[Cuis-dev] Running Cuis in a BBB rev C. (similar to RPi). a video performance check

Joseph Turco jturk90 at protonmail.com
Tue Jul 20 10:15:14 PDT 2021

Hey Phil,

Would it be safe to say, using something like GNU smalltalk a better bet?

Sent from ProtonMail mobile

-------- Original Message --------
On Jul 20, 2021, 1:11 PM, Phil B via Cuis-dev wrote:

> Your review is on target for anyone thinking about running Cuis interactively on SBCs this small. However...
> Cuis, and Smalltalk more generally, can run acceptably well in a truly headless mode on machines that small if you're careful. This means thinking more in terms of things like ssh than remote desktop. The thing to remember is that the Squeak VM (especially video) was designed to run on 80's era hardware: a single core CPU with a dumb frame buffer and minimal OS underneath it. So for example all drawing is done in software. Modern computers are fast enough to hide a lot of the overhead of this approach, but as you've seen it's all still there. The only reason a Raspberry Pi seems even remotely acceptable running a desktop GUI is that Linux (today) inherently supports multiple cores and the desktop is GPU accelerated... our VMs take advantage of neither out of the box. (If you had to run today's Linux on truly mid-90's era hardware, you'd run away crying.)
> I've been running it on an old BeagleBoard-xM (512MB RAM, single core processor @ 800MHz) for years but you have to be careful about what you run and how you run it. Ideally you don't want to run any UI at all on a CPU this slow: close all windows (including the taskbar) and tune all preferences for server usage. Then do as much of your interaction as possible via the command line and/or network sockets. If you really must have a Morphic UI, remember every draw call is going to hurt. So at least close the clock on the taskbar, if not the taskbar itself. Don't overlap windows in the VM as changes in one window will often cause redraws in another etc. It's still not going to be a speed demon, but will run acceptably well for many tasks.
> I understand this isn't the use case most are looking for, but mention it as to not discourage others who might still want to use these smaller devices with Cuis.
> On Tue, Jul 20, 2021 at 6:25 AM Nicola Mingotti via Cuis-dev <cuis-dev at lists.cuis.st> wrote:
>> Hi guys,
>> I just finished a little test showing how a Cuis can run in a BeagleBone Black Rev. C.
>> which is a device similar to a RPi but most fit to electronics projects.
>> . BBB is headless
>> . I connect to BBB via VNC
>> . There is no desktop environment, Cuis is the only graphical application running
>> I need to do at least another test on a bigger machine to see what part of the sloppiness is due to VNC and what is due to a small CPU,
>> but my temporary conclusion is that this kind of hardware is too little to work well in Cuis.
>> here is the video:
>> https://youtu.be/sDDrBXB4K6A
>> bye
>> Nicola
>> --
>> Cuis-dev mailing list
>> Cuis-dev at lists.cuis.st
>> https://lists.cuis.st/mailman/listinfo/cuis-dev
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