A tale of two towers

Behold! Our new testing tower for the Pi Cloud:

pi 2 cloud

I’ve moved the Pis back to a lego rack of my own design. This was sadly necessary, as while Posco‘s 3d printed design looks great, and allows for much more airflow, its compact nature made hot swapping the Pis fiddly. The Lego design also allows easy access to a Pi’s HDMI port, making network trouble shooting just that little bit quicker. I’m sure I used to perform function over form when it came to Lego construction. I would ask myself, “does this spaceship have enough lasers?” The answer was usually no. However, I found the colour mixing on the right tower extremely vexing, and a shopping trip to a Lego shop might be in order. All very professional of course.

Building this Lego tower got me thinking about other designs, and now that the Pi 2 Cloud has its first show booked here at Glasgow University’s SOCS intern-fest, perhaps it’s time to start planning a remodel with something flashier. It’s also worth noting that we’re hoping to take the Pi 2 Cloud on a tour, so if you’ve any expos or shows coming up then please get in touch with us. In general I think we made good progress this week, but I this may only be in comparison to last week.

Kubernetes turned out to be something of a rabbit hole, as I’m not sure anyone has managed to follow the docker multi-node set up through on a Raspberry Pi 2 yet. We’re waiting for Google to get back to us with some help on this, but in the mean time falling back to Saltstack isn’t an awful compromise. I also had some difficulty with the Linux dd utility, which would work, but not quite, creating the correct partition tables on a blank SD card, filling them with the correct files, yet doing it in such a way that prevented booting. I worked around this by copying and pasting working boot files, but am no closer to figuring out what went wrong. Something somewhere corrupted, and as interested as I am in investigating this, I’m starting to gain a greater appreciation for what’s worth my time and what’s not (a dd operation taking 2 hours is not. Always remember to set block size!). Still, we have 14 Raspberry Pis in our cloud now, and next week I’m deploying a very cool distributed chess application to them and doing some benchmarking. I just hope numbering the Pis from 0 to 13 doesn’t prove unlucky!

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