unpredictability that makes me leery
Tuesday, June 18 2013
The deer that has been hanging around the neighborhood this year (and not showing the usual fear of dogs and humans), attacked the garden last night, though he only seemed to eat a large plant which I'd thought was a volunteer sunflower but which was probably actually a Velvet Leaf (Abutilon theophrasti) instead. I decided I needed to put up some sort of fencing, so I drove in some stakes and spanned stiff wire-mesh panels between them. These panels were designed for providing strength to sidewalks, but they work well as temporary fencing. I only fenced about a third of the main garden's circumferance in its southwest sector, since that part is farthest from the house. But the deer had actually attacked the garden from the parking area to its north, having trotted right up between the cars.
I also transplanted some climbing beans from the other garden patch in hopes that they'll grow upon the new anti-deer structures.
The Raspberry Pi was now acting so erratically that I decided to create a new SD boot card from scratch; among my problems, now I was unable to login as the "pi" user; the Linux login prompt was asking for a username but then not asking for a password. It doesn't take too long to put together a new SD card, but since I hadn't made a backup of the old one, it still involved the annoying busywork of installing various things and then changing configuration files. Inevitably, I ran into problems I hadn't encountered before, and I could see my entire day circling the drain. Then, on a whim, I booted off the old SD card and now the Raspberry Pi was working perfectly. Who knows why, but it's the kind of unpredictability that makes me leery of using such a complex microcontroller for anything requiring fail-proof operation. In any case, I was able to get it to continue snapping frames for my bean stalk stop-action sequence. As evening fell, I installed a light to illuminate the beans throughout the night.
Later in the evening, accessing the Raspberry Pi remotely using SSH, I managed to install a functioning LAMP (PHP/MySQL Apache) stack, which will allow me to build a web-based control and monitoring system using skills I already have.
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