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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Back on Track

I got my computer back to work! I booted the Arch Linux .img file using another program, one that was suggested by the Arch team. This one worked will. Once I installed GRUB I booted to windows with no hassle.

Installing Arch as a partition is another story. I only set aside about 10GB for Arch, which apparently isn't enough. I installed hal and xorg, and all my hard space went away... no more space for anything else I would like to have. I was planning on running Arch Linux for my OCNix testing. I would download and build everything in the host Arch, then run OCNix itself as a Virtual Box guest. But nope, not enough space.

Oh well, at least I got my windows back!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dead Beat

So it's been a while since I last updated my blog. The other night I decided I wanted to dual boot the bucket with windows and arch linux. So, I went out and bought a spare flash drive thinking I could easily boot from it. Turns out the only program that allows me to easily make my flash drive bootable doesn't work with Arch linux. Well, it does, but not the most up-to-date one.

So I decided to try installing a slightly out-of-date version of Arch Linux, which was a very bad idea. As soon as I got to the package installation stage, it wouldn't let me download the correct list, and I couldn't continue with the installation. So I decided to reboot into windows. Which it wouldn't let me do....

Hopefully all I have to do is finish installing a recent version of Arch Linux and it'll work, hopefully.

On a side note, OCNix is coming along rather neatly. We smashed quite a bit of bugs last weekend, which means we are ready for our alpha stage. For those interested, I'll leave a link to the installation process we wrote a couple days ago.

Installing and making OCNix .ISO

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hard drive finished

Hey guys, I finally made some progress on the computer. Turns out I will not be able to overclock this computer without buying some extra parts. So that process will be postponed until further notice.
I have however, finished the hard drive case. I took it to work today and machined down the surface of the old hard drive I took apart. Here's what it looks like.

Not too bad. I also drilled some holes and tapped them for screws, but my measurements were slightly off. I managed to screw two screws in, which should be enough.
Here's what it looks like after the hard drive is screwed in.

I made a little hang over area for the cables. It might be a little difficult to see.

Now hopefully if all goes well, it should screw right into my case.

I've also been working with arch linux a little more. I installed the vbox additions and I know have an integrated mouse feature, and can copy and paste between windows and arch linux.
I also started testing on the latest addition of OCNix. I bet the new release is out by now. I'll go get my hands on that as well.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Late night

Well, its 1:30am and my day is about to end. This morning I woke up to a 1GB ram card on the desk. Looks like my dad was looking out for me again. I plugged it in and it ran fine.

Also, I decided I'm going to make a holding bracket for my hard drive, as its only a small laptop drive. Currently, its just sitting inside the computer where the hard drive would normally be screwed in. I plan on moving it safely when I can.

For my bracket, I decided it would be easiest to use a case from an old 1GB hard drive. I gutted everything out, and now I just have to figure out how I'm going to mount the hard drive inside it.

I also installed Sun's VirtualBox and attempted to install openSUSE, but I gave up after a couple tries. I did manage to play with it using the liveCD. Now I'm installing ArchLinux, which I think is much more fun. I have much more control over everything, and I'm learning with a nice learning curve. I also had some help from the OCNix guys.
Right now its installing the GUI, after about 3 hours of installing everything else. I think once I work with this a little more, I can scratch off a goal from my list. Installing linux really isn't difficult, especially if your running it through an app like VirtualBox. I would imagine installing on the actual hard drive wouldn't be any more difficult.

The installation process is all text based and has a custom boot loader. A GUI isn't preinstalled with arch linux, making it much more flexible if you choose to work solely from the terminal. If you choose to install a GUI, which most people do, you can choose from any GUI that is available in the package manager, including both KDE and Gnome.

The guys at arch linux put together a nice beginners guide to installing and running arch linux. It's almost exactly like unix code, and comes with python language preinstalled.
The link to the guide can be found Here.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Up and Running!

Well guys, I finally got the computer running, and it's only 11 PM!
This is officially the first blog post from the computer, which I will affectionately call, "the Bucket".
First thing I did was take that laptop hard drive and plug it in. No adapters required. unfortunately, the winVista that was installed on my laptop couldn't be ran on this computer, which I would have expected. Luckily, being home for a week has it's perks. My dad came through and found a winXP disk laying around, which is great, because I've always thought XP ran a little better than Vista anyways.

The installation was pretty harmless. I formatted both of the partitions on the hard drive, so I'll have to reinstall Steam again.

Everything worked right off the bat, with the exception of the network card. Plugging in the ethernet cable showed lights, but didn't connect to the internet, or even show a network available. Instinctively, I blamed this on the guys at Microsoft, but I finally realized that the Broadcom network card, which is integrated into the motherboard, didn't install the drivers correctly. I just downloaded them on my other computer and carried it over via flash drive.

Next up, I'll see how virtual box works, and see how to run linux through it. I'll put that off 'til tomorrow. I was initially thinking of installing openSUSE, but am still open for ideas. Go ahead and leave comments!

ahh... a clean desktop.
Haven't seen those in a while!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Time for another update.
I bought a few things. The idea is that it'll get shipped by the time I'm and it'll be there waiting for me. First thing, I found a guy on the forums named pcnuttie selling a EMachine LCD monitor.

$64.00 after shipping, everything included. He says it was lightly used for only 3 months. From what I can find online, EMachines are affordable machines, and $64 is cheaper than any refurbished I could find.

Second, I bought some ArcticSilver thermal paste, pretty much a staple for replacing heatsinks.

I bought this from for $12.98 after shipping. At quick look, it only contains 1 cc, but each use is only a pea sized.

Running total: $184.97

Sorry for the slow movement, but I didn't have access to a keyboard or monitor, and I've been busy with work and school.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Linux development built just for overclockers!

Interested in some innovative software built just for overclocking? Then check this out!

After doing some research on overclocking, I came across these guys at developing a linux software package called OCNix that will include everything an overclocker might need to overclock and test they're computer, including stress and benchmark programs.
One of the leading programmers, GodOfGrunts, said
"OCNix is a Linux [distribution] aimed at computer enthusiasts who want to be able to stress test and benchmark their hardware without taking the time to install a full operating system."
Currently, this package only requires the user to run what is called an "liveCD", which means installation of the programs is not actually required, but instead can be read directly off the CD itself. Later on, however, they do plan on making the distribution completely installable, meaning you can run OCNix just like any other Linux operating system.

A large selection of open source software will be included in the package, including Memtest, Phoronix Test Suite, and MPrime, Linux's version of the famous Prime95.

OCNix is built directly on top of Arch Linux, which is an extremely light version of Linux, meaning little disk space is required to run.

I'll be sure to try this out as soon as I get my computer running!

The developers working on this build are, GodOfGrunts, xtascox, error_404, and GonX. While Version2 and biatchi started the project, but are no long active. Each of them frequently visit the forums, and their thread can be found Here

Here is a pre-beta screenshot.