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  • Writer's pictureGraeme Devine

Well GPUs are back!

I tried various virtual machines today since pricing changes drastically. It’s not such a big deal when you are live with a project but for testing it’s kind of a big deal to have a cloud server you might accidentally leave running and not actually be making $$$ off. The thing that irks me the most is that Amazon charges almost $150/month just for the Windows license on the virtual machine. So I looked at Microsoft, they charge $209/month for the same license (although they do charge less per virtual CPU making it about the same). Amazon has the better GPUs (graphics processors) since all of Microsoft’s are basically great for machine learning but the kicker is that Microsoft virtual machines don’t have sound cards. The big lesson here? You want to work out how to use Linux on a server (which I will, just not right now).

If we’re all thinking wow, all of this is a bunch of $$$ for a server, then think about 8th Wall, who makes just an SDK that does about the same thing (well it does pose) that charges per page view. Mt. Resilient, an AR app for an Australian TV show ( costs about $2,000 a month just in fees to 8th Wall, not even including hosting costs for the content. We’re also paying for on demand virtual compute (i.e. I can turn it off when I remember to) and once we actually have a 24/7 service we can reduce costs by around 75% by paying for a whole year of server time (well, actually, just committing to that year).

I also learnt that Amazon will charge you for an hour of virtual compute time even if you just test the machine for a minute. They round up rather generously in their favor. So every time I created, tested, deleted, and remade a stack, that counted as an hour. Yeah, don’t do that.

So. I’m a cloud expert all of a sudden.

But, I got more bugs fixed. A few remain, streaming right now is 640x480 which is terrible since even the camera feed going upstream is 1280x720, there’s something in the AWS WebRTC doohickie that’s doing it and making it downsize from HD right away. And then it runs at 60hz until it tries to decode video when it falls over and slows down a lot due to a threading issue (where one thread is waiting for another thread and no one is doing anything for a while). This is a bug, not a wall, because software decoding still ran over 100fps. Hopefully have those dealt with tomorrow where my biggest issue is to work out how to make the servers deal with many connections at once (as in, I give you a URL to test and you all try it at the same time).

Andy, I wanted the movie Freaks, which was pretty good, had some nice plot twists.

It’s rained a whole bunch here over the last week, so there’s a few frogs outside (listen to the audio on the video).

Cricket video….


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