This week I have been working on finishing up Captain Joystick, my weird hybrid of arcade machine and sculptural home furnishing. I ordered a Raspberry Pi 2 to use as the brains of the machine and as of this writing I still don’t have it working 100%.
I dive back into Linux at least a few times a year. Each time I have to relearn a lot of command line stuff that I had forgotten. If I was using Ubuntu as a dev environment, or modelling with Blender, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Linux would just be the same background noise as Windows. It would be the table that I set my work on. It doesn’t really matter what your work table is made out of as long as it supports your work. Of course that is almost never the case. Every time I start up Linux it is usually to do something uncommon, and it always leads to uncommon problems.
Did you know, for instance, that when you mount an external hard drive, a hard drive that used to be an internal drive that you scabbed from a dead netbook and hooked up to an ata to usb adapter to make it into an external drive, you have to make sure that it is fully spun up before Linux boots? If you try to attach it after it will have all sorts of fun problems. Did you also know that you can’t mount it as ntfs and expect it to be recognized as anything other than read only? Even after you specifically remount it as read write? And even though it is possible to chmod the permissions as root, since the application you are using to access the drive can’t run as root it isn’t really helpfull to do so? How about finding out that if you install the ntfs-3g package and modify the fstab file to mount the drive using ntfs-3g, a file system driver specifically made to deal with ntfs drives formatted under windows, when this drive was formatted under Linux, and has only ever been used with Linux?
It might sound like I’m frustrated. I’m really not. If I got into a boxing ring, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised by punching. It’s kind of what I signed up for. The Raspberry Pi 2 seems to be dealing with it’s new position in the arcade machine fairly well. A few games have been played, and a few more tweaks and fights with Linux and It should all be up and running.
Whelp, I’m off to go a few rounds. Wish me luck.
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