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

Nicola Mingotti nmingotti at gmail.com
Tue Jul 20 10:40:43 PDT 2021

Hi Phil,

I can imagine with some tweaks Cuis could run better even in my old BBB 
rev C.

Beginners are not able to do any tweaks though. So I prefer to push them 
toward using
a more performant machine when they start.

Otherwise you see comment like Joseph one: "I can live with just typing 
the Workspace".
That is the Anti-Smalltalk spirit. It would like be programming Lisp 
(Python, Ruby etc.) without a REPL: horrible.

I am going to post another video right now which shows you don't need a 
large machine
at all to have a good looking perfectly working Cuis. Which would let 
you be happy while programming.

I post it in another title here not to make a mess.


On 7/20/21 7:11 PM, Phil B 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 <mailto: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 <https://youtu.be/sDDrBXB4K6A>
>     bye
>     Nicola
>     -- 
>     Cuis-dev mailing list
>     Cuis-dev at lists.cuis.st <mailto:Cuis-dev at lists.cuis.st>
>     https://lists.cuis.st/mailman/listinfo/cuis-dev
>     <https://lists.cuis.st/mailman/listinfo/cuis-dev>

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