Trying to be fruitful

So, the Pi managed to nuke its main partition. It was able to boot sufficiently to tell me that it couldn’t mount the main partition. I thought about FSCK and trying to fix it, but then I thought, no, just suck it up and fix it properly. Start from scratch.

The plan always was get it running ‘just right’ an then create an image of the SD card so that when badness happens you can just dump it back to a ‘known good’ install. Simples, as they say.

Only of course I never got there. I got as far as XBMC up and running. The remote control aspect working on my phone, and the little scroll-text display doing it’s stuff:

This might be mistaken for progress

However I’d still not got it to import the libraries successfully and had spent an ‘enjoyable’ morning moving and renaming files and folders, and reorganising the Doctor Who (every episode ever) folder into Doctor Who and Doctor Who (2005). And going through and switching british TV shows in which ‘Series’ is the equivalent to ‘Season’ to say ‘Season’.

I am starting to accept that maybe, just maybe, putting XBMC on the Pi is ‘not ready for the mainstream’, or indeed, for the casually geeky. No part of it has ‘just worked’, and I’ve expended an awful lot of effort on people’s half-written instructions. Of course this is not helped by my origins as a technical writer – and so when someone provides a list of steps that are meant to end with it working, I kind of assume they’re all the steps.

Raspbmc has almost consistently failed to install, although it worked…just once. Just enough that I got the system working last time, but today it’s failing (again) to install. Looking at the forum suggests that the error relates to github being down, but github isn’t down. So, err. Yeah. Instead we’re going for the ‘last resort’ prebuilt image.

The LCD drivers are not automatically installed (or don’t appear to be) – so whilst the option is there to turn them on, it doesn’t appear to do anything. The site that eventually got me going was this one: tech-fruits.

The XBMC remote control I first tried (recommended by LifeHacker) didn’t work. No matter what I did it would not work, and the FAQ for it not working said “…see if EventServer is accepting connections. If you need to explicitly open the port in your firewall, it’s 9777 UDP”. What if, and I posit this just as a hypothetical question*, your firewall isn’t blocking 9777, or indeed any ports once you’re logged on to the network, and say, EventServer does appear to be accepting connections. What, in that instance, might you suggest if the fricking thing isn’t working? Eventually just switching to another remote control app provided something that worked about 95% of the time (for the brief hour or two that I had the thing running before I made the mistake of asking it to clear out it’s database of incorrectly identified TV shows).

Anyhow, so I’m starting again, from scratch.

Which would be easier if Raspbmc was working today. But instead… well, instead… there’ll be another post.

Yesterday was nice though, and the day before. We spent the day before at my mum’s – relaxing in the Cornwall air (well, inside, because it decided to hail during the day). I spent a happy chunk of time trying to solve a Dead Bug Jumping problem (which, ironically, I’ve still not managed to solve) and reading Musicophilia. Then yesterday we headed to High Cross House and (by extension) Dartington. Dartington didn’t really have anything much on, but High Cross House was delightful. Neither Kathryn nor I are huge on modernist architecture. But we can both appreciate something that’s well designed and built, and one of the most interesting things about modernism is that the spaces are (if it’s well done) just really beautiful spaces to be in. So whilst neither of us crave living in a grand Modernist building, it was certainly a really incredible space to be in. As a National Trust property it’s very different – because they’ve not attempted to return it to its original state, instead the inside is filled with displays, and art works, and only some rooms are reminiscent of how they would have been.

It works really well, and I’d highly recommend it.

We also spent some time in Totnes. Now I’d wanted to visit Totnes for a long time, mainly to visit The Drift Record Store.

Finally tried out Drift! Favourite place in Totnes...

Which was, as expected, fantastic. It was filled with lots of lovely, lovely vinyl although I actually walked away with two CDs – The Flaming Lips and Ólöf Arnaulds – mainly because I’ve got two other bits of Vinyl that I really, really, really want.

The rest of Totnes was a bit, well… Look. It was lovely. Physically. Physically, like Bath, it was really really pretty. Some of the people in the shops seemed very nice. But some of them were miserable as sin – to the point of: I looked in the window of one of the charitybookandmusicshops and saw two books in their display that I really rather fancied. And two CDs on their CD rack that I’ve wanted for a while (common as muck, but they were cheap and cheerful). But when we walked in laughing and chatting, the woman behind the counter looked at us in a manner which suggested how very dare you interrupt my sitting behind the counter looking miserable. After a bit of a wander around we both decided there was nothing that either of us absolutely had to have, we left. Now I probably would have got the book on architecture, and quite possibly the beginners woodworking, and also two CDs. 20 quidish. But no.

No, we left with none of the books and they got none of the monies.

I think the problem with Totnes that we experienced, is that it feels like Bath. People think they’re better for being in Totnes than people from around. I’m sure that’s not true of everyone, and as I said, some stores were lovely. It also was an utterly miserable, bitterly cold and at times wet day, which never helps. But honestly? I much prefer Hay on Wye, and we have Rise here in Bristol, and between those two places, and the internet, we can happily spend more than enough :)

* Which may not be hypothetical, as it may have been how I spent an hour.

Author: KateE

Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at