Getting stuff onto the Pad

Unfortunately, right off the get-go I was having problems getting my music and video onto the pad (which is still without a name, and no, I’m not calling it Sgt. Pepper). I had initially planned on using my USB->CF card reader to put files onto it. Unfortunately, the Linux 2.4 kernel doesn’t get along with my card reader. Not Linux or Pepper’s fault – apparently my card reader just happens to be “quirky”. Considering it cost me net $0 I’m not too pissed.

There’s also of course the Pepper Desktop software, which is supposed to let you sync the Pad’s contents with your desktop. But still no joy – I added files into the Music Library on the Desktop and followed all the instructions to start a sync, but it died at Step 4. Looking into the log files, there’s something rotten going on on the Desktop’s side I think. I sure as hell hope it isn’t Norton AntiVirus doing something bad, but I suspect something’s just broken. No joy!

Next, I thought “I know! I have this external USB hard drive with backups of all my music and video on it – I’ll just plug it into the USB port and awaaay we go!” Which should have worked. But didn’t, even after I converted the drive to FAT32. The reason? Pepper assumes that any USB device will have only one partition, sda1. Well… in order to have a 186GB FAT32 partition, it has to be within an extended partition – meaning it showed up on sda5. But even trying to mount it manually failed, which was strange to me – something just doesn’t want to read an extended partition table or something?

Finally I hacked me a solution. Samba (the Windows File Sharing client for UNIXes) is installed and works just fine on the Pepper. I suspect it will be integrated into the software soon, but all I needed to do was mount my SMB share into /media/usbhd (where Pepper expects a USB disk to be mounted) and Eureka! It worked.

I’m really hoping to solve this sync problem soon, because it’s by far the most elegant way to be doing things.


3 replies

  1. How about Dr. Pepper?
    Or Johnny 5 — “wouldn’t you like to be a pepper too?”

  2. Hrm, well, I used to always name my machines after characters from Neon Genesis Evangelion (my home workstation is asuka, and the server is misato)… maybe Maya (Ritsuko’s assistant), or PenPen.

    NGE Characters

  3. That’s pretty cool, actually. I name my computers after machines from the early years of XEROX PARC — the Mac is Star, the server is Alto, and the iBook is Dyna…