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Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Problems running example audio_fft.py

From: Michael Dickens
Subject: Re: [Discuss-gnuradio] Problems running example audio_fft.py
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2006 09:58:05 -0400

I know that the GNU Radio GUI stuff is -slow- on OSX because it does
wx(Python)->X11->Aqua/CoreGraphics, and the "X11->" part is a big

Where did you get the above
information from? Is there some good source for reading about this
developing good wxpython graphics on os x?

The info came from my old readings of how wxPython worked. Since I wrote that statement, I went back and read through the updated info on wxPython for OSX (called wxMac), which states that it's a "native Aqua" implementation - so my original statement was not correct. My bad ;) I certainly don't deny this any longer, though I wonder what's going on behind the scenes ... read on.

I just tested this theory out by running "pythonw usrp_wfm_rcv.py -f 101.7" from a Terminal.app, and without X11 running at all. It works, hence the wxMac stuff isn't directly going through X11 for the display. This is a Gual G4 @ 1.25 GHz, OSX 10.4.8, 1.75 GB DRAM, with the following installed by DarwinPorts:

py-wxpython @
python24 @2.4.3_1+darwin_8
wxWidgets @2.6.3_0+darwin_8

Just to note: I always called my wxpython script direct from the
terminal with no x11 and still had no visualization in my fftsink.
Instead, I got just a blank window and the processor was running at

Here's an interesting statistic:

running "./usrp_wfm_rcv_nogui.py" results in python usage of about 26% (out of 200%, on my Dual G4 @ 1.25 GHz). running "pythonw usrp_wfm_rcv.py" results in python usage of about 120% (out of 200%), along with the winderserver jumping from 0% to 10% - so almost 100% utilization of 1 of the 2 CPU's to -just- cover the GUI part, not to mention anything going on in the background. If I switch out of this window (cover it up with another window), then it locks up & I get the SPOD < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Spinning_wait_cursor > and have to force-kill the window.

Hence I would believe that if you're running on a single-cpu G4 or G5, even up to 2 GHz, the wxGUI stuff probably won't be very effective. OTOH, running a dual-G4 @ 1.25 GHz -just barely- works, so running a Dual-G5 @ 2.0 GHz, or the new Core-Duo's at 2.0 GHz, will surely be good enough to get a reasonable display - but nothing special compared do the same hardware running Linux.

I would be quite curious about the CPU utilization of a Linux box - along with the hardware specs to make the judgement relatively correct. Even better would be to try an Intel Mac running both OSX and Linux and compare the CPU utilization ... hmmm ... that would be pretty cool so I'll look into it. - MLD

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