init.d/wtf

When using a shell script in /etc/init.d to start up a command, make sure you put the shell script there, and not the compiled program.

It didn’t work anyhow, so I’m calling it as a cron job on reboot, but I’m pretty sure the point still stands.

ETA: Aaah. So, there are things called runlevels, and Rasbian is based on Debian, which has them. I’m more a systemd person, so I was looking at the wrong sort of help file.

K8055 USB board

I picked up one of these in the trove at Makespace, thinking it was a cheap board, and it turns out to be a nifty bit of kit I can use for testing. If it were both expensive and useless to me, I’d return it, but I have plans for it in testing Itchy. I’d like to be able to see a slowed-down schem of the Gcode, f’rex. Outputting directly from my computer to an external board is a goal, and this is a step along the way.

Making it work on Arch was not a problem. Making it work as described on Arch was pretty horrible. In fact, I failed at just about every point.

The only available package is moribund, which at least means I don’t have to keep it updated. Make Install was not my friend but I stripped out the default install path and put in the correct one, then kicked a few things around. I wish I could remember what.

Then I entirely failed to make udev play happily. USB Device. Udev. I have a USB device. Is it devicing? Is it hell. I don’t know if it is because I run k8055 and that tries to take the device – Arch does not have the usual installation paths for everything, so there could be something seriously funky going on. I think it’s just malconfigured, though. I am just as likely to have fucked up small as big.

It had the same error message when I had the wrong group name as when I detypoed, so something is finding the rules and failing to pass them. Currently I can work with sudo or sticky bit. Neither is ideal.

Making a better pen – failure 1

A brass cylinder with a wooden handle attached.  The wood has split.I nabbed a bit of apple wood from a friend. It’s soft, but that means it works easily, and I don’t have real wood-working tools, so I’m in favour of ease. I cut it to length, skimmed it down with my pocket knife to take the bark off, and drilled into the top to put the handle in, which I did with hot glue. (In case of failure. As it turned out, I was prescient.) I then carved it down further so it was almost the right size to hold, then I sanded it. I did that with a soft pre-bought sanding block, so the handle could sink in a bit. First of all I taped some rough paper over it, and clamped up the block. Then I put the metal into my drill, and went ‘vrooom’. I used the 120-ish grit to tear off most of the surface, then switched to the less brutal surface, and smoothed it. However, after I thought I was finished, I noticed my knife had left a splinter inside an otherwise innocuous dent, so I put it back in, pressed too hard, and shattered the shaft at the bottom. Pants.

I have acces to more apple wood, and I can use that. If it fails again, I’ll have to use something much harder. A friend offered me some rose wood and some lilac, and I could try either of those.

ZipPi – rethinking the power switch

I’ve had another look at the case I want to put ZipPi into, and it’s already got separate power and reset switches, so I’ll probably use those. Which I should have all along. I still want to make a power switch for a separate, smaller case, but ZipPi the Computer will probably have the external hardware kept working.

Pi-Puter project

I’ve got a love-bored relationship with the Raspberry Pi. On the one hand, it’s a fantastic piece of kit and really cool and you can do stuff with it. On the other hand, I don’t have anything I need to do with it. I’ve got a few ideas about things I /could/ make, but nothing has really shouted. However, I also have an old computer case that I could hack about, which has a known good power supply I don’t know to be bad, and I could make a low-powered but fun working computer out of that. I could embed everything I need into the CD and HD racks in the case, and have nothing actually show if you look into it through the fan outlets. There could be LEDs. Blue ones.

I’d need a screen, a powered hub, the pi and peripherals, and what else? Oh, tea. And a severe hatred for all mankind. Luckily, I have most of that stuff.