I'm deep in the throws of trying to set up a Raspberry Pi 2 as an image viewer for our file server. The problem is our file server, like most of the rest of the kit in our house, is a Mac, albeit running Mac Server. We used to use Windows but I got feed up with having to spend a day every month or so trying to figure out why something wasn't working. Why the laptop was refusing to talk to the printer despite the fast that it was printing perfectly last night. Plus I didn't think my long suffering partner could take much more of the huffing and swearing that invariably accompanied these episodes. Funnily enough, since we switched over to a completely Apple architecture in our house, domestic bliss has returned and things "just work" together. It's wonderful :D
So why am I using a Raspberry Pi now? Simple answer - cost. A Raspberry Pi costs £35 all in. Very attractive. Of course there is a down side to this, Raspberry Pi's run Linux. However all I want to do is access some files on the Mac server that are already shared out to the other Mac's in the house. How hard can it be? We're talking about one of the most basic function of a server, file sharing. And we've been running home computers for nearly 40 years and big computers for well over 50.
Sure in the good old days it was a pain in the backside, but that was because the protocols were young and networking was in it's infancy. Well, it turns out the good old days are still with us. Getting a Linux computer to access files from a Mac computer is still a pain in the backside. I won't go into the details, but there's a useful article here if your trying to do it.
But I am left wondering, after nearly 40 years of intensive development, why is it still so difficult to share files between computers. Note: before everyone goes off and points out how great iCould or Dropbox or Google Drive are, I couldn't agree more with you. I use them all on a regular basis. But these are files sat on one computer in my office that I'm trying to move across a dedicate LAN to another computer 6 feet away. I should not have to send them to a third server halfway across planet to do this. Ho hum :)
PS I wrote this while sat in the local Starbucks. I'd been researching how to do this on the Mac Server. To find the link above, I opened the web page I'd had open my Mac Server from my iPad while sat here. Several miles away on a completely different device. That was easy. Sharing a file 6 feet ... well, the impossible takes a little longer :)
Header image: Copyright 123rf.com