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Overclocking the Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 makes me happy! May 15, 2007

Posted by amazingrando in General.

In the last few years I’ve been running computers from Dell and HP, but when I first switched to PCs from the Mac about 10 years ago I always built my own machines. Back in the day of the overclocking my Celeron 300MHz processor to 464Mhz it was great fun. The Celery (Celeron) was cheap and you could very easily squeeze a 50% or greater overclock out of it with just a bit of tweaking and some better cooling. Heck, often you could get that without anything but the stock cooler.

Recently I sold my Dell Optiplex Pentium D system and decided to build a system of my own. I picked up an EVGA nForce 680i SLI motherboard, which is an amazing board. Fast, stable, and loaded with all the extras. I suppose that’s why it’s getting so many rave reviews. Reading up on the overclockability of the E4300 processor, I got one of those for now with an eye to a quad-core processor later in the year. I also picked up some nice PQI Turbo DDR2 RAM (2GB kit).

So today I finally got around to some testing. I only have the stock cooler on the processor and I haven’t fiddled with any voltages yet, but the results are impressive:


I’ve got it running at 3.0GHz very stably with a 1.35GHz FSB. I ran the PCMark05 CPU and Memory benchmarks to see just what that means in terms of performance:

Stock Settings
9 x 200 = 1.8GHz CPU, 800MHz FSB 5-5-5-16 timing

Stock Speed
CPU: 4516
Memory: 4038

Overclocked Settings
9 x 337.5 = 3.0GHz CPU, 1350MHz FSB, 4-4-4-12 timing

Overclocked Speed
CPU: 7689
Memory: 6470

With that overclocking, I’m getting a 70% increase in CPU performance and a 60% increase in memory performance – for free! w00t!

How does that compare to other CPUs? Well, check this out. Sharky Extreme has a good review of the Core 2 Duo processors and the processors’ respective PCMark05 CPU and memory performance figures. The results are fantastic.  My overclocked $115 processor beats out the $970 Core Duo 2 X6800 Extreme CPU (well, at stock speed anyhow). Happy days! 🙂

My system / Core 2 Duo X6800
CPU: 7689 / 7515
Memory: 6470 / 6059


Running Windows in Ubuntu part 2 – VirtualBox rocks! May 3, 2007

Posted by amazingrando in Linux Tips, Windows-Linux Transition.
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Following up on my prior post about running Windows (or other OS’s) in Ubuntu, I kept searching around for something better than VMware server. Why? I wanted something that was:

  • Not only free, but open source
  • Easier to install and configure than VMware
  • Had a GUI for managing virtual machines
  • Fairly stable and speedy

It seems like a tall order, but I found Innotek’s VirtualBox a few weeks back. It’s open source (GPL), easy to install and configure, has a nice GUI for configuring VM’s, virtual drives, etc. There’s no need for serial numbers like with VMware. It offers host accelerator drivers for Windows and other OS’s. Overall it’s been very stable for me. Oh, and they have good documentation! At present this is my recommended choice for running another OS under Ubuntu.

How to install:

  1. Download the .deb file of VirtualBox for your version of Ubuntu
  2. Use GDebi package installer (right click on the package from Nautilus), or you can use sudo dpkg -i *.deb where the asterisk is the name of the package file you downloaded
  3. This should install VirtualBox and any dependencies
  4. When it’s done you’ll need to add yourself to the new vboxusers group
    1. Open /etc/group with GEdit sudo gedit /etc/group
    2. Find the line vboxusers:x:1001:
    3. Immediately after the last colon, add your user name. For example, if mine is rando, then it would now look like vboxusers:x:1001:rando
    4. Save the file
  5. Having done that, restart
  6. Finally you can run VirtualBox from the command line and set up a virtual machine (an icon will also appear under Applications -> System )

I have skipped many options for pre and post-installation in order to give you a quick run-down on how to get up and running. For all the details, check out their excellent documentation.

Hopefully you’ll have as much fun with VirtualBox as I have!

Censorship is Evil – Fight it! (updated) May 3, 2007

Posted by amazingrando in Ethics, General, Politics, Ranting.
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Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms - Thanks to
Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms – Thanks to dbking

“Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always be the last resort of the boob and the bigot.”
— Eugene Gladstone O’Neill, American playwright

There’s a good story on DailyTech.com about a lot of people getting angry about censorship that was taking place on Digg.com. You can also read about it on CNet. What is at issue is a string of letters and numbers that constitute a key for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray encryption. The AACS has sent nasty letters to Google to take down any blogs they host that discuss AACS encryption circumvention, and in particular have the key. And Google dutifully complied, taking down blog after blog. People submitted Digg stories about this, but quickly found that they were censored by Digg.com… at least until Digg came to their senses. And, kudos to them for standing up for freedom.

The bottom line of the story is that there this random string of letters and numbers and information about AACS that could land someone in jail if published. But why? Expressing them does not mean that you are cracking their encryption. There’s no act. It’s letters and numbers. This is like arresting you for murder because you watched an episode of CSI and you would know some of the tricks of the trade. Moreover, these companies have done a cost-benefit analysis with your freedoms and decided that it’s better to avoid lawsuits than to stand up for freedom.

Exercise your right to free speech and Digg the story at Digg.com. Meanwhile, enjoy a random string of 32 letters and numbers:


UPDATE: There’s an excellent article about the consequences of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) at eff.org. Read it and share it.

UPDATE2: The New York Times also has another good story on the Internet rebellion

How to mount UDF DVDs in Ubuntu May 2, 2007

Posted by amazingrando in Linux Tips, Windows-Linux Transition.

Thanks to silverkeys for the image

I’ve been mighty ill recently, so it’s been a while since my last post, but I finally seem to be recovering and it’s time for another post.

Traditionally recordable DVDs or CDs were written with the ISO 9660 file system. This made it work with everything from Linux to Windows to your car’s MP3 player. When DVD movies came out they used a new file system called Universal Disc Format or UDF, which is meant to replace ISO 9660. Ten years later people are still using ISO 9660 most of the time. But, that is changing. One of the biggest reasons for this is that ISO 9660 cannot handle files larger than 4GB. If you want to back up anything bigger than that you either need to split it (which can be a pain to split and recombine later) or you need to go with the UDF file system. I often backup files bigger than 4GB, so I pretty much only use UDF on discs I burn.

Ubuntu (and maybe other Linux distros – Debian?) seem to have a problem mounting UDF formatted discs. The solution to this is as simple as editing your /etc/fstab file and restarting. Here are the steps, from the Terminal:

sudo gedit /etc/fstab

Here you should see a line similar to this:

/dev/scd1 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto 0 0

The first part (/dev/scd1) is the device name (could be different with your computer), the second part (/media/cdrom0) is the mount point (where you access the disc in the file system). The third part is the file systems supported. This is where the problem lies. It shows UDF and ISO 9660, but if both are there (which is supposedly ok if comma-separated), then one or the other will not work, depending on the order they are written in the line. So the solution is the change both of those to:


Now the edited line will look something like:

/dev/scd1 /media/cdrom0 auto user,noauto 0 0

Now save the file and restart.

When you restart, UDF and ISO DVDs should work just fine!