After all the frantic preparation over the last few weeks, I was really relieved to have a working (I think) micromouse again. Normally, I leave two evenings to gather all the bits, arrange the packing and make sure I am actually ready to go. This time, I had only one evening and that didn’t go too well.
My development at home is on a desktop iMac. For contests, I use a Macbook. Same software. Same everything. Rather than copy everything on flash drives and give myself a lot of trouble with file synchronisation, I use Dropbox. The project folder lives on there and so I get automatic syncing of files between devices. Dropbox also has a really good backup service in case I lose anything and I can always pick up any internet connected device and get a copy of my code.
This time, I thought it would be cool to take a new Macbook Air. It is very light and is the perfect thing for travelling. I have used one at a contest before so didn’t expect any trouble.
Unfortunately, I forgot that I had upgraded the machine to Mountain Lion. I knew there was a possible issue with Java but that was easily sorted.
It all started to go bad when I had not taken into account how long it would be before Dropbox got a full synchronisation with the Macbook Air. Never mind. I had time.
Then it turned out that the user path was different on the Air because I have a different logon name. That meant fiddling with the MPLAB settings.
Next git have me a hard time because all the file permissions had changed and suddenly my revision control repository was looking a bit ragged.
Some hidden files had not copied right and some configuration files for utilities were different. Notably, astyle – which keeps all my source code neatly formatted – was installed differently. All the files got reformatted and git sees them all as different.
While getting a bit worked up over these issues, I made a complete copy of the project to be safe.
The copy would not sync properly. Git was unhappy again. Dropbox was unhappy again. I was getting a bit beyond unhappy.
Finally managed to get everything where it should be. Or at least I think I did. By now two hours had been thrown away on this madness. The patience of my wife had been stretched very thin by my various exclamations of dismay. The dog was not helping even slightly. Still, I had a source code tree and I could build the sources.
Almost as an afterthought before packing everything away, I plugged in the pickit3 programmer that I use.
The Macbook Air could not see it. Whatever I did, I could not persuade MPLAB that it had a programmer attached. This must be something to do with Mountain Lion but I don’t know what.
I was really close to having set out with all the gear and no way to reprogram the mouse. It would have been a flat-out disaster. How many things can possibly go wrong?
So, with the evening nearly gone, I had to prepare my normal Macbook which,as far as I can tell works just fine. That is, the sources compile, the programmer works and I expect it to behave perfectly. Oh, wait, that is what I thought earlier in the evening. No, it will be fine. I am sure of it.