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well, i've just reinstalled slackware and i selected eastern for my timezone, but for some reason the date and time are way off. how can i fix this? apparently this is controlled by some kind of hardware clock? so is that like a clock thats part of my mobo or what?
You can set the clock by going into setup mode on boot (assuming this is a PC). Most systems will prompt you to hit F2 or Del during boot to get to that mode. Just be careful not to muck with anything else.
In any event I believe the date command will set the system clock so you shouldn't need to do that.
I've fixed that problem in varous ways. the date command works sometimes, but I have had it (at least in FC3) be a timezone problem, where the clock apparently has 2 different time zone settings. one of which is configured somewhere relitivly odvious. but the one that causes me problems is I guess a filter for quick checking. if I right click on the clock there is a option for "show timezone" which has 7 different places in the world, and local time. sometimes when my clock is hours off one of the places in the world where I am not has been selected. so you might want to check that.
The normal thing is to have your hardware clock set to UTC time (basically London time with no daylight saving correction). Your local timezone setting converts this as needed, hiding the UTC time from the user. Systems on UTC can use the NTP protocol to synchronise their hardware clocks regardless of location and local daylight saving.
It is also possible to have the hardware clock set to local time. On slackware I think this is determined by the file /etc/hardwareclock. I'm guessing this does some contortions to present the time correctly, but I don't know if it can deal with daylight saving or NTP servers.
A standard mistake is to have the system configured for UTC with the hardware clock on local time.
well, my bios setup doesnt seem to have any clock settings, temperature readings, etc. for some reason, but since i can access them with date, acpi, etc. i'm fine. they kinda ripped me on the bios(phoenix) tho. my sister has a dell inspirion and her bios has like diagrams showing temperature, battery power, the works