Friday, March 19, 2004

Overclocking 2

So I got a fairly decent couple of fans: an Akasa 80mm fan for the front mobo side (blows on the disks) and an Enermax 92mm for the back. I also put some Coolermaster RAM heatsinks on one side of my 512MB DIMM.

The result? I can safely take my 1733MHz XP2100+ up to 1898MHz (equivalent to a hypothetical Athlon XP2325+). Or 1% more than before!

This bodes fairly well, as it means I can put an XP2600+ in, and run it as an XP2873+ (nearly XP2900+) which is pretty sweet.

Motherboard temperatures are down to 30C (from 43C) and the CPU is cruising at 46C (down from 52C). Pretty sweet. I've a 12cm Akasa fan to put somewhere, but will need to ensure I don't screw the airflow up. I reckon with branded memory (CAS2) I should be able to squeeze even more out.

I did get the machine to run for a while at 1911MHz (XP2342+) but then it went a bit haywire :-( Oh well!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

LNX-BBC (10:52 Wednesday 10 March 2004)

LNX-BBC rocks. I fixed tom (my main machine last night with this). In the end I didn't really need X or networking (but they worked) as I managed to back up all my important data to a spare XFS partition (yes it can read/write to XFS) on a spare disk.

Installed Mandrake 10.0 community (using XFS as per usual) and got back my old home directory etc. Fantastic.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Mandrake 10.0 Community

Upgrading the laptop and my work desktop went pretty smoothly. (Especially on the desktop, where I mounted the 10.0 Community disks on loopback and conned urpmi to look at them there).

My i810 based laptop (Dell Inspiron 2500) is still a bit screwed. For some reason networking is barfed. You can just about get it working but without a default route. Useful. ;-) Sound is as broken as it always has been and the installer flickers like a broken telly. No graphical boot (is that because there's no framebuffer?) Can't get my prism54 card to work either. To be expected really.

Ballsed up my main machine last night. Will fix tonight (using a rescue disk).

Originally published on 13:45 Tuesday 09 March 2004

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Mandrake 10.0 RC1 and i810

OK, I re-installed my trusty Dell Inspiron 2500 with Mandrake last night. Not pretty.

The installer flickers and jumps (but I can live with that) and to be fair there are known issues with MDK 10 on i810.

The worst part was X. I seem to have to need to modprobe intel-agp (or after googling you can see on the cooker list that you should add intel-agp to /etc/modprobe.preload) before I can start X.

Next steps are get rid of the KDE login crud (done: vi /etc/sysconfig/desktop) and try and get my prism54 card working once more.

Oh, and why is grub so ugly on MDK? We want splash screens!

Worst of all: where are all the packages? It seems to have ignored my package selection at install time. C'est la vie. Update: No, they are there, I just needed to rebuild my menus. (04 March 2004).

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Mandrake 10.0 RC1

I installed Mandrake 10.0 RC1 for the first time last week on my work desktop. This is almost heresy for me as I've been pretty much a Red Hat user/advocate/defender/apologist for about 7 years.

My first experience of Mandrake was either 5.1 or 5.2 in 1998 around my friend Beanz' house. Back then it seemed (or was) Red Hat Linux with just newer RPMs (importantly, newer Enlightenment and Perl from what I recall). Nothing to see here.

In 2001 when my friend Simon Windsor and I got identical laptops, I installed Red Hat 7.1 and he installed Mandrake 7.2 or 8.0 (I forget which).

Mandrake at that point had rpmdrake (I think) - which was very much like SGI Irix's swmgr (software manager). Red Hat had, er, f*ck all. Even now with RHEL 3 and FC 1 redhat-config-packages is a coarse, hack (I love cycling 5 times through a set of 3 disks...).

The install is pretty slick, but you to wonder at the duplication of effort between the perl-based Mandrake install and RH's Anaconda.

Which leads me to my next point: why in the name of all that is holy is there so much duplication of effort. Dudes (and I mean Red Hat, Mandrake and others (YDL, even Debian)): stop writing different tools to do identical jobs. RH have a large number of GPL GUI programs to configure everything, as apparently does Mandrake. e.g userdrake vs. redhat-config-users : they're f*cking identical!!!! Yet completely separate implementations... This is insane.

Cons of Mandrake: only one really, and it's not a Mandrake problem, it's a GNOME/whatever problem. Please, oh please, would all apps have a similar look and feel for their icons. Red Hat have done this themselves through Blue Curve. The rest of the GNOME world needs to catch up. Oh, and no GNOME 2.5 (because it isn't quite ready) ;-)

Pros of Mandrake:

1. Galaxy theme is nice.
2. Install was a piece of cake (even easier than Red Hat? Is that possible?).
3. Uses the Frame Buffer. Something Red Hat either fails to do, or they can't be arsed to do.
4. Gnome menu is sane, unlike Red Hat's where it is too tall and logically similar ideas are split across several menus.
5. *drake commands are pretty nice
6. Nicer default fonts.

Basically, today I'd probably recommend Mandrake over Fedora Core to a desktop user, which is something of turnaround for me.

Originally published on 15:46 Tuesday 02 March 2004