Goblin Teasmade Upcycle: Part 1, The Teardown

Here's what the smart home used to look like - Goblin TeasmadeDo you remember the Goblin Teasmade? The device was a mechanical and electrical marvel, however very likely responsible for many a house fire, and probably entirely unsafe by todays standards. The teasmade was the epitome of the must have device for the middle class home of the 1960s, it even featured in the Queen music video for “I Want to Break Free“.

As I’m not shy of a challenge I decided to upcycle a 1963 model into a new fangled, Internet of Things device which can make tea over the web.
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Turning Photographs into Wireframes, VisualSFM on CentOS6

DL390 G5For the purposes of performing a highly detailed capture of various historical monuments, which are local to me, I purchased a big fat server with oodles of processing capability. The system itself is a 2.83GHz Dual Quad Core Xeon HP Proliant DL390 G5 – not a bad bit of iron from Bargain Hardware. It’s loud, it’s warm but it’s very very quick. Added to that a couple of 1Tb 2.5″ disks and a nVidia 210 with 1Gb of graphics memory. Once you’ve got this kind of hardware you’ve got to put it to good use. First thing for my project was to build up an appropriate workflow for using VisualSFM and Meshlab on the machine. These are tools which perform a “photogrammetric” reconstruction. VisualSFM is difficult to get working, It is dependent on packages which each have their dependencies, it’s also poorly documented generally so I wanted to ensure that my struggle helps out others. CentOS 6 was my OS of choice, I usually use this on a server as it’s pretty low maintenance once it’s configured and support stretches on and on. After a day or so of software builds (btw make -j8 is fantastic) I managed to get it working. I’ll share the binary/source RPMs that I’ve rebuilt and links to the other bits of the entire workflow. Along with a guide on how it is done.
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