A lot of reinventing the wheel going on here... This is all built into the acpi thermal module. very analogous to windows, like a lot of lower level concepts..
$ modinfo thermal
description: ACPI Thermal Zone Driver
author: Paul Diefenbaugh
vermagic: 2.6.24-19-generic SMP mod_unload 586
parm: act:Disable or override all lowest active trip points. (int)
parm: crt:Disable or lower all critical trip points. (int)
parm: tzp:Thermal zone polling frequency, in 1/10 seconds. (int)
parm: nocrt:Set to take no action upon ACPI thermal zone critical trips points. (int)
parm: off:Set to disable ACPI thermal support. (int)
parm: psv:Disable or override all passive trip points. (int)
you simply need to pass different parameters to the module as appropriate. in gentoo it's /etc/conf.d/modules .. ubuntu etc may differ, consult your distro for how to pass parameters to a module.
on a related note, a few months ago when i swapped my pump and res out, I had the molex connector for the pump not fully connected and a bit loose. whoops. (i hate those damn plastic things!!)... anyway the pump was working fine for a while, until the connector eventually popped off and killed the pump without my knowledge. I continued using the machine, all of a sudden it shut off, bios said 'temperature error'. The shutdown was set to 100C.. very hot. the tubing, everything was HOT to the touch. ouch. had to let it cool down for a while, luckily i didn't permanently fry anything. So yes it's a good idea to set that and test that it's working!! i worry about the same thing still.Edited by lloyd mcclendon - 10/17/11 at 9:24am