Sunday, November 30, 2014

Visio 2010 Is A MAJOR PITA!!

God, I can't believe how freaking AWFUL this software is.

I've been using Visio for over 10 years, I've mad over 100 drawings with it, and it seems like every single time I stop using it for a few weeks, I have to learn it all over again.

Even doing something simple like changing the default line weight is cumbersome, and the changes you make don't carry over to the individual stencils/shapes stored in your library.

The earlier versions at least had the menus laid out in a logical manner, but nooooo, that wasn't good enough for Micro$oft, and they changed everything around, and I can't find sh1t in their newer structure.

IfI have to bang my head against the keyboard until Its bloody learning this POS software again, I'll just take the time to learn one of the Linux vector drawing programs I have, as they don't change things around on a whim.

Either that or I'll just make the damn drawings by hand, scan them, and convert them to a pdf for distribution.

Gawd.......what a pain this little project has become!


Did the entire project in about 35 minutes using "gschem" on my Linux box, and I'd never used the program before.

It reminds me a lot of the free software (Windoze only) that PCBExpress gives you to do your boards.

Since this will be hand-wired, and I don't need boards produced, I just wanted a nice looking schematic to go into the operating manual.

The project is an interface board from a sound card on a PC to a Kenwood HF radio so we can do "Digital Modes" on the Iowa.

Here's a copy of the schematic, but it didn't render very cleanly when I did a quickie rendering from PostScript to PNG format.


  1. Quit visio five years ago, and will NEVER go back... sigh

  2. Yeah, it's really gone downhill. The thing that bugs me the most id that they moved things around just to move things around.

    If you already have a nice interface, where functions are easy to find, and all you existing users know where stuff is, DON'T MESS WITH IT!

  3. I remember Visio from before it got subsumed into the collective. Great piece of software: I used for all sorts of stuff. It started on the downhill slide with the 1st release from Redmond. I think there's a Free Software sort-of eqivalent for it -- Kivio maybe? Well, I tried that, and was thoroughly unimpressed. I should look around again. I've been using kicad for circuits. Works fine for my purposes, though it'd sure benefit from a better way to output to PNG or GIF, as in it doesn't do it.

    Very tangentially, I picked up an FT-2900. Black Friday price + Yaesu rebate = to good to pass up a deal and get a rig in the car.

  4. I installed kicad, and while it looks to be pretty comprehensive, it's a bit more than I need. I just want a schematic drawing program with a decent library that I can drag and drop to where I want them, and make the connections between the parts.

    I've also tried PCB_Designer, and it's for working from a schematic you already have.

    I used to use Eagle for a lot of this, but again, it's way more than I need.

    Good score on the Yaesu rig. I bought the "Kenwood version", the TM-281A, for my wife's car. I was going to install it in her Sentra, but that car was totaled about a year ago, and there's no place to easily mount it in her new Hyundai Elantra, so it's just been sitting on the shelf.

  5. I looked at the Kenwood. Probably would've gone that route if the "low" wattage setting were down at 5W, instead of 25.

    I also tried Eagle, and a couple others. I hope to generate PCBs, so Kicad seemed the best route.

    Some folks on the Arduino forum are using Fritzing. I haven't tried it out, but supposedly, you can go from solderless breadboard to PCB. I seem to be incompatible with PCBs, so I'm going to try Manhattan style, with MePads and MeSquares.

  6. Yeah, I've scratch built stuff with Manhattan and Dead Bug styles before they were called that!

    If you have a Windows PC then you should try the free software from PCBExpress. Works great, but it outputs in a format thay only they can read.

    Normally that would be a bummer, BUT their prices and delivery on short runs of boards is exceptional, so I give 'em a pass!


Keep it civil, please....