Time Traveling-Solved!

  / by Bassam

insane xclock

It looks like my computer has suddenly aquired Einsteinian properties; after anywhere from a few hours to a few minutes of use the clock starts running fast; avi’s playback to fast, the clock goes too quickly and the command “sleep 10” sleeps for about 8 seconds only.

I’ve no idea how/why this is happening.. So this post is a bit of a cry for help- any ideas? could it be the CMOS battery? or anyway software (ubuntu linux, 64 bit version with a 32 bit chroot environment for blender and some other apps) could be responsible?

Don’t blame me if the movie seems a bit sluggish! It runs fine on my computer ;)
[edit] rebooting now, so my clock goes back to normal

( Erratic xclock video, 1MB MPEG4 )

Problem Solved! At least for me, it seems that some 64 bit kernels and certain chipsets exhibit this bug; appearantly, it can be cured via certain boot parameters posted by some of you in this thread. In my case, since I run blender in a 32 bit chroot anyway, I just made my chroot partition a bootable 32 bit system. After a little struggle re-configuring my sound in the 32 bit environment, it appears that my clock is stable.
Huge thanks to all of you for your suggestions, research and jokes :)

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97 Responses to “Time Traveling-Solved!”

  1. rubbleman said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    You know if not fixed today I think Bassam take over Toni pc in meantime and Toni messes around try to find problem.
    We get Bassam to wear plastic bags on arms and private parts so his pc not damaged by immense talent like he has. We have body bag ready if he breaks anything else :o)

  2. MArco said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    Maye is not the computer time but our “real” time that run too slow …

    Maybe if is a kernel problem .. try to change it,You can find one from:

    #Apt-cache search linux-image

    and than , install whit

    apt-get install ***the name of your new kernel ***

    Bye !


  3. Rickyx said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    Maybe all the clock around that are to be fixed… so your computer is the only correct :)

    Maybe the creation of a black hole near Vega cause a temporary temporal shift right on your desk: don’t loose the opportynity to walk throug the intergalactic door but change the position of your desk because you became older earlier.


  4. guest said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    Folks, if you think people are going to drop a APT-based distro for an RPM-based one, just because of a simple clock issue that can be resolved easily, you’ve obviously no idea what APT does for people. Give it up ;)

  5. Bassam said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    thanks all! Based on your suggestions, I’m going to try the following things:
    0-FSB SS not available as a setting in my bios.. probably wrong nforce anyway.
    1-booting with noapic and no acpi.. I have to see if the problem comes back (note: with smp kernel apic timer is used anyway, just disables ioapic)
    2-already tried deleting adjtime.. investigate whether ntp setting can be fiddled (note: I’m pessimistic about this one since I saw my clock so erratic yesterday)
    3-try a newer kernel: 2.6.14 reputedly fixed a bug with nforce2 chipsets… perhaps it’s the same problem in the nforce4?
    4-by this time I should be able to see if there’s significant drift in my bios clock or not..
    5-I already have a 32 bit system partition.. I think all I need to do is add the grub entry in /boot to boot it.
    6-shrug and guess it’s a hardware problem :/
    I hope I never get to six!
    Probably won’t try switching to another distro.. though I could put a live cd in it over night and see what the clock says in the morning.

  6. BArrYZ said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    “I agree with some of the others: This is the perfect time to get a Macbook Pro!”

    I don’t agree, absolutely. Changing brand, it’s not a solution.
    Please avoid saying that the Macs is the solution for all the problem in the world, because that’s not true. Also Macs have a lot of problems, it’s an HW like many others, only a lot more expansive and glamour. The others PC on the studio with the same Linux distribution, as i know, are still working properly, so this is a single and unique incident with this configuration, not the demonstraiotn that the PC sucks and the Mac are always better because they have a cool design.

    My 2 cents.

  7. BArrYZ said on 14 Jan, 2006:


    I think that a little try with some live CDs, as many others have right suggested, it’s a very fast and easy test to find if there is some lowlevel hardware problem with your mainbord.

    Good luck and let we know about the solution of your binary timemachine travel! ;-)

  8. BArrYZ said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    Quote :”Maybe all the clock around that are to be fixed… so your computer is the only correct :)”


  9. Panda said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    May be a process priority problem ?
    If a process priority is too high, the problem can happen

  10. anonymous said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    I’ve not read through all the comments, but I’ve seen the video with xclock. I want to suggest a program called xvidcap which is able to record “screenmovies” (like screenshots, but in motion). Just in case you want to post more of this kind of video … ;-)

  11. B@rt said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    I’m sure I’m flamebait now, but wasn’t one of the goals of project Orange to prove that you can be productive with open source software? Just having to search for hours for a solution to get your friggin’ *clock* to run at the right speeds kind of goes against your project goals, guys! :)

    Have fun,


  12. Samo said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    I am Samo and I approve of B@rt’s message! :oP

  13. Bassam said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    I guess.. not (switches to 3DSMax running on XP)

  14. Bassam said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    well, I’ve made my 32 bit environment bootable (actually, just installed into the partition to save myself the hassle of figuring things out) and I’m running in pure 32 bit mode here… problem hasn’t happened yet, but it’s too early to tell.

  15. jesus christ said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    you people are insane.. 2 min of google searching could have fixed your problem.. getting a new distro for a crap issue like this?? you’ll be distro hopping for ever…

    Your options are: Use a windowsy girly linux distro like ubuntu suse or mandrake and scream like a man fucked in the anus whenever something “%##%#” up(which _will_ happen)
    OR _learn linux_(you know, the system that was originally developed for the largest phone-system in the world? AT/T) then get a _real_ distro: like archlinux or frugalware if your still afraid.

    howto learn linux: http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz

  16. joeri said on 14 Jan, 2006:

    Why would I want to learn Linux when all I want to do is make animations?

  17. rubbleman said on 15 Jan, 2006:

    Mr JC I don’t like you use that name to post and rudeness of words as well. We here to support other Blender people not to put down. If you not especially like Project Orange then no need to post your anti thoughts here.I also note you did not read very well because Bassam and others include myself have searched for info about this and is not fixed in 2 mins. We solve this issue soon and move on to finish movie we all proud of and also we get lot of fine improvements in program itself that give good run for money to commercial stuff.

  18. Rendasher said on 15 Jan, 2006:

    I agree rubbleman. The Orange project is a great thing, and we don’t need to be bashing each other. If we ever wanna see Blender roll in the credits of a major motion picture, we gotta stick together. And Mr. JC, I’d appreciate it if you would change your posting name and language.

  19. DwarvenFury said on 15 Jan, 2006:

    I second Rendasher and rubbleman.

    As for the problem, I have no idea how to fix it. I’m sure it’ll get resolved as quickly as possible, though.

    Thanks for the hard work Orange Team. :-)


  20. Samo said on 15 Jan, 2006:


    Uhm, because, you know, … errr…

    Dammit, I can only think of SkyWriter quotes right now. :)

  21. ajc said on 15 Jan, 2006:

    I had this problem with Gentoo and AMD64.

    Solved it by adding clock=pmtmr and notsc as options at the end of my grub boot line.

    Now my clock runs stable, although animated gifs don’t display correctly if my machine has been on too long.


  22. Rui Campos said on 15 Jan, 2006:

    Seems like a 64 Bit problem.

  23. Bassam said on 15 Jan, 2006:

    it is starting to look promising.. I’ve not seen the problem re-occur yet in a pure 32 bit environment.
    I’m currently just beating my head on the table trying to get my soundcard to work (again) It’s an Audigy 4 (that’s the number on the box) though the system says it’s an audigy 2 value.. should use an emu10k1 driver (check) and all the mixer settings are correct… except I don’t get any sound! this happened before on the 64 bit system and on basse’s and we solved it, but I might be forgetting some hidden bit.
    Not too fair to blame everything on “open-source” as some nebulous category- bugs happen across multiple OS/platforms- you could as readily say “open platform” is the problem (regarding PCs) and point to the beauties of using a totally closed system, like sun or apple. Oh well.. I’ll see if I can get this going.

  24. BArrYZ said on 15 Jan, 2006:

    Good news to see that works with the 32 bit env. :-D

    Anyway, IMHO, making a lot of efforts to have working something that’s open and free, is always a good and right action. The science research too, works in an open and free approaching, sharing all. The human evolution, it’s not *closed* ;-)

    As Leonardo da Vinci said:

    ” Sempre la pratica dev’esser edificata sopra la bona teorica “

  25. JoOngle said on 15 Jan, 2006:

    In the danger of being blatantly obvious here I´ll risk my neck and chip in:

    Bassam: Have you installed the modules for your kernel?
    If so, have you compiled the kernel for the use of external modules (eg. for sound support/Audigy etc.) I too have the Audigy card like you – and lost support when switching. The solution was (for me) to download the latest alsa drivers from


    Installing them, followed by:

    (it will check for the soundcard and configure your setup)
    followed by
    now you can adjust sound.
    It might be worth trying these two commands BEFORE you install
    the new drivers.


  26. oiaohm said on 16 Jan, 2006:

    Its the 64 bit mode normally. If able rebuild program for 64 bit. If not using the 64 bit mode swap back to 32 bit kernel. clock=pmtmr and notsc options do work as well.

    Test your machine in 32 bit mode the clock chip on motherboard might have gone nuts. Dieing or dead cmos battery can do this.

    Be warned some companys build anti intruder tech into case. One of the common traps is a speed up clock. The fastest I have ever seen was a year every 5 mins a real run a way. The strangest was the clock running backwards for a few secounds you brain is going what the.

  27. rubbleman said on 16 Jan, 2006:

    oiaohm, sounds like Bassam has work around but if intruder trap how you fix ? is there reset somewhere? thanks for passing on experience

  28. Bassam said on 16 Jan, 2006:

    JoOngle, I think I’m going to do that… last time we got it working using the breezy alsa-sources module, I’ll wait to see if basse remembers what we did, otherwise, it’s going to be “direct from alsa” for me :)

  29. Bassam said on 16 Jan, 2006:

    oiaohm.. that’s pretty funny about the anti-intruder thing :). I’m pretty sure it was the 64 bit mode that had some bug in it with my chipset- I can only be sure if I run for a few days without the problem re-occuring.

  30. Bassam said on 16 Jan, 2006:

    hehe, last update- I just installed the latest driver from the alsa website and it worked fine.. I guess the 1.09b bundled with breezy has a problem :) good advice jongle

  31. bigfoot said on 16 Jan, 2006:

    So is everything back to normal in 64-bit too?
    And since this is my first post.. Good luck to the whole team. This is really exicting. I cant wait..

  32. ZanQdo said on 16 Jan, 2006:

    Why the lack of updates, some of us chek the site evry day hoping for new stuff :-)

  33. Rui Campos said on 16 Jan, 2006:

    Hey Bassam, remove the link on your posts to “slikdigit.com” it leads people to a nasty website.

    By the way, what happened to your website ???

    — Rui —

  34. Bassam said on 16 Jan, 2006:

    Rui: those b*stards “stole” it from me :/… rather, they took advantage of it expiring to register it a few days before I did.
    What a great thing they put up instead!
    yeah, as soon as I figure out how to edit the profile thingie.

  35. Rui Campos said on 16 Jan, 2006:

    Bassam: That is really nasty, if you want it back they will charge you with an amount.

    Why not register a new one, something like bkurdali[dot]com or bassamkurdali[dot]com or even bassaminator[dot]com ?


    It terms of hosting, if you don’t have one I can point you mine, it is pretty good.

    — Rui —

  36. Bassam said on 16 Jan, 2006:

    I will.. I have hosting.. just no domain :)

  37. joeri said on 16 Jan, 2006:

    Samo! You are alive!!! Lets not get into monkeysquotes :)

  38. HOAihOihaoihOIAH said on 16 Jan, 2006:

    they are funny hehehe
    Hey Rui Campos, your Web Site is pretty beautiful, I Like this, very clean, very soft, this remembers the peace hehehehe
    but you can say “at least I have one, and you?”
    Bassam: Good work youngsters, I’m anxious one to see the final results, will be that you it could pass which is the configuration of the Hardware PCs?

    – HOAihOihaoihOIAH –

  39. Rui Campos said on 17 Jan, 2006:

    Hehe, I have the website on my PC, but haven’t got the time to upload it and solve any issues that will eventually occur when I move to the webserver.

    Maybe I can get it running this month.

    Anyway, the Bandwidth is being activelly used with:
    – Gaim CVS Builds ( geddeth.dk )
    – Blender CVS Builds ( Testing Forum )
    – Blender Micro Movie Project “The Freeze” from some Blenderheads at CGTalk
    – A friends website
    – My own stuff and projects

    So, it is put to good use ;)

    — Rui —

  40. rubbleman said on 17 Jan, 2006:

    Hey guys I hope this time warp problem is solved now.
    I have been peeking and nosing again and following leads into the future myself and I see Tons work on Reyes rendering solution possibly leads to micropolygons for us sometime. Wow!I hope I am still around to try that out! You know we owe aweful lot to Tons dedication to Blender cause. I don’t know if he reads this at moment being very busy but I like to thank him very much for incredible work he does. Not too many people do as much as he does for their work and for probably much less pay than he is worth. I give him a bit of stick to look after himself before but he is grown man and makes own decisions. We all very lucky to have him make Blender ever better for us and amazingly available for free.I think he loves what he does too which is very fortunate thing in life :o) Thanks Ton.
    We all following progress out here closely and looking forward to next Orange team news installment – maybe in few days I hope :o)

  41. Bassam said on 17 Jan, 2006:

    Hehe, thanks rubbleman, I’m sure Ton appreciates your sentiment- currently he’s ‘buried’ in blender code, isolated from the net, as he makes the new compositing/rendering system. And yes- seems like my problem is solved- I’ll edit the post to reflect that .

  42. BArrYZ said on 17 Jan, 2006:

    Quote:” currently he’s ‘buried’ in blender code, isolated from the net, as he makes the new compositing/rendering system ”

    Oh my God!

    Thanks TON, you DA MAN!

    And thanks to Bassam and all you guys at the Orange too!

    PS: but please, if possibile, send us some update on the project, also a very little news or whatever, we are all waiting for that with impatience ;-)

  43. HOAihOihaoihOIAH said on 17 Jan, 2006:

    Thanks Ton, and all that had helped to become this wonderful tool called Blender

    – HOAihOihaoihOIAH –

  44. ajc said on 17 Jan, 2006:

    The problem occurs on Windows as well so opensource isn’t to blame. It’s something to do with the X2 chips (also occurs with other 64s, but they are easier to solve). In Windows the clock is stable, but quite a lot of software has major slowdown then speed up problems that increase the longer the machine is on. Even the adding boot options in Windows can’t help this.

    So it isn’t Open Source, but something to do with timekeeping and X2s.


  45. rubbleman said on 18 Jan, 2006:

    Mr @ndy I read new blenderart magazine – vgood BTW -and I see in part you not happy with noise from internet and unreal expectation from certain group of people. I don’t know if you mean to say as comes across but I think we express our support fairly here. I think in most part visitors here make useful say and also have few jokes to pass time. Myself I already express acceptance and gratitude several times for what ever comes out of Orange. I personally not happy you guys do 15-16 hr 7 days but ultimately that your choice and you are setting own stds there in Holland studio. We only see little bits of progress every 5-6 days or so. Even though original plan was for guys to each post talk daily in blog no one demands that.We only admiring enthusiastic fans out here keen for news of beloved Blender and movie chattering away in anticpation. After all you guys all good artists in own right and with new tools like noodles we excited to see polished works come about.Already what you show us is excellent. Like all movies there is build of interest to see finished item on screen.Tough being celebrity but you know part of this project is publicity for Blender sometimes maybe is intrusive.Perhaps you need publicity person to handle outside interest and post news here for us on regular basis rather than do selves.
    This blog is 2 way street – if you not happy about things we say then speak up please. We reasonable people if we do wrong we change. OK so you v busy I don’t need reply but you know now we concerned about not upsetting you. You all do fine. Everyone says that so don’t worry about it.

  46. Myster_EE said on 18 Jan, 2006:

    I Agree with Rubble-man. Also, Any time spent showing off to us what you have done, will be time taken away from the doing.

  47. Joe Estock said on 6 Feb, 2006:

    For those of you who are wondering what APIC stands for – it’s Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller. It’s the device on your mainboard that provides the IVT (Interrupt Vector Table). Think of it in terms of events – you press a key on the keyboard and an interrupt is triggered, same with moving the mouse or pressing one if it’s buttons, a timer firing, etc. Another good example is reaching over to grab your coffee cup to take a drink and miscalculating the distance from your hand to the cup as well as the trajectory of your reach and the momentum generaged by moving your hand and having a river of coffee flood your desk and completely soak your chair. In other words, that just happened to me while modeling so I decided to take a break and check out Project Orange. Good luck guys and if you need anything let me know :)