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Debian Software Linux

Overclockix 3.7 Released 148

Posted by michael
from the burn-baby-burn dept.
prostoalex writes "Overclockix 3.7 is released, available via bittorrent. It's a live Linux CD with a bunch of utilities for 'torturing' the PC hardware, hence the name. The authors seem to take a reasonable approach on graphical desktop, cutting out what they consider unnecessary eye candy, but leaving in the tools essential for effective GUI. 'Some new package highlights such as knoppix firewall, vlc, superkaramba, KDE 3.3.1, newer 2.6.7 kernel, NX client, and many more', the site says."
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Overclockix 3.7 Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 15, 2005 @01:28AM (#11371478)
    Is Windows ME on there?
  • Kinda late... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ThisNukes4u (752508) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ippoct.> on Saturday January 15, 2005 @01:29AM (#11371482) Homepage
    Why is this being posted just now? Not that this isn't really interesting, but the link says it was released on December 7th...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You must be new here.

      Oh, no, wait... this guy's new here [slashdot.org]
      • People often use the linguistic fragment "lol" when they're just marginally amused, as opposed to actually laughing aloud. Well, let me tell you something bucko. lol. And I mean it.
    • Re:Kinda late... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pronobozo (794672)
      "Why is this being posted just now? Not that this isn't really interesting, but the link says it was released on December 7th..." Some of us can't keep up with every single release of every single program. Although we try.. some slip past. Did you know when it was released? seems to me you just found out today. :-) Not picking on you, just trying to figure out your point.
  • by rahard (624274) on Saturday January 15, 2005 @01:32AM (#11371495) Homepage Journal
    unfortunately, there's no distributed.net client. :(

    does anybody have a bootable CD with dnetc client :)

  • new?!?! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Coldglow (846952)
    2.6.7 I hope you don't try an xfs filesystem or a nforce2 system on this kernel. woo superfase lameness
  • by kidgenius (704962) on Saturday January 15, 2005 @01:33AM (#11371499)
    Why include KDE then? Why not something lighter like fluxbox, rox, etc?
    • Why include KDE then?

      Some degree of familiarity to make it usable by non-Linux users? (i.e. Windows users who found it and want to play with it.)
    • Because KDE is primarily about functionality
    • KDE, I can see, but then keeping SuperKaramba and claiming you are cutting out frills is just bunk.
  • mmm... Folding (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PaintyThePirate (682047) on Saturday January 15, 2005 @01:36AM (#11371506) Homepage
    I've been using Overclockix for a few months for Folding@Home. It is brilliant in that you can set up a Folding box that needs no HDD, and a keyboard/video/mouse only to configure the Folding client.
  • by 10000000000000000000 (809085) on Saturday January 15, 2005 @01:38AM (#11371512)
    Do you remember the good old days? When software configuration had the power to wreak physical havoc on the machine components themselves?

    ahhh, I recall a coworker telling me the other day about ancient IBM printers.

    "Giant beasts!" they were described as. "Stacks of alternating row color feed paper as tall as a MAN!" he said. He was in school and was waiting in line to print out a program he held in his hands as several hundred punch cards. The woman at the front of the line inserted her cards and set the system running.

    Apparently she sent some kind of malformatted instruction, because this printer (which was quite substantial in size itself - computers used to be so much more like washing machines and fridges didn't they :) slowly opened it's mechanical lid and began to shoot paper 10 feet out at amazing velocities.

    It took some time for an instructor to get called in to stop the madness, and apparently a good amount of paper had been blown through by that point ¦D

    anyhow, the point of my story is a question. is it still possible to wreak havoc on modern PC's via non-bios software instructions? theoretically? without any physical hardware modification?

    just curious =)
    • I guess this is a fairly common story. We had high-speed line-printers at my college as well. Great fun was had when we wrote a program to send page feeds to the printer in an infinite loop. The paper actually arced through the air. The lab assistants were less than amused.
    • "is it still possible to wreak havoc on modern PC's via non-bios software instructions?"

      Why don't you just blast the thing with a shotgun?
    • is it still possible to wreak havoc on modern PC's via non-bios software instructions? theoretically? without any physical hardware modification?

      I haven't thought about this in a while, and I know more about software and hardware. Maybe it's possible to constantly write data to a critical cluster of a hard drive so that the cluster goes bad prematurely and renders the drive useless? If the computer's fan is software-controlled then maybe you can shut it off and burn the system out? I remember somebody te

    • by drgonzo59 (747139) on Saturday January 15, 2005 @03:46AM (#11371860)
      A while a ago I went looking for a video ram testing utility. The only one I was able to find was on this page created by this Russian guy at this website [testmem.nm.ru]. (It's mostly in Russian though, which I speak).

      There I looked around and found this story [testmem.nm.ru] about this utility called S2KCt used to supposedly cool some athlon processors by using the S2K bus disconnect instruction.

      The guy writes how he simultaneously ran his utility that does a cpu burn-in and S2KCt and ended up with a burnt motherboard. He says his "converter" burnt. And he wasn't overclocking the machine at the time. He seems to know enough about heat management since he develops similar programs (see below on that). Then later, he says,using similar hardware he tried to test a later version of S2KCt and his motherboard died again.

      So that is what I have recently heard about hardware being damaged by software. Also take note, since the author himself writes utilities that cool and stress the CPU he is not a totally unbiased source.

      Any computer engineers who can validate the story ?

    • I remember doing that (accidentally) a few times. Quite embarassing. But the really cool trick with some printers was to make themr actually "walk" across the room with a series of carefully timed carriage returns. Also you could get some printers to play music (of a sort).
    • anyhow, the point of my story is a question. is it still possible to wreak havoc on modern PC's via non-bios software instructions? theoretically? without any physical hardware modification?

      Sure! Just e-mail the (l)user of the computer that his computer has a nasty virus that can only be eradicated by doing <damaging action> to computer. You don't even need to write any machine code!
    • First, what's 'non-bios'? There seems to be nothing that only the 'bios' can do. If the BIOS can do something, the OS (or kernel drivers) can do it too, without any code from the BIOS. What's the difference?
      What I remember is, years ago, there was a virus that re-flashed the BIOS with garbage, so it would fail to boot. (I think it's the CIH virus. Somewhere around 1999.) A lot of people had gone crazy, and had to call the customer support to replace the BIOS flash.

      Well, if a 'user application' could wreck
      • I'm pretty sure it's the chernobyl virus, and a very nasty fellow it was. Whilst it technically doesn't "damage" anything, when the bios is soldered on it can cost more to reflash it than to get a new motherboard. It's still knocking around, and still works, but widespread antivirus and the lack of floppy-trading since the rise of the internet have made it pretty uncommon.
      • I remember seeing tables full of really cheap high end motherboards (like $5-$10) at a computer hsow I went too back around '99. The catch was they all had stickers on them saying somthign to the effect of "this motherboard may be infected with the CIH virus"
    • Well, some older CRT monitors could be damaged by giving them resolutions and refresh rates that they couldn't handle. There's a warning in one of the X man pages. The XF86Config one I suppose.

      I had a KDS monitor that didn't come with instructions (that is I borrowed it from school) and one day I went to the library and when I came home it had stopped working. Anyway I took it apart and a little daughter board soldered on near where the horizontal refresh line came in (it had BNC connectors) had blacken

    • Yeah, ATiTool kills video cards. I know form first hand experience. ggrrmmble. 500% video card fried....
    • Paper throw! .... (Score:3, Informative)

      by taniwha (70410)
      Of course I remember the "good old days" when line printers were men and a chain break could embed it in the wall across the room ...

      Seriously though what you describe was called a 'paper throw' and probably ment the operators had set the thing up wrong ... basicly those old line printers had a control tape - a short length of paper tape with a bunch of holes in it, each time the page advanced a line the tape did too - the tape was the same length as a page (every time the printer had moved to a new page

    • A lot of attached devices have replaceble firmware. Modems, routers, graphics cards, DVD burners, cameras etc. Sometimes the firmware download functionality is built into the firmware, meaning that a failed firmware update may prevent a new update attempt. I know one such example were a camera went tits up after a failed firmware update. It had to be sent in for repair which turned out to be quite expensive. Also I have heard of graphics cards which was rendered useless by a firmware update. Another not
    • I had an old Centronix line printer that was like that. except much smaller but if you even touched the FF button it would shoot a stream of greenbar wide carrage paper 6 feet in the air before it arced back to the ground.

      I wasted many a case of paper aiming that printer and cart at the doorway at work and holding down the FF button just as a co-worker walked through it.

      I really miss the ability to print a 600 line bash script and not be fast enough to get to the printer that is behind you fast enough be
  • Superkaramba? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GameGod0 (680382) on Saturday January 15, 2005 @01:44AM (#11371536)
    Superkaramba isn't unncessary eye-candy?
  • by roffles (850000) on Saturday January 15, 2005 @02:00AM (#11371582)
    One of the biggest problems when overclocking is testing stability, and when you're running windows it's hard to tell just what is causing the instability. I think this will be very successful in the OC community because not only will it provide an environment to push the hardware, but it likely won't crash as randomly as windows does, won't require repartitioning to get into linux, and will probably generate more informative error messages if you push things too hard.
    • by toddestan (632714) on Saturday January 15, 2005 @02:35AM (#11371716)
      I'm not so sure it would be so useful if you plan on running Windows. From my experience, Linux seems to be a bit more tolerant of flakey hardware, and a system that's stable in Linux may not run Windows reliably at all.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        This was mostly true with Win9x, which never used STOPCLK instructions in its idle loop without running some third party utility like Rain or CPUCool. Thus, the CPU tended to get quite hot in Win9x, even when it wasn't doing anything.

        Linux, BSD, and every WinNT variant use STOPCLK in their idle loops. This folklore is really no longer true.
        • This might not be true in all circumstances, but it is for me:

          I bought a new computer about 2 years ago, and the psu managed to damage (not completely fry) the motherboard (turned out to the the ram slots). Windows 98SE/2000/XP would fail to install every single time i tried, linux would install and run just fine, with an occasional crash.

          Probably just a fluke though - the windows installers tickling the RAM in a particular way.
        • STOPCLK? Don't you mean HLT? STOPCLK is a bus signal, not an instruction.
      • That is exactly how I got started with Linux. My Duron / Abit-KT7 / Matrox G450 box was chugging along fine from 1999 to 2002 under Windows 98se. Then one day in the summer of 2002, it "black screened" ie. "your registry is corrupt, press any key to restart system". Thereafter, it refused to load Windows except in Safe mode, and it crashed everytime I tried to increase the video mode beyond 640x480x16.

        I swapped out all the cards, and isolated the problem to the Matrox G450. However, when I booted with

      • Very true. I used to have a Windows XP partition, but it was completely useless because it would freeze after about 10 minutes of use. My linux setup will freeze about twice a month if I leave it on 24/7.
    • will probably generate more informative error messages
      I dunno, blue smoke comming from under the headsink is pretty damn informative.
  • Is this program useful to test system stability? I like to use cpuburn [sbcglobal.net] to see if my system can handle it like cooling.
  • Burn-In (Score:3, Informative)

    by mboverload (657893) on Saturday January 15, 2005 @02:20AM (#11371659) Journal
    Some people are sure to mention this, but I want to put out the fire before it starts.

    "Burn-In", aka running new components at their max to get them to run faster, is complete hemp. There is no evidence to support this, and you are just decreasing your machine's life. However, burning-in can show a faulty components.

    • by mcc (14761)
      However, burning-in can show a faulty components.

      I just kind of assumed from the name that this was the point... since after you overclock the machine, you're likely to have faulty components you didn't before...
    • The general theory is that if a component is going to fail, it'll do so within the first few months. I have drives and mobos that date back to the 486 days that still run without any problems at all.

      The point is that you want to take a brand new part and stress it as much as possible. If it fails under a week of testing at full utilization, then it would probably have failed after a few months in your production system.

      Better for both you and the vendor that you find problems early.
    • Re:Burn-In (Score:5, Informative)

      by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Saturday January 15, 2005 @05:06AM (#11372062) Homepage
      I used to work at AMD's Austin fab. Your processor is already burned-in at the factory. Actually, we used the term to mean taking the processors and BAKING THEM IN OVENS for several days, and then returning them to our facility and testing them, where the defective ones were sorted out. I think "burning in" is just a word used by people who don't understand it properly, like "big iron" means anything larger than a Sun 220R these days.
    • I always thought the reason for burning in components was to test for them being faulty and (in the case of overclockers) to get the thermal paste to completely set and change state. This allows you to begin doing the highest level of overclocking right away. I could be wrong though.

      I know for a fact that thermal pads are only effective after you have burned them in. Does anyone know details about the way thermal grease reacts to the heat? Does it change state as well?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    last time I tried overclockix, the distributed computing projects were pre set up to give some other guy 'arkayne' credit.

    Skip that.
    • Arkaine, and thats the main dev afaik. I think he has the fah config outside of the knoppix image (still on the .iso (not sure how this knoppix thing actually works)) so that you can change the config without remastering. Atleast thats what he told me, i've never actually done it.
  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... org minus author> on Saturday January 15, 2005 @03:39AM (#11371842)
    That is indeed something of a tortuous name.
  • by jd (1658) <imipak&yahoo,com> on Saturday January 15, 2005 @03:43AM (#11371854) Homepage Journal
    The server's hardware is being tortured right now. It's totally slashdotted.
  • Isnt it tyiem f\or a new aroticel?

    I saw this overcloxing icon for hours niw

    Whers the hugens inmages?

    slashdot newsss
  • KDE? (Score:2, Troll)

    by eno2001 (527078)
    Leaving out the unnecessary eye-candy? Wouldn't that be just about all of KDE? If they want to be truly thin, they can use twm. I don't get this contradiction though. KDE is anything but lightweight. Hell, even GNOME is lighter than KDE and it's still a beast.
    • by m50d (797211)
      KDE is mostly about functionality, really. Sure it looks good, but it's also easier to use than any other DE I've seen, at least for newbies.
  • They're cutting out unnecessary eye-candy and throwing in superkaramba.

    For the love of God, tell me what the unnecessary ones were.
  • by hairykrishna (740240) on Saturday January 15, 2005 @08:43AM (#11372549)

    1) Create interesting bootable linux distribution

    2) Get posted on front page of /.

    • Not really.
      The slashdot effect is actually beneficial to BitTorrent. More people = better speeds for all. Maybe using the BitTorrent idea for websites wouldn't be such a bad idea. Wouldn't work for banking sites but hey, they aren't likely to be /.ed.
  • Wow slashdotted! (Score:3, Informative)

    by arkaine23 (850127) on Saturday January 15, 2005 @02:02PM (#11373975)
    Anyways to answer a few things that have been mentioned... DC apps are preconfigured but the configs are in the ramdisk so its not all that hard to change them. I generally include scripts which reconfigure them and restart them using atyhe newly-generated config. I try stick some instructions about this stuff on KDE's desktop in a folder aptly named Info. Also, I've been putting the default configs outside the clooped filesystem so ppl can edit the iso before burning to change the default DC application configurations for their own use. P.S It's pretty clearly stated that the distro has these apps included and runs folding@home automatically. Its also as easy as "foldoff" to kill the process. WM's- Overclockix has fluxbox and icewm and xfce. The older 3.4 version even have Gnome. You enter a code when booting to use these instead of KDE. Also there's an app in the menu to switch even when running live from the CD. KDE was the logical default choice since its the most popular and most widely-used desktop environment, and my target users are tend to be new to linux. Eye-candy: Lately for eye-candy I use just a single added icon theme and the inclus (not running by default mind you). There are some added KDE service menus for ease of use, and transperancy-configured terminals, backgrounds set for icewm and fluxbox... but not much else. To counter-balance, I disable a lot of services I think most ppl won't be interested in on a live CD. When you come right down to it, Overclockix is Knoppix with a little face-lift, some extra tools for stress-testing and distributed computing nuts, and slighttly different package selection whuich includes some popular user-reqit's more up-to-date on the whole than Knoppix is, being upgraded to Debian unstable packages.
  • And yes, I'm a hobbyist. An inital release like 3.7 is almost guarunteed to have a coule of broken features. Which reminds me an update release for Overclockix 3.7 will probably hit the net in a few weeks.
  • They removed unnecessary eye candy... ok, cool. But the package highlights list includes Superkaramba?

    Hmm.. ok... from the Superkaramba website:
    "SuperKaramba is, in simple terms, a tool that allows you to easily create interactive eye-candy on your KDE desktop."

    I guess that makes it necessary eye-candy? These guys seem to have a pretty confused goal...

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