Thursday, November 15, 2018

Notes on Building My Servers


At the end of the day, I ended up with two servers.  One running Linux for rendering, machine learning, and other image processing.  The other for using the Samsung HMD for VR that my friend Ken Perlin sent me.  They are both running the Xeon Silver 4108 8/16 CPU with lots of memory.

Their were two major issues on this build.  I kept getting bad parts, many CPUs were bad and much of the early memory was bad.  Now I buy the memory directly from Kingston and whatever I was running into with CPUs seemed to be fixed.  I also had a bad PSU.  It was just endless.

At the end of the day, we settled on memory from Kingston, chassis from Chenbro from Newegg, power supplies from Supermicro directly, Samsung SSDs from Newegg, Nvidia GPUs from Newegg, and Supermicro motherboards from 3rd party vendors through Newegg.

From now on, always test a new power supply for a build, and stay away from two socket motherboards, always going for a single socket and a more powerful processor if necessary.

Never install Windows on a machine with any other kind of data or OS anywhere near.

The built in graphics on the Supermicro motherboards work great for consoles, and it is recommended you have a VGA display of some sort so you dont have to go through a VGA->HDMI converter.  All systems are still on the USB ethernet connection which works fine for what I need to do.  Ultimately, we will use the onboard ethernet.  All systems have a USB3 bay added to the front.

This is the first time I have had reasonable computing that is appropriate for the work in maybe 20 years.  It makes a difference.

Donald, Why Dont You Shut Up


No one believes you Donald, so why dont you just shut up.  We are definitely into the next period of play.  I dont know what will happen but I doubt old Donald is going to make it.  At the end of the day he is not immune to all the laws of nature and politics although he thinks he is.  How this will play out, and how long it will take, and what it will take to fix it if it can be fixed, is of course a mystery.  It is for the Democrats and the Resistance to lose.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Lessons on the Path to Righteousness and the Installation of Tensorflow on Centos


Tensorflow is one of the open source solutions to a machine learning back end.  That, with a Keras layer on top, is one of the more popular machine learning environments out there. Among other things, it supports both central and graphics processing on most operating systems.

As in so many things in life, a clever or lucky choice can achieve a goal with no effort, but a similar choice can result in weeks, years or even decades of hell.

There are a number of surprises involved in installing these packages on your operating system of choice, and this note is intended to help you, readers, avoid shooting yourself in the foot or the head as the case may be.

1. Never, never, never try to install from source no matter who advises you to.  It is perfectly possible to install from source on a bare metal machine without any virtual environments, or you could just hit yourself with a large hammer for a few weeks.  Who knew that there were so many different ways to install Python, or that there were so many Pythons?  And that is just the tip of a very nasty set of icebergs.

2. So whenever you are given an opportunity to isolate yourself from the real world by using a virtual environment, whether in Python or anywhere else, take it.  In particular, for the Windows 10 version, a choice of the python virtual environment and a precompiled version of Tensorflow/Keras will result in a cpu only version in an afternoon.  For some of you, you are done and can move on.

3. For those of us in Linux world, you now have to choose between a few specific versions of Ubuntu and everything else.  You who would compromise your integrity and have no aesthetic sense are welcome to use Ubuntu.  Go, it is there for you.

4. For the rest of us who might use an adult version of Linux, my operating system of choice is Centos / RHEL 7.5 which is the most recent version.  I thought I had to compile from source, but this turns out not to be the case.  What turns out to to one of the best paths through this jungle is to use the Docker (container) version as follows.

5. Install Docker by registering as a free user of the Community Edition.  Having registered, and installed the preferred package from the preferred repository, you are now eligible to use containers that have been registered with Docker.

6. Tensorflow creates a new version more or less every day in a variety of flavors (no GPU, GPU, etc) and puts them out on the Docker registry with such adjectives as "latest" or "stable" for example.

7. Using these magic words you can create the name of a container you want to run.  You use one of the magic containers and it loads that part of the container whose layers are not already local, and if you so specify, you are in a shell, in a container, in which you can go into python, load tensorflow and keras and you are off to the races in a cpu version of Tensorflow.

8. Of course, at this point you are now using containers and you will need to spend a day learning about container file systems and other nuance.  Its not too bad though.

9. For those of you who foolishly also want to use GPU acceleration, you have chosen a slightly more difficult path.  You will have to install a different version of the "docker" program from Nvidia and Github.  But once you do, and once you install the GPU driver on your Linux (a bird of a different feather) you can now use a container with GPU from that list mentioned above.

Good luck!

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Big Lebowski and Carter Burwell


This will be old news to many of you, but it was new to me.

I am slowly developing an appreciation for the movie The Big Lebowski (1998) by the Coen Brothers.  I realize it has been out for a while and I am late to see its value.

What I had not realized was that computer music pioneer and composer Carter Burwell did the original music.  Carter is distant cousin to my friends Carter Emmart and Jimmy Carter, and its really nice to see just how well he has done.  He has worked on a movie that is sure to last as long as movies from our civilization last.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Its Nice to Know Where You Stand


An old friend is taking the day off work to go walk the precinct for someone he claims is the first openly bisexual candidate in the history of the American Republic, which I doubt.  I think that is great, but do I really care if someone is openly bisexual? 

He has not had the time to visit me, or for me to visit him, once in the last 10 or is it 12, or more, years.

Its nice to know how much our friendship counts.

No Free Speech on Twitter


Apparently only the Orange Moron is permitted to express their opinion on Twitter.  I am still keeping my account, but probably wont tweet much, too afraid of violating the rules.

Remember the Fifth of November


Time to blow up Parliament.  Oh, too bad!  No patriots around here.  Just rapists on our Supreme Court! 

A First! A Browser Attack on Safari and the Mac


Well, at least its a first for me.  Safari tried to tell me that I HAD A VIRUS and I HAD to do some stupid shit, etc, etc, you know the drill.

Our right wing FBI and Orange-Sack-of-Shit President is too busy putting rapists on the Supreme Court to try and catch these criminals.  Hell, the Trump-ola is probably making money off the scam.

Who is More Stupid, Democrats or Republicans


Sure the Republicans are evil swine, but the Democrats never learn.  I read in the Daily Beast that if/when the Dems take the House they immediately should get in a fight over Nancy Pelosi (yawn) and then be nice to the Republicans.

OH, they say, dont dare go after the Republicans for their crimes.

Idiots, morons, swine.  Put the Republicans in jail.  All of them.  Start with the Orange Bag of Shit and his rapist justice.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Holy Moly This Hollywood Bullshit Makes Me Mad


Dear Friends, or not as the case may be.

I dont want your hopes and prayers.  I want the money you owe me for getting so much done which you based your enitre careers upon.

Thank you!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

What if We Met The Caravan with Open Arms


What if it was all a joke and Trump means  to have the immigrant caravan met by the US Military with open arms, housing and humanitarian aid!? 

Then we would be the angel of the international scene and not hated (as much).

For those who say this is not practical, they are probably right.  On the other hand if this country had not welcomed immigrants, I would not be alive.

Oh That Hollywood Insincerity

Ha Ha!

Another example of a dear friend proving what a shallow and insincere person he/she is.  Who knows. Managing expectations is the key, and my expectations have been way too high.


Why do I even bother?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Election Predictions Midterms 2018


What a clusterf*ck this has been.

It has been excruciating to read the mainstream press the last few months as they agonize over numbers that tell us nothing.  I have literally read every possible prediction contradicted by some pundit within days.

1. Dems take the house by 20 or so votes.  Anything more than that is a victory that makes it harder for the republicans to spin.

1.1 But the Dems need a minimum of 40 votes majority to spin it as a Blue Wave and who knows if they will get it.

1.2 The people who claim that young people will vote, will vote Dem, and who say that women will vote Dem as a block will be wrong.  The Women Vote will be mostly dead (except as a slight majority, not a block) after this election.  That is my prediction.  You will still hear about the youth vote and the women vote because there will be stupid lefties who cant get it out of their heads, but it isnt real.  Sorry.

2. Reps pick up at least one seat in the Senate, maybe two.  Beto is defeated by Cruz.

3. The Georgia race is too close to call.

4. Dems win Florida governorship for a net gain of several governorships.

5. Nunes and Hunter are reelected.

6. Trump declares victory and voter fraud in the House.  He uses that as an excuse to ignore subpoenas.

7. Dems in the House unleash hell but it does them no good, not really.

8. Because the Senate is firmly in Trumps hands and does his bidding.

9. Trump and the Senate continue to place stupid right wing thugs in the judiciary.

10. The Supreme Court starts fucking with our freedoms.

11. Violence increases.

12. The Trump revolution is pronounced real and not an aberration.

13. Most Americans still fail to understand that they live in a dictatorship and that most of the constitution has failed.

14. Mueller indicts Stone and the Wikileaks asshole but what he does beyond that is a mystery to me.

15. Voter Repression goes full force.  Right wing courts uphold most of it.  Voting rights, fuck that, this is Trump Country now.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Should I Alert the Humane Society


A woman I know in Oakland sets traps for animals, castrates or neuters them, and then has them killed.  Should I alert the humane society?  Why bother?  They would just attack me for telling them about it. They approve of that kind of thing.