Getting started. Never finished.

Monthly Archives: August 2014

Today, apparently, was one of those times.


Next steps: sewing on LilyTwinkle, LEDs, and battery. Velcroing onto stiffened felt. Adding safety pins. And then watching Howard Jones play a real orange keytar.

I started a new job in the past month. Since my work schedule includes an hour-long lunch break, I bought myself a MacBook Air to celebrate and to have a way to work on some personal projects during that time. (Yes, I’m a librarian, but I can’t just read during lunch. I find if I haven’t done something with my hands, I don’t feel like I’ve really had a break. And one can’t knit *all* the time.)

The keytar tie project I posted earlier seemed to fail. The first point of failure seemed to be the piezo; I stripped the wire off a standard piezo, sewed it in, but got no sound. I decided to purchase the speaker/buzzer that is part of the LilyPad lineup.

But that didn’t work. So, I decided I needed to rip everything out – and that was a lot of handsewing with conductive thread – and test my components with alligator clip connections.

Nothing. Not even Ye Olde Blinke would work.

And thus began a Beverly Crusher Moment that I’m still in.

It turns out that Mavericks (good grief, do I hate that name) has its own FTDI driver that prevent the USB ports from working the way you need them to for Arduino projects. The weird thing is that I had installed my own FTDI driver, but Apple must have pushed out an update that overwrote it.

Following advice on the Arduino forums, I disabled Apple’s FTDI driver and reinstalled the recommended ones. Now the proper ports show up for transferring code to the Arduino board, but the process just hangs. And hangs. And never completes.

I’m at the point where I’m strongly considering partitioning the drive, installing Mint Linux 17, and using that for Arduino tinkering.

Of course, the intermediate step is testing the USB/micro cable to see if it suddenly sprung a leak (ha ha). Let’s apply a little Occam’s Razor logic, after all.

But this much work for a relatively small project, all because my computer of choice thinks it knows what functionalities I want better than I do – that is frustrating, and makes me wonder why Mac should continue to be my computer of choice.