Light in realraum is now faster

licht.realraum.at, went FTLw today. That is… it became much Faster Than Last week. :-)

Since the Raspbian image upgrade and move to a bigger (but slower) SDcard, licht.realraum.at had become truly sluggish. To the point that pressing a button to turn on the light or change the stereo volume could take up to 6 seconds until something happened. (Obviously we disabled the swap-file long ago.)

The problem was quickly identified. Processes don’t load quickly enough.
The fact that the whole systems was a dunghill of bashscript cgi-scripts and python helper scripts also did not help. At all.

First attempt to rectify this: rewrite the python helper rf433ctl.py. Formerly it was a simple script that would be called by the cgi-script and send the appropriate bytes down to the teensy.
Each call to it, however now took forever. So. I rewrote it as a daemon that would constantly stay in memory and be nudged by other instances of it via RPC. The idea being, if it’s already completely in memory, loading a second instance should be faster. Right? Wrong!. Unfortunately that did not work out at all.

Second attempt to rectify this: Remove the kiosk functionality and thus memory-hog midori from licht. Thankfully a very nice person gifted us a RaspberryPi per (almost) anonymous letter, so we had the necessary hardware on-hand to split the functionality onto two separate boxes: licht.realraum.at and smallkiosk.realraum.at
Unfortunately, even freeing up 60% of memory did not even put a dent into the problem.

So.. third and last attempt. Hit it with go ;-> In a 3 hour session, I rewrote the whole dunghill as a monolithic golang daemon/webserver/tty-handler which, once loaded, always stays in memory. Then I got rid of lighthttpd and the python scripts. Result… Speedup from 6s to <=0.05s !! Should have done this right away really…

made with ♥ in realraum

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Some of you might know this little signs saying “Made with ♥ in San Francisco” (or similar) on the webpages and gadgets you love. We also make stuff with ♥, not all of it digital, so we made our own sign. :-)

If you feel like it, you can use our sign – our make your own. You can find the used file in our logo git Repository on GitHub. (By the way, we use the Cagliostro font for our logo.)

Wichtel Lamp

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Although not a big fan of Christmas, tradition, and Christmas tradition, Stefan used the realraum nightshift to build a lamp as a Wichtel present. The lamp features a mountain on the front side, which is lit from the inside by some simple LED setup. Furthermore, it is able to change the color of the light via an IR remote.

The process of creating the lamp involved vectorizing the image, lasercutting the pieces, rasping some small errors, soldering and glueing of all the things! So basically all important parts of realraum‘s infrastructure were used in building the lamp. ;-)

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Special thanks to erdbrbl, equinox and xro for their assistance, guidance, and teaching me how 2-components adhesive works.