Linux miscellany

I’m having a weekend Linux geekfest – playing with all manner of software and hardware. So if you like that kind of thing, read on.

First up, Stellarium, a beautiful and realistic planetarium. I found this one by accident when browsing through Freshmeat. Make sure you have the required libraries, then compilation is a breeze.

I’ve lived happily without TV for 4 months, but it would be nice to catch the occasional AFL game. So I invested in a Leadtek WinFast DTV2000 H. Linux support for this card is not great – at first it was unrecognised by Ubuntu. I grabbed the CVS V4L-DVB code, compiled, installed the modules, rebooted and up it came. Without sound at first – some problem connecting from line-out on the card to AUX on the soundcard, but using the CD line-in on the sound card is fine. Now just have to improve my reception! I like tvtime as a viewer.

My old PC burned out last week so I salvaged the parts and rebuilt. Cooling was an issue – I now have a Cooler Master Centurion 5 case which is excellent and an Arctic Cooling Freezer 4. The latter was a bit of a bugger to install but great value (AUD 44) and does a brilliant job. CPU temp is around 20 °C idle and hasn’t gone over 41 °C max. at full load yet.

My CPU is a Socket 478 2.8 GHz Prescott P4 and with the new cooler, the temptation to overclock was too great. It’s very easy – you go into the BIOS, find the voltage/frequency settings and increase the CPU Host Frequency, 5 – 10 MHz at a time, reboot, run some CPU-intensive stuff and monitor temperature and stability. My initial setting was 200 MHz for an 800 MHz FSB speed and a multiplier of 14 (200 x 14 = 2800). So far I’m up to 228 MHz, so my old 2.8 P4 is powering along at 3.2 with no heat or stability issues.

So ends this geekfest report.