9 Nov 2004 miah   » (Journeyer)

Took forever for me to remember my password, I really wish there was a 'forgot password' option here :/

I follow in the Advogato tradition of only updating my diary once every few months/years. So many things going on in life now, the biggest thing going on now thats causing me stress is my new computer. I went to Microcenter (a local computer store in Boston), and got all the parts and put it together. I've been there 4 times in the last 3 days. First the Pentium4 motherboard I purchased didn't support the 3.2ghz Prescott chip, even though the docs said it should (I hate how recent motherboards don't say what speeds they support, just FSB). After swapping out the MSI MicroATX board for a MSI 865PE Neo2-P I got the system running. I had to rebuild the kernel to get the support for hyperthreading and the built in GigE card, but that was simple. After building the kernel I started building a new gcc toolchain for my distro and I got a 'Machine Check Exception'. I looked around on google, and somebody said to test the memory. So I tested with memtest86+ and sure enough, the RAM had issues. I took today off because I needed to get new brakes and a muffler for my car, so when my car was done I went to microcenter and exchanged the RAM. After replacing the RAM, I still got MCE's, so I looked around more and it could also be caused by improper cooling. The Intel provided heatsink/fan was pretty hefty, but I wanted this to just work I wanted to be done dealing with it, so I picked up a ThermalTake 'Silent Tower', its really nice, but IM STILL GETTING MCE's. The exact issue is:

CPU 0: Machine Check Exception: 0000000000000004 <0> CPU 1: Machine Check Exception: 0000000000000004 Bank 0: b20000001040080f

Thats with hyperthreading enabled. I'm currently testing with hyperthreading disabled. With linux 2.4.27, I don't get the Bank info, but with 2.6.9 I do. Running 'parsemce' on that, I get:

[miah@server miah]$./parsemce -b 0 -s b20000001040080f -e 0000000000000004 Status: (4) Machine Check in progress. Restart IP invalid.

Which is fairly useless to me. If anybody has ideas, I'd love to hear them. If my test with hyperthreading disabled is a success, I'm not sure if I should swap the CPU or what.

Some ask, why didn't I get a Opteron? Well, for $230 I could get a dual core 3.2ghz cpu, or I could get a 1.8ghz opteron. Seeing as I've been using a P3 800 for the last 3-4 years, I wanted a huge boost when I upgraded, and 3.2 > 1.8. I have several opteron based servers at work, and while I do like them, we still see better performance on the P4/Xeon servers we have compared to the opterons.

I did some reading on hyperthreading, and its not 'dual core' like I thought, it simply creates another thread using unused resources in the chip. So then why is my system generating MCE's? The only thing I can think would be faulty CPU.

In other news.. Next weekend is my daughters firsth birthday. I can't believe a year has gone by already. She's growing quickly.

I'm sitll working for Childrens Hospital, its going ok. I've been somewhat bored at work lately. None of the work I've had to do has really peaked my interest. I feel like its all basic stuff that I mastered 4 years ago.

I've been taking a C programming class from the 'Oreilly Learning Lab'. I just need to finish my final for the second class. The classes overall have been good. I feel like I've got a really good grasp on the basics of C programming now. And have started reading 'Mastering Algorithms in C'. Its a good book, but heavy on the math which is causing me to learn more math, which is a good thing, but its taking longer to wrap my mind around things.

My linux distro is still in the works, I need some assistance with getting the installer functional though, if anbody is interested drop me a mail.

I'm sure many advogato users have said this one "I'm going to try to update this diary on a more regular basis" wish me luck =)


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