Re: mc Digest, Vol 107, Issue 3

On Wed, 3 Apr 2013, chris glur wrote:

Thanks, I'll try SlakARM.

One or two things ought to be mentioned about this before you start, 

First, it is not a distro which is specifically intended for the 
RPi. It is not specifically optimized for the RPi but is pretty generic 
for ARM hardware. One consequence of that is, the distro as far as I know 
does not provide a kernel which specifically supports that hardware, and 
therefore an attempt to boot one of the distro-provided kernels will not 
work. At least this was true when I did my install, which was several 
months ago. One had better use the stock Debian kernel and its associated 

Second, unless things have changed recently there is not full support for 
the RPi in Linus's git kernel, either, not to mention a numbered non-rc 
release. This may have changed recently. I have not kept current with that 
due to other stuff like working for a living. And naturally there is an 
ongoing effort to integrate the RPi fully into the main line, an effort 
which is (was?) still incomplete. Anyway, I did try to compile a git 
kernel back then and it would not run. 

Third, SlackARM runs quite well even as it is. But the RPi has some kind 
of math coprocessor, I understand. SlackARM's libc is set up only to use 
math mode emulation and so does not use the full abilities of that 
specific ARM cpu (reason: many ARM cpus will only use emulation and the 
distro is supposed to run on them. One of the good things to do is then, 
to use a libc which direcly supports using math mode. I did not go through 
the rather intricate steps to do this, but I am quite happy with the 
results even without that.

There are a couple of whinges and whines about the RPi which I fully agree 
with. One is that the USB support is just a little bit flaky. As you know, 
I have written some kernel stuff to support webcams. What I found out 
(after making sure that all of this stuff was implemented in my RPi 
kernel) is that there is a rather chaotic and semi-random pattern of 
cameras working, or not working. And sometimes it is cameras supported by 
the same kernel driver some of which work and some of which do not. I 
don't know why, because I have not had time to look into it deeply enough. 
Another whinge is that the sound chip works, but there is a really 
annoying loud "pop" when one plays a sound file, and another equally loud 
"pop" when the file comes to an end. Apparently, this happens because the 
sound chip is in standby mode by default and the first thing is it has to 
be turned full on, and then turned full off again. And I have not been 
able to figure out if there is any way to do a "soft on" and a "soft off" 
to fix that. At least, a first look at the kernel code did not seem to 
make it obvious what to do. Probably, if they had gone to the trouble to 
do something like to install a tiny buffer capacitor on the board it might 
be able to make this go away. But they didn't.

Also it is probably better to buy a new SD card to stick SlackArm on it 
instead of wiping the old one. Also as I said I think that Debian does 
have a functioning mc in its repository somewhere. 

Anyway, it's lots of fun for them that likes things like this.

Theodore Kilgore

I've analysed why many people HATE mc.
The sports-man/soldier-type who train to do the task by reflex,
like your dog catches a ball, want to go-straight-to-the-goal,
by writing a mesg to the-little-man-in-the-box.
The don't want to see the 'clutter' of multiple fileNames and
have to make decisions, during the game.
They have a complete mental-model of how to reach the goal.

On 4/2/13, Theodore Kilgore <kilgota banach math auburn edu> wrote:

On Tue, 2 Apr 2013, chris glur wrote:

Can someone confirm that mc is available for ARM:rPi ?
I've often wondered why Debian doesn't acknowledge that
gpm is the most essential utility and mc is the 2nd most.

Hi, Chris,

ArmedSlack (Slackware for ARM, aka Slackarm) does contain a package for
mc. I can also confirm that, as of a couple of months ago,
slackarm-current is running well enough on the RPi.

In Debian, you might possibly be able to get mc by the routine of running
sudo apt-get install mc. In fact, I think that I vaguely recall doing that
successfully during my first attempt to get the RPi up and running, back
when I first got one of them. As to why Debian seems to bypass mc as part
of the basic distribution and seems to want to make people go and get it
instead, I have no idea. I have often wondered about that obvious
omission, myself.

Theodore Kilgore

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