Tag Archives: Upgrade

WordPress 3.6

I have been having trouble with my Jetpack lately, it wasn’t connecting and it seems to have a bunch of issues trying to hit the xmlrpc api. I submitted a ticket in a few days ago, and I got a response to upgrade to 3.6 because they updated some connectivity stuff. I didn’t know there was a new version coming out soon, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Anyways, I haven’t had a chance to go through all the changes, but I kinda went with it because I had just done some backups. (Note: Please don’t ever EVER deploy or update something in Prod before testing it out in the other environments yet… You should go through the proper methodology and process. While the impact is small for a website such as this, the bigger WordPress sites should definitely test it out first.)

Once I hit the update, I did have a quick look at the WordPress theme for 2013. It’s a little cleaner and I think I might use it, but I have to clean up and port the customization I did on the 2012 one first. Some of the elements I have put on the side doesn’t quite conform. The Revisions concept is pretty useful for the post queue management.

All in all, the upgrade was seamless, my sitemap and cache plugins are broken, but at least Jetpack is working and I have WP Stats, Photon, and Tiled Galleries!

Have you upgraded yours yet?

E

Overclocking the Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Before and After Heatsinks

Raspberry Pi Before and After Heatsinks

I ordered some parts from my usual tech/electronics store and picked up some Zalman VGA RAM Heatsinks (ZM-RHS1) for my Raspberry Pi (rPi). Generally speaking, most of the things in my house are over clocked. Never to a crazy degree where I have to deal with water cooling, or even errors that happen every now and then. Usually just enough to run it a little bit faster than stock, and not really affecting the lifespan of the item. I figure that if I can cool it a little bit more, it’ll last longer, so if I push it harder, the net is zero. It doesn’t really work that way, but it’s close enough that it doesn’t matter cause the only thing I am messing with is stability and the tail end of the device life.

So as I have been playing around with WordPress on the rPi, I found that after I added some images and info to the device, that the Apache Bench (ab) scores were coming down. I started with something like 1.5 requests a second with vanilla WordPress, then after I loaded it up with the W3TC plugin, I hit 18 requests a second. After a couple of posts and maybe 10-20 images, I was down to 15 requests a second. Now, this may have to do with my SD card that I have in there, it’s not the best… But I wanted to see if I can speed it back up again by overclocking the rPi. You can check the temperature at which the CPU is running at by using this command:

watch -d cat /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp

First thing I did was start monitoring the temperature of the device as I ran a longer ab test on it. Without any heatsinks it was at around 40 degrees. Using the newly available over clocking options available from the Foundation, I pushed it to the “Modest” setting. In the /boot/config.txt file, it’s:

#Modest
arm_freq=800
core_freq=300
sdram_freq=400
over_voltage=0

At this setting, I was getting temperatures of around 46 or so when it is being hit by ab after a few minutes. I repeated this again with now with the heat sink attached and the temperature dropped back down to around 40. So with a heatsink on the CPU, you are looking at a zero temp difference. The ab benchmark returned closer to 17 requests a second at this setting. Also of note is that by default the rPi is set with the on demand governor, which means that it will only push the clock speed up if it needs to do so. You can check the speed at which the CPU is running by using this command:

watch -d cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_cur_freq

Upon reading that overvolting was supported on the site here, I decided to push it to the max 1Ghz with an overvolt of 6 at the “Turbo” setting. In the /boot/config.txt file, it’s:

#Turbo
arm_freq=1000
core_freq=500
sdram_freq=500
over_voltage=6

A this setting, the temperatures at idle are at around 50. And I have seen it go up to 60 under heavy load. I probably stays at around 50 because of the overvolt and the additional frequency settings. With this configuration, ab is telling me that it is doing 22 requests a second. As this is as far as I would like to to push it, it will have to do for the time being until I figure out how to get 2 or three of these things running together to host a WordPress site. ;-)

One thing I would like to mention, from the resources that I see online, it seems the heat from the CPU is the least of the worries. The concern is more to do with the USB chip that is the hub for both the USB ports and the Ethernet port. It seems to run higher by around 10 degrees. It doesn’t have a thermal zone that we can watch/cat from, so readings had to be manual.

I think the next step for me to ensure that everything remains cool. Due to the way the air stagnates because of the Lego case I put together (and I will post about that soon). I think I need to open up the top and possibly have the rPi power the USB to drive a small fan to blow air to it.

E

Some additional links:
http://lifehacker.com/5971395/overclock-your-raspberry-pi
http://www.jeremymorgan.com/tutorials/raspberry-pi/how-to-overclock-raspberry-pi/
http://hackaday.com/2012/06/23/checking-out-the-temperature-of-a-raspberry-pi/

My MacBook Pro Fusion Upgrade

I had already put in a 500GB 7200rpm Seagate in this way back when I was running out of space. So the next thing to do is to upgrade the hard drive. Furthermore, because of the decline use of the Superdrive, i.e. haven’t used it in 3 years, I decided to swap it out and put a hard drive chassis in there as well so that I can have a bit more space.

This is where the interesting thing happened, I had read online about how to make a Fusion Drive if you managed to have an internal solid state drive (SSD) and an internal hard drive (HD). The concept of the Fusion Drive is simple, pair an SSD together with an HD and use it so that the frequently accessed data is usually on the SSD. So the ‘usual’ speed of data access is that of the SSD, but it allows for a larger storage at a slower speed if you ever need to access that information again in the future.
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My MacBook Pro History

There’s actually a lot of history with my MacBook Pro. This is probably my oldest computer that I use frequently and has not been relegated to become a server or something. This computer is from Late 2008! That to me is like at least 5 generations old! I tend to flip computers anywhere from 6 months to a year back when the iterations seem significant to the user. Nowadays, things are just getting faster and the technology is more evolutionary than revolutionary. So my practice of upgrading has kinda stopped in the recent months.

Anyways, about this computer, I started with wanting to buy one from the Apple Refurbished Store back in 2009, but an interesting thing happened. The computer that came in the mail worked for a little bit, but after some investigating, I found that it was defective. After booking an appointment with Apple, I showed up to the Apple store expecting that they will do an awesome job fixing it as usual. However, when the tech looked at the Serial info, they didn’t have any record of it. And upon checking the hardware stickers, they found that it didn’t match and everyone was puzzled. Eventually, a manager was called and they suggested a resolution. They were going to sell me one of their older MacBooks (the same model as the one I ordered) that they were going to be sending back because they had received their new refresh models. After some deliberation, I took the deal as I could apply my Student discount and get a load of student perks from it (new iPod, new Printer). I returned the refurbished device and went on my merry way.

2009 MacBook Pro in 2009

Fresh New 2009 MacBook Pro in 2009

One curious piece of info for the MacBook aficionados out there, running the serial number shows that it is the MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008) version (5,1), but it sports a 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and it has a removable battery. This combination according to wiki doesn’t exist in Late 2008.

Anyways, this MacBook is what I am using a the primary tool for writing in this blog. Over the last couple of years, as we go through wipes and new operating systems, felt that the laptop was getting slower, so I have been slowly upgrading it over the years. The last one was done a while ago where I bumped up the RAM to 8GB and replaced the hard drive to a Seagate 7200rpm 500GB hard drive. Since then, I have been just slowly chugging along having it do my photos in Aperture. Recently, with some strange behavior for the video card, whirring of the fans and the overall slowness, I decided to do a wipe and refresh everything again. This wipe will also give me the opportunity to go ahead and upgrade the last piece, the hard drive.

Hopefully, after the upgrade, it won’t still look like this…

2009 MacBook Pro in 2013

Old and Tired 2009 MacBook Pro now in 2013

Click here and check out the next post about the upgrade to the Fusion Drive!

E