[Melbourne-pm] Beagle Bone Speed, PDL.

Tim Connors tconnors at rather.puzzling.org
Wed Jun 13 22:35:11 PDT 2012

On Wed, 13 Jun 2012, Scott Penrose wrote:

> In scientific circles people mostly use MatLab, but most of the younger
> programmers also use Python, specifically PyPy and Nympy - and have
> never heard of PDL. I know that some of it is because it is always more
> fun to program something new, bugs to fix, you can actually contribute,
> instead of using standard. But I think part of it is lack of exposure.
> How to fix, no idea :-)

I wish I was still in science :(

I only discovered PDL when a visiting astronomer asked me as sysadmin to
install it on the visiting astronomers' computer.  Would have been useful
in my thesis given that it was a mixture of fortran and perl and opengl.

In debian, it's trivial to install.  apt-get install perldl.  In redhat,
not so.  Half of the installation bugs in the bugtracker are mine, and in
the end I just ended up not installing it since the visiting astronomer in
question was KGB, and he started bringing his own laptop because of us
tardy sysadmins.

I can't install or promote it at my current job at the Bureau, because we
have an IDL guy and $expensiveFOO licences.  And we have numpy and
scipy already packaged in EPEL for the young hip guys.  And I was the main
guy behind the new policy of not installing custom software without it
being properly packaged first.

Most scientific institutions unfortunately use RHEL or SuSE.  Get it
packaged for them, and then they (usually shortstaffed) can install it.

q : do { So, is it packaged in fedora         ?
            try to get it pushed to RHEL      :
            get someone to package it for fedora ; goto q ; }

> Another Arduino benefit is price. You can buy a unit for as little as
> $16. That argument goes away when you add more peripherals, e.g. add
> Ethernet and multiple pins, and you now are in the Arduino Mega space,
> which is about the same price as a Beagle Bone.
> And in comes Raspberry Pi at $25 or $35 with ethernet. Game changer.
> Probably, especially for anything with a screen.

Precisely.  My last look at Arduinos was beyond my pricerange for the
simple cheap projects I would love to do in my copious free time.

What's the cheapest arduino with ethernet and at least 1 IO pin (don't
need any capes or shields - as long as I can wirewrap a single pin to some
vero board)?  Got any local suppliers?  I know about RS for the rasperry
pi, and have signed up for future notifications.  If I can suspend the
rasperry pi with just a single ethernet and IO pin, then I can afford to
wake it up for 5 seconds every minute and I don't care about the 3W it
uses when on for those 5 seconds.  I'm a linux guy, being linux is a
feature, not a bug :)

Tim Connors

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