Previews January 2013

Btvs Season 9 Freefall #19 Noto Cvr (p. 50 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Angel & Faith #20 Steve Morris Cvr (p. 52 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Willow Wonderland #5 (of 5) Mack Cvr (p. 53 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #5 (p. 171 – SRP: $3.99)     Idw Publishing
Saga #11 (MR) (p. 225 – SRP: $2.99)     Image Comics
X-Factor #253 (p. 69 – SRP: $2.99)     Marvel Comics

Previews December 2012

Angel & Faith #19 Steve Morris Cvr (p. 52 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Btvs Season 9 Freefall #18 Jeanty Var Cvr (p. 54 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Willow Wonderland #4 (of 5) Mack Cvr (p. 55 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Before Watchmen Dollar Bill #1 (MR) (p. 76 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Dr Manhattan #4 (of 4) (MR) (p. 77 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Rorschach #4 (of 4) (MR) (p. 78 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Comedian #6 (of 6) (MR) (p. 79 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Ozymandias #6 (of 6) (MR) (p. 80 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #4 (p. 153 – SRP: $3.99)     Idw Publishing
Saga #10 (MR) (p. 215 – SRP: $2.99)     Image Comics
X-Factor #251 (p. 81 – SRP: $2.99)     Marvel Comics
X-Factor #252 (p. 81 – SRP: $2.99)     Marvel Comics

Chocolate Chip Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

226g butter
170g cream cheese
1 tsp salt
400g sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
270g flour
180g chocolate chips
16 finely crushed oreos

Heat oven to 190C.

Beat the butter, cream cheese and salt until smooth.

Gradually add sugar while beating.

Add vanilla extract and flour while beating.

Add chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough into balls of 2-3cm. Dip the balls in crushed oreos.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Original recipe

Previews November 2012

Btvs Season 9 Freefall #17 Jeanty Var Cvr (p. 58 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Angel & Faith #18 Rebekah Isaacs Var Cvr (p. 60 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Willow Wonderland #3 (of 5) Lara Var Cvr (p. 61 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Before Watchmen Comedian #5 (of 6) (RES) (MR) (p. 76 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Ozymandias #5 (of 6) (MR) (p. 77 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Minutemen #6 (of 6) (MR) (p. 78 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #3 (p. 159 – SRP: $3.99)     Idw Publishing
Saga #9 (MR) (p. 214 – SRP: $2.99)     Image Comics
X-Factor #250 (p. 81 – SRP: $2.99)     Marvel Comics

Previews October 2012

Btvs Season 9 Freefall #16 Noto Cvr (p. 40 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Angel & Faith #17 Steve Morris Cvr (p. 41 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Spike #5 (of 5) Frison Cvr (p. 42 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Willow Wonderland #2 (of 5) Mack Cvr (p. 43 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Before Watchmen Minutemen #5 (of 6) (MR) (p. 74 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Comedian #5 (of 6) (MR) (p. 75 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Nite Owl #4 (of 4) (RES) (MR) (p. 77 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #2 (p. 155 – SRP: $3.99)     Idw Publishing
Saga #8 (MR) (p. 216 – SRP: $2.99)     Image Comics
X-Factor #248 (p. 75 – SRP: $2.99)     Marvel Comics
X-Factor #249 (p. 75 – SRP: $2.99)     Marvel Comics

Previews September 2012

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Willow Wonderland #1 (of 5) Mack Cvr (p. 38 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Btvs Season 9 Freefall #15 Noto Cvr (p. 40 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Spike #4 (of 5) Frison Cvr (p. 41 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Angel & Faith #16 Steve Morris Cvr (p. 42 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Before Watchmen Nite Owl #4 (of 4) (MR) (p. 72 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Ozymandias #4 (of 6) (MR) (p. 73 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Rorschach #3 (of 4) (MR) (p. 74 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Dr Manhattan #3 (of 4) (MR) (p. 75 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #1 (p. 154 – SRP: $3.99)     Idw Publishing
Saga #7 (MR) (p. 218 – SRP: $2.99)     Image Comics
X-Factor #246 (p. 78 – SRP: $2.99)     Marvel Comics
X-Factor #247 (p. 78 – SRP: $2.99)     Marvel Comics

And yes, the My Little Pony comic is for my daughter (honestly…).

Previews August 2012

Btvs Season 9 Freefall #14 Noto Cvr (p. 54 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Angel & Faith #15 Steve Morris Cvr (p. 56 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Spike #3 (of 5) Frison Cvr (p. 57 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Before Watchmen Rorschach #2 (of 4) (MR) (p. 76 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Dr Manhattan #2 (of 4) (MR) (p. 77 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Minutemen #4 (of 6) (MR) (p. 78 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Silk Spectre #4 (of 4) (MR) (p. 79 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Comedian #4 (of 6) (MR) (p. 80 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
X-Factor #245 (p. 58 – SRP: $2.99)     Marvel Comics

Laptop: Vacuumed and updated BIOS

My laptop has been behaving poorly when it came to CPU speed management (it limited the maximum CPU speed to 800Hz for extended periods of time), so I updated the BIOS and gave it a good vacuuming to make sure dust wasn’t clogging up the fans and making the machine overly hot.

I ran a test consisting of indexing a stack of MPEG files using avidemux and playing a string of Flash videos from collegehumor.com – that usually brings the laptop to its knees. It is also very unscientific but I think it does the trick anyway.

To log some relevant information I made the following small script

#!/bin/bash

while true; do
    TEMP=`cat /sys/bus/acpi/devices/LNXTHERM\:00/thermal_zone/temp`;
    BIOSLIMIT=`cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/bios_limit`;
    LOADAVG=`cat /proc/loadavg | awk '{ print $1 }'`
    CURRFREQ=`cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_cur_freq`

    echo $TEMP,$BIOSLIMIT,$LOADAVG,$CURRFREQ;
    sleep 5;
done;

This takes the current machine temperature, the maximum CPU speed the BIOS will allow, the load average and the current CPU frequency and outputs that every 5 seconds.

I ran that script before the vacuuming/BIOS update with the laptop lid open, and twice after (with the laptop lid closed and open).

Here are some graphs. There hasn’t been an enormous change in temperature so I am inclined to think that the BIOS update is the prime cause for the ability to now go to full throttle all the time.

Upgrading the BIOS on a Dell laptop using Fedora 17

A warning: I don’t know what I am doing and this may brick your laptop. So proceed at your own risk.

I noticed that my Dell E4300 was behaving a bit strangely when it came to managing the speed of the CPU. Sometimes it would limit it to 800Hz for an extended period of time and obviously that made it kind of a pain to use. So I thought that maybe the issue had been fixed in a BIOS update (there have been 11 BIOS updates since the one I have on the laptop now) and here’s how I installed it using Fedora 17.

First we need the Dell firmware tools

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo yum install firmware-addon-dell

Then we need to figure out what BIOS version we are running

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo inventory_firmware
Wait while we inventory system:
 System inventory:
 System BIOS for Latitude E4300 = A13

Then go to Dell’s “Drivers & Downloads” page and look for updates for E4300 BIOS. I found A24 and downloaded the E4300A24.exe file.

Now to run that .exe file and extract the BIOS update we need to install wine:

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo yum install wine
[maxx@siamese ~]$ wine E4300A24.EXE  -writehdrfile

This should give you with a file called E4300A24.hdr.

Update the BIOS:

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo dellBiosUpdate -u -f E4300A24.hdr

And finally reboot. Upon booting the machine you should see a message about updating the BIOS.

When you are back at a shell check that the BIOS version is right:

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo inventory_firmware
Wait while we inventory system:
 System inventory:
 System BIOS for Latitude E4300 = A24

And that’s it.

Previews July 2012

Dark Horse Axe Cop Mini Comic Bundle 2012 (C: 0-1-0) (p. 28 – SRP: $4.99)     Halloween Mini Bundles
Angel & Faith #14 Rebekah Isaacs Var Cvr (p. 54 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Btvs Season 9 Freefall #13 Jeanty Var Cvr (p. 56 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Spike #2 (of 5) Morris Var Cvr (p. 57 – SRP: $2.99)     Dark Horse
Before Watchmen Silk Spectre #3 (of 4) (MR) (p. 78 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Comedian #3 (of 6) (MR) (p. 79 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Nite Owl #3 (of 4) (MR) (p. 80 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
Before Watchmen Ozymandias #3 (of 6) (MR) (p. 81 – SRP: $3.99)     Before Watchmen
X-Factor #243 (p. 52 – SRP: $2.99)     Marvel Comics
X-Factor #244 (p. 52 – SRP: $2.99)     Marvel Comics

Lots of Before Watchmen and some Axe Cop mini comics!