Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When Is A Hexaputer Not A Hexaputer?

When it is a Pentaputer!

The electricity here is, to be kind, capricious.  A few weeks ago, I came home to discover the power had been out.  I turned my computer on, only to be greeted by a message indicating that 5 cores had been activated.

My first response was WTF?

My second thought was "Well, this just happened out of the blue, so maybe it will magically unhappen".  

That turned out to be wishful thinking.  Subsequent reboots displayed the same message.

My next thought was that perhaps by overclocking my AMD 1100T to 3.8 GHz I'd fried one of the cores.  It has been hot here.  I tried turning the multiplier (and thus the clock speed) down.....nope....still only 5 cores active.  So I set it back to 3.8GHz and thought about what to do next.

Since I built this system myself, my next thought was "That's a cheap CPU, I'll buy a new one."  Good luck with that.  Hen's teeth seem to be more abundant.

Then I discovered that the ASUS motherboard I use can, in some circumstances, rather whimsically decide to turn a core off.  Digging deeper into the BIOS I discovered that, indeed, one of the cores (core 3 actually) was off.

So I turned it back on, and rebooted......and....The Hexaputer LIVES.....OK, it wasn't quite that dramatic, but so far it seems to be holding up.

A little more research suggested that core unlocking and auto CPU activation were a bad combination for the 1100T.  It doesn't have any cores to unlock, so I turned that feature off and switched core activation to manual, all on.  We'll see how that holds up.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not looking forward to Windows 8.  When Vista came out, and I had a chance to see it in action, I declared this a 'Vista Free Zone'.  I've grown rather fond of Windows 7, it mostly behaves and generally doesn't annoy me, and though the interface was different from XP, it wasn't that big a difference.  Microsoft seems, lately, to be really into gratuitous interface changes and determined to cutoff backward compatibility.

So far, I think I'll wait for the ganja smoke to clear, folks to sober up and return to their senses, and maybe Windows 9.

The next post will talk about those two droids I've been looking for.....I'll introduce you to G-7JB and S3A4.


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