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ColdMac - My Winter Project (Page 2)
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besson3c
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Dec 22, 2010, 10:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
I'd expect user stupidity to be built into a Windows system, with much less user stupidity on a *nix box.

That may be true, but the Mac is getting so popular around here and growing so fast that at this rate it won't be long before we have plenty of computer illiterate on this platform.
     
besson3c
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Dec 22, 2010, 10:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
OK I changed the port to 30080, so try is now: http://coldmac.johnmasone.com and see if it's any different - directed at anyone who feels like checking.

I'm getting this weird porn now...




     
Madison
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Dec 22, 2010, 10:45 PM
 
Works fine here on Comcast in little old Southeastern Massachusetts...
     
Big Mac
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Dec 22, 2010, 11:00 PM
 
Works for me on Uverse.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
l008com  (op)
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Dec 22, 2010, 11:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Madison View Post
Works fine here on Comcast in little old Southeastern Massachusetts...
mmmmmm
     
l008com  (op)
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Dec 22, 2010, 11:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Madison View Post
Works fine here on Comcast in little old Southeastern Massachusetts...
bop
     
l008com  (op)
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Dec 22, 2010, 11:03 PM
 
Also note, that the page has been loading *extra* slow today, because the iBook is currently backing up itself in full, over the same weak wifi connection. Once that backup is done, the page will load much more responsively.
     
l008com  (op)
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Dec 25, 2010, 07:00 AM
 
I just installed APC, the PHP cacher, on the iBook. The website loads really slow, unusually slow considering it can sustain 80KB/sec over it's wifi connection. That's not super fast, but its plenty fast enough to transfer a few web documents that gzip compress to probably all of 5KB.

SO, anyone that has already been to the coldmac site a few times... can you load it again now and tell me if it feels any faster? Loading it from inside the LAN has always been a bit faster than outside, so doing it myself isn't a very accurate test (although even locally, it does feel faster with APC).
     
besson3c
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Dec 25, 2010, 11:21 AM
 
Have you modified the Apache resource allocation settings so that it consumes less RAM? Have you tried disabling gzip?
     
sek929
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Dec 25, 2010, 01:10 PM
 
Loads in an instant for me.
     
l008com  (op)
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Dec 25, 2010, 03:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Have you modified the Apache resource allocation settings so that it consumes less RAM? Have you tried disabling gzip?
No and for what purpose? I specifically enabled gzip.
     
besson3c
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Dec 25, 2010, 03:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
No and for what purpose? I specifically enabled gzip.

If you are CPU bound this could slow you down. I don't know if a 900 Mhz G3 would make you CPU bound or not, but I'd say that it's not a given that it wouldn't.
     
l008com  (op)
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Dec 25, 2010, 04:29 PM
 
gzipping content reduces CPU load.
     
besson3c
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Dec 25, 2010, 04:58 PM
 
No it doesn't. How do you think file compression works? It involves processing through an algorithm. JPG compression is the same.
     
l008com  (op)
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Dec 25, 2010, 05:06 PM
 
You ought to google it. It takes more CPU to maintain more, longer network connections than it does to do some quick compression and then maintain fewer faster network connections.
     
besson3c
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Dec 25, 2010, 06:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
You ought to google it. It takes more CPU to maintain more, longer network connections than it does to do some quick compression and then maintain fewer faster network connections.
I have Googled it.

It takes more bandwidth and I/O to serve large files, so for those where these are at a premium and have an abundance of CPU power it makes sense to trade off one for the other.

It doesn't require CPU power to maintain a network connection, unless new files are being compressed for delivery.

I think you have misunderstood whatever it was that you read.
( Last edited by besson3c; Dec 25, 2010 at 07:13 PM. )
     
seanc
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Dec 25, 2010, 07:19 PM
 
My server is in my garage.
2.8Ghz P4 is rocking 16˚C.
     
besson3c
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Dec 25, 2010, 07:49 PM
 
Because I may not be posting much here for a while starting tomorrow and in case there is anybody interested in general Apache optimization info (somewhat relevant to the thread since I asked whether any optimization of these settings has been considered), allow me to share...

Apache supports several MPMs (multi-processing modules) for handling multiple connections. If you are looking for a more lightweight web server than Apache which is generally fairly heavy, servers like Lighttpd (which, last I checked, YouTube uses) and Nginx have their own schemes too, but AFAIK the default prefork MPM works as follows:

- There are settings (StartServers and MinSpareServers) for controlling how many Apache child processes should be running at any given time. A child process is a typical way for a Unix service to make its listening apparatus a little more robust by having several independent processes that can be allocated resources by the kernel, rather than having a single process for handling all connections.

- Do not be confused with servers (child processes) and the max number of actual client requests requested from individual users. Each child process supports a certain number of connections, but it is not one client connection/process.

- Settings like MaxClients and MaxRequestsPerChild control how many child processes should be spawned, and how many connections should be supported before the child dies and a new process is spawned. These are not simultaneous connections, but total connections before those resources are freed and a new child is spawned, up until MaxClients number of processes

- There is an Apache directive called "KeepAlive" that keeps actual TCP/IP connections alive rather than creating new ones, this is generally smart to set if you aren't resource starved.

- Setting all of these settings too high has an impact on the amount of total RAM and footprint consumed by Apache, providing the demand exists to challenge the server. Setting these values too low has a similar effect in challenging the server by having to make do with too few resources allocated to it

- The gzip module that we were discussing compresses plain text files on the fly (you can configure it to compress images and other media types too, but this is discouraged since there is no point in doing so), since a lot of servers have more CPU power than they do disk I/O and bandwidth. Server level compression is, IMHO, a more elegant solution than minifying which deals in the same principles in deleting white space.

- Another variable to consider if you are running PHP is whether it makes more sense to run PHP as a CGI or an Apache module. Running as a CGI is generally recommended, although I believe OSes like OS X still support the Apache module by default for its simplicity. If you are running Ruby on Rails you likewise have to choose between CGI or an Apache module. Both have their perks and tradeoffs. I generally find that a lot of PHP apps are very sloppy in how they consume RAM and leak all over the place, so running PHP as a CGI creates a little sandbox for these processes that does not impact the rest of the server in the same way.

It can take a long time to experiment and find the best settings that are optimized for your hardware, the traffic you get, and the resources that you have. It is not one-size-fits-all, the settings that ship with Apache are obviously good for most people, but this is not a given.
     
l008com  (op)
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Dec 28, 2010, 01:37 AM
 
I just went out in the freezing cold because I thought this project might have already met a premature end. But nope, the wifi just went out. And I remembered when I checked it out, that this computer actually has a history of failing wifi. Any time you use the airport heavily for a period of time, it will lost it's connection, and stop seeing any wifi networks. You have to reboot and it then runs normally. Hopefully it won't happen too often considering how small the site's web traffic really is.

One thing's for sure, the airport card is not overheating
     
l008com  (op)
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Dec 29, 2010, 12:06 PM
 
I added my first chart: http://coldmac.johnmasone.com
I used amCharts: flash charts, stock charting software
I was looking for a quick and easy flash chart system. amCharts isn't all that quick and easy. Each chart has it's own mile long, poorly documented settings file, in addition to it's huge data file. I still have lots of tweaks to make to the current chart (a 24 history), before I add any more interesting charts. But even as it stands now, it's pretty cool
     
andi*pandi
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Dec 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
 
Can't connect today...
     
SSharon
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Dec 29, 2010, 02:48 PM
 
The site loads very quickly for me and I see the chart as well (when I looked an hour or two ago it was a blank white square).
AT&T iPhone 5S and 6; 13" MBP; MDD G4.
     
Laminar
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Dec 29, 2010, 03:10 PM
 
Worked for me, too.
     
l008com  (op)
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Jan 15, 2011, 02:56 AM
 
Project update for those who are actually interested in this thing. It's now been a full month of running in the cold and amazingly, the iBook hasn't died yet! In fact it's enduring the coldest temps of the year as I type this, 5°F.

I changed the database so the regional temp I download from the National Weather Service is stored in the database in Kelvins (like all other readings) instead of F. K's make more sense (in my opinion) in a database because you can use zero degrees as a failure. In C or F, zero is still a very meaningful temperature. But if you convert to K, you can ignore zeros because it's not absolute zero in my shed, I know this for a fact.

FYI "zeros" can happen when a temperature sensor fails to report a temperature, or when theres a problem downloading from the NWS. I ignore these zeros when getting the data for my Daily Temperature Range graph.

Speaking of that, my Daily Temperature Rang graph is now up and running. I switched it from a modified stock price graph, to a more simple bar graph. The stock price graph has a nice built in time scale, but in the end it was too much hassle to configure. I still need to make a few minor cosmetic tweaks but overall the graphs are good to go.

Also both graphs now auto-refresh every 5 minutes, so if you were really obsessed, you could just leave this web page open, and watch the graphs update all day long. The iBook only takes readings every 5 minutes, so refreshing more than that would be pointless.

This auto-refresh got me thinking, I might as well make all of the "hard coded" values on the site auto-refresh too. The current temps and the extreme values box.

I also bought a USB thermometer, hoping I could get it to work with OS X. No luck, so I'm still searching for one. I'd much rather use a real ambient reading with the internal iBook temp, as the two primary temperature readings. I'm far enough away from the location that my NWS reading is being taken, that it's probably off a lot. (+/- 5°). And actual ambient temp reading would make this much more interesting, in my opinion. Modern Macs have an ambient air sensor among the many other internal thermometers. But in something as compact as an Apple laptop, I don't know how accurate the ambient sensor would be. I can't imagine that it wouldn't "pick up" some heat from the rest of the computer.

One other goofy thing I wanted to do, was also download the 'current conditions' when I download the regional temp and relative humidity. Then display in graphical form, the current conditions on the iBook screen, on the web page.
     
residentEvil
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Jan 17, 2011, 08:22 AM
 
since it seems you like to tinker...

here is all the part lists/how to build AND software for mac os x...to make your own

USBTenki: USB Temperature sensors and more

obviously; there is a link there for ones built already...you just have to download the software and customize it for your project.
     
l008com  (op)
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Jan 18, 2011, 02:07 AM
 
That seems interesting, but that's all way over my head.
     
l008com  (op)
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Mar 11, 2011, 06:54 AM
 
So it's March. And this iBook is still running! I'm really amazed that it's still going! 55 days of uptime. That alone really isn't impressive for a Mac. But doing it all in an AVERAGE temperature of 26° F really amazes me. And it's chugged along through several periods of 100% humidity, including right now. I figure I'll let it go a few more weeks, then pull it in until next year. Cold might not have killed it, I'm sure the pollen will if I leave it out there. Then again, part of me wants to just leave it out there anyway, untouched, and see just how long it can go.
     
l008com  (op)
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Nov 24, 2011, 03:51 AM
 
Too old too bump?
     
l008com  (op)
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Nov 24, 2011, 03:54 AM
 
Oh nice. Ok so I just put the project back online. It's not final yet, I'm still setting it up for this year. I have a sponsor this year that provided me with a nice USB thermometer and hygrometer (humidity). So now all readings come from the computer itself. No more downloading ambient temperatures off the internet.

I'm also recording much more data, every minute instead of every 5 minutes.

And I threw a bunch of jQuery in there, so now the data on the site refreshes every minute. Not just the charts but the html readings and 'extreme alert' colors update every minute (essentially real time). It's much cooler this year :-D

MacFixer - ColdMac Project
( Last edited by l008com; Nov 24, 2011 at 06:38 AM. Reason: Updating URL)
     
Spheric Harlot
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Nov 24, 2011, 06:37 AM
 
Flash player fail.
     
l008com  (op)
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Nov 24, 2011, 06:37 AM
 
How so?
     
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Nov 24, 2011, 11:10 PM
 
I would assume the mere presence of flash makes it a fail.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Nov 25, 2011, 03:50 AM
 
^ that.

I can't see the site.
     
besson3c
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Nov 25, 2011, 02:15 PM
 
Well I wouldn't call it a fail. The vast majority of people do not block Flash.
     
Eug
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Nov 25, 2011, 02:28 PM
 
I ran a WiFi access point in a gazebo 24/7, and was running an indoor webcam there too. They survived -20C temps just fine.



The main problem was that the insects and spiders loved the warmth of the WiFi access point, so within a couple of months there were spider webs and dead bugs all over it.

The only reason I brought that webcam back in was because I replaced it with a better quality one that has IR support too.

P.S. That rectangular white box was a powerline networking adapter, but I've since run outdoor Ethernet there, to support the new webcam, which is HD.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Nov 25, 2011, 04:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Well I wouldn't call it a fail. The vast majority of people do not block Flash.
The vast majority of people on mobile devices, which is where I was reading this thread and was briefly curious enough to click the link, don't have Flash.
     
l008com  (op)
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Nov 25, 2011, 06:40 PM
 
And most people that do block flash, can click2flash.
As far as bugs, my outdoor mac is only a winter thing. I bring it in in the spring so it doesn't get very buggy.
     
besson3c
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Nov 25, 2011, 06:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The vast majority of people on mobile devices, which is where I was reading this thread and was briefly curious enough to click the link, don't have Flash.

Whatever, it's just a little hobby type site for an interesting geek project. I don't blame him for not putting in the extra time to find something that will work on all devices, it's probably not worth the effort unless some non-Flash solution is easily within grasp.
     
l008com  (op)
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Nov 25, 2011, 07:26 PM
 
Even if you are on a mobile device, it's only the graphs you can't see. You can still see all of the other interesting thermal data. I was actually toying with the idea of making a mobile version of the site. And that's all it was going to be. The current temps and the extreme temps, and no graphs at all.
     
l008com  (op)
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Dec 11, 2011, 04:06 AM
 
I never got around to building the planned "mini-blog" on the project site, for status updates. To tonight I officially gave up on the mini blog idea, and just signed up for a twitter account, and embedded it into the page instead. As my first tweet says, it's actually a pretty good use for twitter. Feel free to follow me if you're as interested in this projects as I am.

https://twitter.com/brrrcoldmac
     
jmiddel
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Dec 11, 2011, 06:32 PM
 
This is what I get from the first and the last link:

Welcome to Mac OS X Server
* Mail Send and receive email wherever you are. Log In
* Calendar Synchronize with iCal and manage your schedule. Log In
* My Page Track real-time updates for all wikis and blogs. Log In
* Wikis Collaborate with online document creation, editing, and comments. View All
* Blogs Publish text, pictures, and podcasts in an online journal. View All
* Mail Rules Automate and manage email using rules you create. View
* Change Password Access all your web services with a single password you choose. View
* Podcast Capture Capture and upload QuickTime movies to Podcast Producer. View

* Connected to Mac OS X Server
* Copyright © 2009 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.
     
l008com  (op)
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Dec 11, 2011, 06:33 PM
 
There are a lot of links in this thread, which ones are you referring to? The link to the project is { ColdMac 2.0 } - The Next Generation
( Last edited by l008com; Dec 11, 2011 at 06:59 PM. Reason: Update: Redirect installed @ old project URL)
     
andi*pandi
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Dec 12, 2011, 09:52 AM
 
It looks like jmiddel posted in the wrong thread... if so, j, let me know and I'll move it.
     
Dex13
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Nov 28, 2012, 05:39 PM
 
jmiddel just posted the splash screen for Mac OS X server, kinda like the default page for Apache.

Is there going to be a coldmac for this winter?
     
l008com  (op)
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Nov 28, 2012, 08:16 PM
 
Well, last years iBook became too unstable to use again, so I sent it off to the recycler.

I did just get my hands on a G4 tower and an old G3 powerbook a week ago, but after some testing, turns out neither are going to be suitable.
So the answer to the question is... hopefully, if I can find a Mac to use in time. Anyone want to donate a macbook pro with a cracked screen? Or even a cracked screen and broken keyboard? As long as it runs stably with no crashes.
     
besson3c
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Nov 28, 2012, 08:22 PM
 
I have a pretty awesome mousepad I might be willing to part with. It works great with Macs!
     
l008com  (op)
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Nov 28, 2012, 11:51 PM
 
Anyone have a G4 laptop they want to send over? I'd prefer an intel mac only because intel macs have WAY more internal temperature sensors, which would make the stats more interesting. But a G4 with wifi will still work fine. I'll just keep doing what I used to do. External temp via USB, and internal temp via hard drive's SMART sensor. I'm hoping I get lucky and my local computer recycler will have something I can have.
     
l008com  (op)
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Jan 29, 2013, 05:40 PM
 
It's back online!
On-Site Apple Mac Help, Repair & Consulting, Boston & Eastern Massachusetts

I was given an old iMac to recycle. It has on screen artifacts and it froze solid a lot (pun!). But tinkering with it a bit, I discovered that if you disconnect the internal display, it runs perfectly! I then tried hooking up an external display, and the artifacts and crashing was back. But with no monitor at all, it runs great. I can connect via remote desktop, and I get no artifacts at all. Strange behavior but great for my needs.

I also get to take way more internal readings since it's an intel Mac. It's loaded with thermal sensors.

No charts yet though, still looking for a chart solution that is not flash based, and is quick and easy to setup.

Also, since the Mac is a powerhouse, relative to the iBook G3 it replaced, I have it taking readings every 10 seconds, and the web page updates the on screen readings every 10 seconds too. No need to refresh the page.

[ Hmm, the forum did a pretty bad job of getting the 'title' of the URL I posted. I guess it was confused by the non-standard port number ]
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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Jan 29, 2013, 05:43 PM
 
Sounds like the video chip is bad. It doesn't get triggered without a display. But you don't care about using the 3d chip for screen rendering.
     
l008com  (op)
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Jan 29, 2013, 05:44 PM
 
But isn't the on screen image still being rendered when I connect for screen sharing?
     
 
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