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

Phil B pbpublist at gmail.com
Tue Jul 20 10:34:39 PDT 2021


That would probably be even worse in many ways.  Keep in mind that the Cog
and Spur VMs are among the most performant VMs (even when compared to
commercial Smalltalk implementations) we have to run Smalltalk code today.
What kills performance on these smaller devices is trying to run a GUI.
Don't do it and you'll be surprised at the performance you can get from the
VM itself.


On Tue, Jul 20, 2021 at 1:15 PM Joseph Turco <jturk90 at protonmail.com> wrote:

> 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 < cuis-dev at lists.cuis.st>
> 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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