Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Groundhog day on a computer?

You know I have been complaining I don't have enough time to get everything done... well one of our servers has found the solution to the problem. It gains time, so that in a couple of days it's clock is two days ahead. We then reset the clock back to normal and it relives those two days again. Groundhog day all over again. Trouble is... its a pain! We have a system that should correct small time errors every few minutes. But this is drifting too far out for this to cope so that it cannot correct itself.

So, thought I, I will set it do to a big correction every 5 minutes. Sounds good eh? Well, yes, but the reason it runs every 5 minutes is because the clock says so. So guess what happens? It corrects the time, which means it pulls it back and then runs the correction again, which pulls it back and... need I go on? Of course this is not too much of a problem unless it sends you an email to say 'Done that, aren't you grateful than I'm such a nice little computer?' [liberal translation of technospeak message it actually sends] which gets a little boring if you get about 60 messages per hour like that.

Solutions on a postcard, sent yesterday to arrive last week to: Time Travel Bureau, 5 Vie La Temps, Tempus Fugit, Tomorrow.


Fraser said...

That's a really strange one! Normally a battery change would fix a slow clock but haven't heard of one running fast.

This thread

suggests an increased voltage could be running the clock faster?

Richard said...

The motherboard is brand new. It is behaving strange anyhow so maybe it will have to go back - by strange I mean the standard Linux mbmon utility we use cannot find the voltages/temperatures etc we use for monitoring, and the acpi seems strange on the /proc fs. We are not overclocking like in the article though -- we are always conservative with servers!