoy driving it, especially the one-pedal feature. I didn’t really pick the colour – it was the first 2020 to arrive – but I quite like it now. It is certainly a switch from driving a white Civic surrounded by dozens of other white Civics!

Oasis Blue. She’s called Greta.

My go-to electricians, Moore Electric, installed a Level 2 JuiceBox Pro 40 charger a couple of days before I got the Bolt, so now I drive into the garage and plug in to my own gas station. The last time I bought gas for the Civic was on a windy, rainy day, so good riddance to that and the grubby pump handles!

We took the Bolt to Summerside last Saturday, a trip that A Better Routeplanner says is 47 kms one way and takes 39 minutes and should have used 10% of our battery, which was not a bad guess. To get our battery back up to 100% when we returned home, it took the JuiceBox 4 hours and 37 minutes to add 30.751 kWh. This is a whole new world of numbers, and numbers just aren’t my thing. Someone asked me today what my mileage was for the Bolt and I said, “good,” and it is, I expect! I will figure it all out some day.

Sprinkled over these past couple of months have been many committee and board meetings, a course through Holland College about how to be a more effective board member (not being on so many committees would likely help!), and a couple of fund raising events. I’m am looking forward to a bit of winter hibernating and ruminating.

Keynote Magic

One of the MacOS updates knocked out Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 a couple of years ago. Instead of paying for another MS product, and seeing as I seem to live in Apple world, I decided to try to figure out how to use Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

Except for never having figured out the keyboard shortcut to centre text in Pages (I don’t think there is one), these apps do all I need to do. It’s an MS world for most people, and I collaborate on a lot of documents by times, but “translating” to MS versions mostly goes pretty smoothly.

I gave a presentation at the Inspire Learning Centre in Summerside on Tuesday at the invitation of EPSI and wanted to up my game to match the neat A/V equipment they have in their Key Family Room. My last MacBook Pro had an IR function that allowed me to pair the remote from our AppleTV to use as a presentation remote, but my newer 2015 MacBook Pro does not have IR, so I’ve just always used the keyboard/trackpad.

I started to look for a third-party solution, but of course Apple makes it simple. I downloaded Keynote onto my husband’s iPad (my Gen 2 iPad won’t play this game!) and easily paired it through Bluetooth with Keynote on my MacBook so I didn’t have to worry about wifi passwords. I could preview the next slide, read the notes and prompts, click to the next slide, and it worked perfectly.

p.s. The Inspire Learning Centre has what looks like a self-serve online booking system if you are ever looking for a room to do something in Summerside. Library staff say high school students will book some of the smaller rooms for group study, and craft and community groups use them as well. The library staff are patient and helpful, and they even have a Thunderbolt-to-HDMI dongle!

Tinkering

Moving my site to WordPress from RapidWeaver has been pretty smooth. I know basically nothing about coding, but thankfully lots of smart people generously share what they know and I can copy it (always cautiously, as not all advice works in all situations).

I’ve just played around with the comment function thanks to these folks:

How to Change “Leave a Reply” in WordPress from Jason Artman at itstillworks.com.

How to: move or remove the “Leave A Reply” link in the Twenty Twelve theme from Stefan Johansson.

Clean Screen

What happens when you drop your iPod Touch in a bucket of water for two seconds while you are washing your floors?

Clean Screen
Still podding!

Nothing! Didn’t skip a beat.

Yes, I still have an iPod Touch (6th generation) and am deluded enough to think my letter to Tim Cook asking him to retain and update the Touch led to Apple releasing the 7th generation earlier this year. Touch+wi-fi+Samsung flip phone = smartish phone!