Pi Cluster vs Ampere Altra Max 128-core ARM CPU
23 November 2022 | 3:02 pm

Pi Cluster vs Ampere Altra Max 128-core ARM CPU

Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 and Ampere Altra Max M128-30

Sometimes life has a funny way of lining up opportunities, and one presented itself when Patrick from ServeTheHome reached out and said, "Jeff, I have an Ampere Altra Max server. You wanna come see it?"

Of course I did.

But seeing as Patrick is more than 800 miles away, I had to come up with a reason to go see it, so I pulled out my 6-node Raspberry Pi cluster—with it's 24 ARM Cortex A72 CPU cores—and decided to have a little competition.

And of course that competition is documented in a YouTube video:

Jeff Geerling November 23, 2022

Ubuntu's settings won't open after setting CPU to 'performance'
17 November 2022 | 2:28 am

Ubuntu's settings won't open after setting CPU to 'performance'

Recently I was doing some benchmarking on my Ubuntu 22.04 PC, and as part of that benchmarking, I tried setting the CPU performance profile to performance. In the old days, this was not an issue, but it seems that modern Ubuntu only 'knows' about balanced and power-saver. Apparently performance is forbidden these days!

$ powerprofilesctl list
* balanced:
    Driver:     placeholder

  power-saver:
    Driver:     placeholder

The problem was, I had set the profile to performance:

$ powerprofilesctl set performance

But suddenly the 'Settings' GUI app would no longer open (at least not after I had opened it and clicked into the 'power' section). A reboot didn't work, and even reinstalling control center (sudo apt-get install --reinstall gnome-control-center) didn't help!

When I tried opening the settings GUI from the command line, I got the following critical error:

Jeff Geerling November 16, 2022

Exploring a 1 MW FM Radio Tower with my Dad
12 November 2022 | 8:33 pm

Exploring a 1 MW FM Radio Tower with my Dad

My Dad and I just posted a new video on the Geerling Engineering YouTube channel where we explored the tallest radio tower in the St. Louis metro area, the so-called 'Supertower' that has a 10-station combined dual FM antenna system (dual 4-bay FMVee by Dielectric) at the top:

Shrewsbury FM Master tower antenna system by Harris near Crestwood St. Louis MO

Jeff Geerling November 12, 2022


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