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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

MyBook access from Linux

I just spent most of an evening trying to access my Western Digital MyBook Live net drive from a machine running Debian Linux. Got there eventually, so if I write out the steps that worked, it might save someone a few headaches:

You will need to apt-get install nfs-common and portmap - this is the networking file system drivers - you may well have them already. So, as root:

apt-get install nfs-common portmap

Then, still as a super user run:

showmount -e the ip address of your MyBook)

This should return a couple of lines of text something like this:

Export list for
/nfs *

The first term on the second line is telling you the mount point you need to access to get at the files on the netdrive, so next - still as root - type:
mount (ipAddr):(2nd line of showmount response) (your chosen mount point)
mount /mnt/mybook

Now you should be able to access the public folders on the network drive by navigating to /mnt/mybook in the file manager, terminal, etc.

If this worked, you can then mount the net drive at startup by editing the file /etc/fstab (need to be super user to do this)
add a line like the following:
(ip-addr):(2nd line of showmount response) (your chosen mount point) nfs defaults 0 0
eg: /mnt/mybook nfs defaults 0 0

And that should be you done! I need to figure out how to access the private shares next, but that is for another day... :-P

Monday, 5 March 2012


I went to The Drawing Circus's Grimm Tales event on Saturday - I didn't really know what to expect except that I'd be doing a lot of drawings in a series, so I thought about buying a sketchbook just for the day. I heard that at a previous event someone came equipped with a really long sheet of paper folded up into a sketchbook concertina fashion. This sounded like a really nice idea, but it occurred to me that a scroll might work, too.

To draw on a scroll you need to modify a drawing board so that it will hold a roll of paper open and flat. Here's my solution:
- two binders (30cm rulers might be even better) gaffer-taped flat to the drawing board hold the paper flat,
- and the rolls on either side are kept furled by the use of a clothes peg on each.

Rolling on to the next empty bit of paper once a drawing is finished is a little bit more cumbersome than turning the page in a sketchbook, but you get the knack of it quite quickly. The procedure is to unpeg the right hand scroll, unroll a little more paper, peg it again, pull the paper across the board to tho the left, then unpeg the left hand scroll and take in the slack.

It is certainly an economic option - a couple of rolls of wrapping paper costing much less than most sketchbooks. And being able to unfurl the scroll and see all your drawings at once and in relation to each other is very satisfying.

They are, however, a little more bulky and less convenient to store than either sketchbooks or loose leaf drawings. They are also a little more cumbersome to peruse.

Anyway, I had a great time, got a lot of drawing practice in (approx. 55 drawings on the day!) mostly a bit scrappy. Next time I'll make a point of getting to one of the longer poses at some point to mix things up a bit.

The other new discovery I made this week was using gold paint for highlights on my sketches - very eyecatching, as long as the background is sufficiently dark. I have an oil-based gilt paste that works pretty well when applied with the finger. I think it's mostly intended for craftwork rather than painting.

Thanks very much to Jake and everyone else involved in making Grimm Tales such a awesome day out - there was a real buzz in the place. Looking forward to the next drawing circus. :-)