[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 12:49:48 PDT 2021


For now I'd suggest trying Juan's suggestions in the other thread.  The use
case I'm describing is a lot more work and requires rather deep familiarity
with the Cuis environment.

The main thing you might take from my suggestions are to keep the number of
open morphs/windows to a minimum.  Also try to keep them from
overlapping... You'll be surprised how much that can help.  (This is the
one area I'd disagree with Juan: keep the taskbar but get rid of the clock
in it.  Being able to quickly minimize windows will make keeping them from
overlapping simpler)


On Tue, Jul 20, 2021, 1:36 PM Joseph Turco <jturk90 at protonmail.com> wrote:

> How do you do that? I wasn't aware you could run it without a gui
> Sent from ProtonMail mobile
> -------- Original Message --------
> On Jul 20, 2021, 1:34 PM, Phil B < pbpublist at gmail.com> wrote:
> Joseph,
> 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.
> Thanks,
> Phil
> 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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