I dont really think that I need to explain the purpose of this post since the title should be clear. You can reach us by using the address feedback @ bsdnow.tv Conversely you can ping me on twitter or freenode using the screen name ‘q5sys’. We are trying to put together a master list of BUG’s so we can keep viewers updated on when and where meetings are being held, as well as be a way to direct potential new members do you. We dont care where your BUG is located, we’d love to know about it so we can help promote BSD.
Are you really running six GPU’s in your workstation?
I got an email the other day in reference to the following picture that I posted on twitter in the past.
The direct answer is that no, I am not running 6 GPUs in my system, for several reasons. First and foremost being that those Quadro NVS 420 cards are Dual GPU cards, so technically that picture shows 12 GPUs. A more down to earth reason would be because I did that just for fun one day to see if it was possible to run that many GPUs. Those are very old cards and aren’t capable of pushing the resolution I am running these days: 11520×2160. However, before anyone started to freak out about running 12 GPUs at once… you can’t run that many Nvidia GPU’s under Linux. Not currently… to my knowledge anyway.
I’m not sure where the exact limit is implemented. I don’t know if its a limit in the Kernel or a limit in the Nvidia driver, all I know for sure is that the OS will not detect more than 8 GPUs at a time. I have tested this on multiple systems and all three of them hit the wall at 8 GPUs. There is also a post by an Nvidia employee TMurray stated here that the limit was “at least 8”. That along with my own experience of 8 being the limit leads me to believe that is the hard limit for ‘some’ reason.
To be completely academic about this, I have found the following thread here where someone claims to have built a rig with 18 GPUs, but only provides text output to validate his claim. It would have been nice to see a screenshot or a photo of this alleged system, without it I’m left wondering if those comments are factual, or someone out to inflate their e-peen. I would love for it to be legit, I really wish more information was provided.
I’ve done quite a bit of research online, and have read a whole slew of claims that it will work, as well as a slew people claiming it wont work with a myriad of reasons. The reasons people usually quote are:
1) It’s a BIOS Problem
2) Not enough PCI Lanes (usually valid but on a dual CPU system like mine that’s not an issue)
3) Kernel Limitation
4) Driver Limitation
5) Some other random motherboard issue that’s never clearly identified
6) Nvidia is being mean (Yes, I’ve actually seen that being claimed)
I would love to find and get some actual hard facts on the issue, not because I have a serious need to run that many GPUs, I’m just naturally curious. One thing I have not tried is to use the Nouveau driver and see if the limitation still persists. My guess is that it would, not necessarily because of some code from Nvidia, but because in my experience the Nouveau driver is rather feature lacking at the extreme use cases.
My gut feeling is that its a Nvidia Driver issue, considering Nvidia has showcased its VCA units with 8x Tesla K80 Cards(dual GPU cards) units like this with 16 Tesla K80s (dual GPU cards). But to be fair, for a unit like that, its possible they are running a custom BIOS and Kernel with a significant set of patches.
If anyone out there has more concrete information on this, please contact me. I’d love to dig into this issue a bit more and learn the root cause.
Is Puppylinux 4K ready? The short answer is mostly, and here’s the proof.
The most important step is to simply increase your font size up from its default or whatever you have it set at to something that’s about 30% larger. This should be good for most people, but you may need to set it a bit higher depending on your personal preferences. This will also vary depending on the pixel pitch of your monitor. Monitors with a smaller pixel pitch may need to set it higher. Once you do this most of the time you’ll be good to go, there are however a few ‘gotchas’ that you will run into.
When you increase your fonts, windows themselves will increase most of the UI elements accordingly, but there are a few which you will need to manually go in and tweak in your GTK1 or GTK2 theme files. For those non Puppy users out there, yes I meant Gtk1&2 and not Gtk3. The other gotcha that jumps to mind initially is scrollbars, which can also be altered in your gtk theme file. When I first moved to using 4K screens this was my biggest initial annoyance, but one that was quickly remedied without too much trouble. Another thing to keep in mind is that your icons may not scale. Most Puppy releases do not include a full icon set for every icon. This is primary done for space saving purposes since Puppy tries to stay as small as possible. Due to this, you will most likely have mismatched icons; if this bothers you, simply track down the full icon set and fill in the gaps that you may have in /usr/share/icons. If savefile space is a concern, I’d suggest adding these into your install by building an SFS package. The ‘Edit-SFS’ utility is perfectly suited for such a task.
The largest issue for me is that there are certain hard elements that you cannot alter… or to be more specific, I haven’t figured out how to alter yet. Things like window pane dividers in certain programs and the window borders for resizing are elements that as of yet I have found no work around for. On a 1080P monitor, the two or three pixels that existed in the window were easy enough to grab at that resolution with some fine mouse movements. On a 4k screen this has become almost a matter of luck. On my older Samsung EX2220 monitors the pixel pitch was 0.24825mm on my current Acer K242HQK monitors the pixel pitch is 0.136mm. This makes it vitrually impossible to grab the window edge or window pane divider on first attempt, usually it takes me around 5 seconds to grab it to then resize. That’s just simple not practical or acceptable these days. Now, I admit that this may be something you can tweak in the appropiate GTK2/GTK3 theme file, but as of yet I have not figured out how. If you are aware how you can change this, please drop me a line and let me know.
I’m going to go ahead and leave my prior statement about window boarders here even though I’ve found a resolution. I’m unsure how this would be handled with any Puppy that uses JWM, but for those that are using Openbox based puppies, you will need to edit your openbox themerc file to modify the boarder size.
Under the section: “#Window geometry” change “boarder.width: 1” to something larger. I set it to 3 and it seems fine for the most part.
I also went ahead and changed the following values from “1” to “3” as well.
I made these a few months ago but completely forgot to upload them. Thankfully, I remembered that when I was making the FreeBSD wallpapers today with the new FreeBSD Foundation Logo, so I’m uploading them now. As before, these are 4K resolution, you can downscale them to your desktop resolution easy enough. These are PNG, if you would prefer JPG versions you can download them from the Imgur album: HERE.
I’m not the most skilled at graphic design so these are rather simple, but I tend to like simple wallpapers. After all, if I’m at my computer I should be using it and not just staring at the background. These are all 4K wallpapers (3840×2160), so you will need to scale them down to your resolution. I figured it made the most sense to just make them as big as anyone might need. It always looks better when you scale a wallpaper down than it is to scale one up. I’m hoping making them in 4K should cover 99.99% of the people out there. Also, be aware that these are PNG files so they are large in size. If for some reason the download is too slow for you, or you don’t mind image artifacts in JPGs, feel free to grab them from here: Imgur Album
Since the FreeBSD Foundation hasn’t released their media kit yet, these are using the largest version of the logo I could find on their site and enlarged with GIMP. Once they release SVG files I’ll be remaking these and making a few others as well.
I mentioned in my prior post about my Rokinon 800mm lens that some of the distortion in the photos was due to air quality. This is a quick post to explain what I meant by that. I live in a wonderful place on the east coast of the United States that is blessed with horrible air quality. The humidity here is almost other-worldly at times. For most people out there, dealing with the Optical challenges of humidity is not something one ever has to deal with. However here in Maryland, if you’re shooting over distances it is something you will have to deal with. Yesterday I took a quick video that displays this problem. There is some initial shake of the camera from me starting the recording, but once it settles, you’ll see ‘waves’ seem to wash over the image, that’s humidity at work my friends.
Youtube Link : Optical Atmospheric Distortion Sucks
That’s how bad it is on a temperate day with the humidity in the low 20%. During the summer doing the same type of test would be far more exaggerated. If I’m able to stand it and dont mind subjecting my camera gear to that kind of brutality, I’ll try to do the same test again during the summer on one of our 90% humidity days.
Step 1: Don’t point it at anything other than the sky.
Step 2: Under no circumstance attach a tele-converter to it.
Step 3: In the event that you failed to follow Step 2, please revisit Step 1.
Disclaimer: If you are Law Enforcement (involved in a lawful investigation) and are trying to observe someone from far away but don’t need clear photographs, disregard what I’ve said.
Instead of explaining the following, I’ll just post the pictures and let your eyes do the explanations by comparing it to my 18-200mm Sony lens. Since I’m using an APS-C sensor, and tele-converters I will post the effective length with each. These images are cropped to about 1000×800 at 1:1 pixel ratio; so while they are cropped, these are not re-sized at all. Also note, some of the ‘wavy’ distortion is due to atmospheric issues. I’m going to be making a post regarding that later on this week.
18mm (effective 28mm)
200mm (effective 300mm)
200mm with internal 2x tele-converter (effective 600mm)
200mm with external 2x tele-converter (effective 600mm)
200mm with internal and external 2x tele-converter (effective 1200mm)
800mm (effective 1200mm)
800mm with internal 2x tele-converter (effective 2400mm)
800mm with external 2x tele-converter (effective 2400mm)
And just to be stupid for no good reason…
800mm with internal and external 2x tele-converter (effective 4800mm)
I got this Rokinon lens off a friend who bought it and never used it and decided he wanted to free up the space on his shelf. Since free happens to be my favorite price, I felt that as a good friend, I should be willing to help him out. Primarily, I got it for the purposes of astrophotography, but was bored a week or so ago so I decided to go and put it through its paces during the day and see how it works.
Without beating around the bush and wasting your time, I’ll just get right to the point. This lens is pretty much a toy. It’s not that it has the worst optics in the world, it’s that its pretty much inhumanly possible to focus. I was able to get some ‘ok’ pictures with it, but to be clear, I think that was more me being lucky than anything that could be attributed to focusing skill. I also wouldn’t consider printing them at anything larger than 5×6 due to the lack of sharpness. If you’re thinking about getting a mirrored lens for whatever reason, an important thing to keep in mind is that your bokeh will look like cheerios due to the way the lens operates. You can take note of that in the following pictures. (Full 6000×4000 resolution size on click)
And now for the reason I bought got the lens… to do cool stuff like this: