Render Farm Build 16

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.

So far the project has accomplished the following milestone: despite early warnings to the contrary, the PPC Mac Mini will apparently make a fine PDC.  After much wrangling the Dr. Queue master program, with attendant X11 GUI “drqman”, is working fine.  I only need to make workers that will take orders from it.

That “only” is  a pretty big word, though.

So I turn my attention away from Cyclops, the PDC machine, and towards “Gog,” the first of the Intel tower machines.  They are PowerMac 1,1 machines – not the first ones off the line, but a 2006 model that is somewhat slow by today’s standards.  These machines are only supported up to Mac OSX 10.7.  After Effects CC 2014 requires OSX 10.8, and that’s software I use all the time, and a compositor I wanted to run through the render farm.

After Effects?  Hell yeah!  If I make 4K compositions for cinema in AEFX, I will need a render farm working day and night to churn that out.  So the benefit of somehow getting these old dogs to take at least 10.8 is worth any trouble I have working it out.

I have read that there is a piece of software out there called “Mountain Lion Post Factor” that tricks these old 32-bit machines into running mountain lion (10.8). That’s the big difference with 10.7 and 10.8 – lack of support for the 32 bit machines.  It makes sense.  Everything has gone to 64 bit, and who wants to carry along the old sludgy boxes?  I do not begrudge Apple one bit for this.  But I am happy to work around it.  I will try that MLPF software in order to get the workers up to 10.8 at least.

Then I can build the Intel version of Dr. Queue, which should be much easier than trying to work out the PowerPC version.  Especially since I now know so much about how to do it wrong…

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