Render Farm Build 13

DISCLAIMER: This is a continuing series detailing the painful story of a DIY render farm build.  It is terribly technics and
somewhat frustrating.  Those who are unprepared for such “entertainment” are advised to ignore these posts.

If you’re following, I was still trying to build a Dr. Queue GUI on the PPC Mac Mini, hoping to make that machine my PDC, or “big boss brain” of the render farm.  I had given up on the X11 front-end, called “drqman,” and was investigating the Ruby on Rails version of a GUI.  All that remained was getting those Ruby Gems (which are the dependencies for Ruby) and getting an updated version of Rails.

Gems, you say?  Yes, apparently Rubygems is a package installer.  So in the same way that I was trying to build by using wget to grab a file (apt-get on some Linux systems apparently) or even using GIT to get a source, once can tell the terminal to get Rubygems so we can get Ruby dependencies.  All these systems work more-or-less the same, but they all have different methods, I guess.  And there are 500 of them, all with different syntaxes.

In the meantime… Scons installed OK for the 500th time.  Well, now.  Before I left the office the day before I had attempted to build all of Dr.Queue using scons, as I had done before.  It reported no issues whatsoever, and looked like it built fine.

At this juncture, you may be wondering what was going on.  It seems as though I already built Dr. Queue, right?  I’m only worried about the GUI, yes?  Well yes and no.  I did build Dr. Queue.  At least I thought I did.  The package is also available as already made binaries, none of which I thought would actually work on this machine.  But in all this testing and installing I apparently put those binaries on the drive.

And now it seemed as though I had mixed them all up in the same folder.  I was not sure that what I was using as the “master” program really was the master.  Maybe it was the prebuilt master, and perhaps that’s why it was not working.  Do you see how far I had fallen?  Do you yet have pity for me in the middle of this mess?  Wait, it gets worse, and if you keep reading you’ll see that I burned everything down at least one more time before it worked out.

At that point I seriously wondered if I should go back to see if drqman worked so I could blow off this Ruby-on-Rails front end… installing all these dependencies hoping this would work seemed like a big pain.  I was already running into an issue with Ruby’s versions.  Running Rubygems on any given dependency was starting to give me the same error messages I was getting before, and attempting to wget or curl any of them was giving me errors and no results.  I had a sinking feeling that I was not getting the right anything.

So I went back and tried drqman again.


But no – drqman still coughed up and died.  It’s worth noting here that I was probably not running the right versions of the compiled binaries.  I had an inkling that there were too many versions of things floating about.  Most importantly, I would eventually see that I really did compile proper binaries, and that they were just hidden because I never set the environment variables correctly.  They ended up compiling in the wrong place.

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