The problem with package managers is that there seems to be a new one every week. Every day I hear of another one. Every time I turn around, a different project uses a different package manager, which needs to be installed. Package manager install inception. I spend more time installing package managers than I do packages.
The instructions imply using any shell. This one says: "open a command prompt or terminal"
While this one says: "You’ll need to open the command prompt for this next part. You can also use Powershell or a similar command line tool if that is what you are used to."
So I hope you can understand the confusion when it wasn’t working. This type of ambiguous instructions often leads to these types of problems.
Back to the problem on hand. I was getting the correct blue breathing light as it was connected to the Internet. In the IDE, it would show it was online with a breathing blue “light” as well. Signal work work, but not flash. In the mobile app, it would show as not connected, even though I used my phone to connect the Photon to WiFi. I didn’t know what Tinker was at this point either as I couldn’t connect from my phone to my Photon as it showed off-line. So, I never even had the option to flash Tinker. I also tried 3 different WLANs (as I thought maybe it was a port forwarding issue). Two WiFi SSIDs at home (one is public one private) and a public one at work with the same results.
Finally, I jumped through enough hoops, installed Particle’s favorite package manager, guessed at using the correct shell, and figured out what I needed to do to upgrade the Photon firmware. Then, everything started working just fine! My guess is that because my Photon was part of the original Kickstarter and this was the first time it was used, the firmware on it wasn’t compatible with the latest communication protocol, as it would simply not flash (but everything else seemed to be working just fine).
So maybe this problem is unique to me as I’m the only one who was running the original firmware? But, I would have no idea that it would no longer work without being upgraded, and those instructions led me on this ambiguous path.