Of bats, boobs and speech ballons

Vampirella, Batman and Scott Pilgrim – these are, if you want to call it that way, my main inspirational and influencing adultwise comic characters in my life. Vampirella mainly because of her bloodlust and her giant hooters. She’s also the character I follow for the longest time period. As far as I remember did it start back in 1995, the year I’ve discovered this new comic book store in my town.

Batman followed years later in an act of piracy I’ve to admit. I read the Batman comics in a pirated PDF version that I’ve got from a friend of mine. I also have to mention that I tried to read Batman comics back in the days, like 1992 or so, but I was more into Disney, Spanish/Belgian comics and the Marvell stuff, like Spiderman and Fantastic Four. DC Comics weren’t that popular these days. Well, in my environment.

The young upcoming new talent is Scott Pilgrim. Since the release of the movie I’m such a big fan of the movie and also the comic books (the movie mainly because of this ultra hot actress that plays Ramona Flowers). The whole merge of arcade style, nerdism, rock’n’roll and semi-super-hero attitudes make the Scott Pilgrim comic books very, very special. Whoever thinks the movie was ingenious, go read the comic books!

Comics Girl - Karola .4.

You might want to ask, ‘Why the hell is he writing all these things?

Well, mainly because I just don’t wanted to bore you again with another upgrade story about my media centre and secondly, because I’m back into comics. Actually, nothing else that is very special and worth mentioning happened these days, so I write about this. I’ve recently revisited a lot of Batman comics from the ‘piracy days’ (but now in real, bought book form) and it captured me more than ever.

Back in the days I got dead bored by Marvell comics with all their super fancy heroes and villains. The stories had not enough logical input and made a lot of use of the deus ex machina. DC Comics are different because DC keeps an eye on the main plot and sticks more to the investigation driven stories rather than stupid beatings and fightings. Without a doubt, X-Men and Wolverine are cool, Spiderman is great and even the Fantastic Four, but at one certain point, they started to cause a lot of boredom. Whenever the main hero is in a situation with no way out, he inflicts to a new special ability that finally rescues him/her, the story and the happy end. No longer my cup of tea.

Vampirella is completely different. The only thing that counts here is ‘Sex sells!’ and that’s it. The early Vampirella stories were bad, without a doubt, but after a while the whole series turns out to be something special. A lot of phantasm is included in the tales of Vampirella, but due to it’s connection to this Dracula and Transylvania myth it gets logical (in some kind of way). It’s hard to describe here. The Vampirella fan base is a small one, but very dedicated and the stories and the whole setting is definitely a matter of taste. You should give it a try if you don’t feel offended by erotic in combination with morbidity.

I’ve tried to read some Japanese comic franchises, but they weren’t very satisfying and I prefer Japanese comic artwork in form of a TV show or a movie and not in a book. While reading I set up the dialogues in a very stereotype Japanese style that simply does not work out so good though.

Another plan of mine, one – ONE day I’ll go down to my cellar and retrieve my old MAD magazines. Those were the ones I liked the most when I was young and still wearing eggshells behind my ears. Until then I stick with Mr Bruce Wayne and sidekicks, Vampirella and her ultra sex appeal and the nerdy Scott Pilgrim. Besides these I also got those classics like ‘The Watchmen’ and ‘From Hell’ in queue. I seriously need a 36 hours day.

Current changes

A few weeks ago I started upgrading and changing several things on my media centre PC. Most importantly, I’ve exchanged the mainboard and the RAM. Another component that’s changed was the graphics card. I switched from a common GeForce GTX 560ti to a GeForce GTX 560ti 448.

The “old” graphics card was a SuperClocked version by EVGA, which had a lot of power but the EVGA Classified Edition of the GeForce 560ti 448 was too intriguing to be resisted to. The EVGA CE uses six power phases and is more a 570 than a 560. The big issue with the 570 is the lack power phases – four instead of five. One of my previous 570 cards died due to this fact during an overclocking session and a slight voltage increase.

I also exchanged the chassis, which looks much more elegant than the old chassis I’ve used and is a little quieter. The only noisy thing that is currently inside is the graphics card, but the cooling components will be exchanged in the very nearby future.

The CPU that was once working in my work PC wandered into the media centre giving me much more core horse power. The CPU is now overclocked but does not cause too much heat, thanks to a stock voltage.

After setting up the system and installing all the things I actually need (tons of games and XBMC) I’m very satisfied with the final result. Everything feels much smoother and the overall gamin performance has increased a lot. The only thing that bothers me currently is the noise level of the system during gaming sessions. But like I said, this is going to be solved.

The reason why I actually did those changes to the system was mainly the new Batman video game. And my plan worked perfectly well. The game’s now finished and I did not notice any weird performance issues, except the rumble with the Joker and his henchmen and the Catwoman fight in the strong room. Those were more PhysX related and my dedicated 9800GT had a little struggle with these fights.

Whatever the case, I’ve finally got a “debugged” system where everything finally works, which was not the case on the old system. For instance, ‘L.A. Noire’ did not even start. XBMC is working smoothly and I had no issues with exporting and importing the media library data.

Of RipJaws and Eden

Previously, I’ve told you guys about my GeForce upgrade on my media centre. The performance boost was, well, kind of okay, but at last I felt it was time for an overall upgrade on the system. I’ ve got this AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition in my PC that I usually use for some work on photos and on the other hand it’s simply a machine I use to manage my mails, websites and these kind of things.

It finally turns out that the processor plugged into this machine gets a little bored so I’ll do an exchange and my AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition moves from my media centre to this working machine. Both system still run on the AMD 7xx chipset and the media centre will now get the upgrade to the AMD 990FX chipset in form of an Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 board.

I’ll put 16GB DDR3 12800 G.Skill RipJaw modules on this system, so that I finally do not have to suffer on a memory bottleneck. I personally think that this is a good foundation for my EVGA GeForce GTX 560ti 448 Cores Classified. I was able to get a performance increase on games like “Batman Arkham City” but the overall system performance became pretty bad during the last year and a half so it’s time to make an upgrade and most importantly get a fresh and new installment of Windows 7.


I’ve exchanged graphics and sound card drivers a lot in the past and I also had to struggle with several hardware and software issues that also caused new bugs, if you know what I’m saying.

Anyhow, I don’t expect a performance boost of 200 per cent but I’m certain that the overall system performance and feel of smoothness will increase and a lot of crashes and bugs will get fixed with this new setup.

In preparation for this did I also give the new XBMC version (called “Eden”) a try, which is currently out as a beta release. I was a little disappointed. I did a fresh installment and imported my old library to get everything as clean as I could. The movie library did not work as expected. I was missing movie posters. I wasn’t able to get movie information. The new skin itself is not a thing I’m going to be friend with because all the items are drawn much smaller and it looks like as if there’s something missing on the GUI.

I also tried several video add-ons and most of them did not work properly as well. To summarize, this is still a beta version and it does not represent the final product, but I will wait for a long time until I’ll finally do the update from “Dharma” to “Eden”. I’m fine and comfortable with my current media centre software. So why changing a good and running system?

I hope I can get everything done within the next 5-7 days and I’ll keep you informed.

The Upper-Classified

You may remember a post I published by the beginning of December where I stated that totally, totally, totally want the EVGA GeForce 560ti 448 Cores Classified. It finally happened. The card has been shipped and will probably be here with in like one or two days.

I’m totally excited about the abilities of the card. Things like temperature, stability and most importantly overclocking capabilities. I remember the EVGA GeForce 570 DS HD with a pretty similar cooling design, but this one was a pure noise terror. Those very, very few reviews that do exist about the  EVGA GeForce 560ti 448 Cores Classified say, that the noise level is pretty low actually and the temperatures are moderate, too.

This is exactly what I need for my media centre. Silence and undisputed, raw GPU power. To be honest, I buy this graphics card just to be able to play Batman Arkham City on almost maximum details fluently. Yes, there you got him, video game  freak buying hardware for just one game.

Whatever the case, Mrs EVGA GeForce 560ti 448 Cores Classified is on her way to Mr Hardware Freak and as soon as this romance gets hot and wet I’ll leave some details right here in this blog.

(By far the worst final sentence I’ve written here 😀 )

The Good, The Bad, The Disappointed

Everything started very promising this year. It started with the frightening and totally awesome “Dead Space 2”, a game that absolutely gives you creeps shouldn’t be played alone in the dark. Well, actually, you MUST play this game alone in the dark, but beware. You may find some embarrassing surprises in your underpants.

After this fright odyssey the year continued with the manliest shooter I’ve played since a long time ago. BULLETSTORM. Yeah, this was just great. Stereotype conversations and one liners and just great action. Explosions. And guns. And explosions. And guns. And destruction. “Bulletstorm” wasn’t by far a brain cracker but it was some great entertainment, worth to be played a again.

“Portal 2” came out and it could exceed my high (extremely HIGH) expectations. It was a short game and till today I haven’t managed to play this awesome game in co-op mode but it was worth every minute. The whole level design, the story, the humor, everything fit. And I was totally surprised what Valve managed to make with the almost nine years old Source engine. “Portal 2” wasn’t looking like a game from the past, it can compete with every other title these days.

Speaking of graphics, “Crysis 2” came out right at the beginning of 2011 and what I did, I denied playing. I said, I only play “Crysis 2” when I have the ability to play it on DX11. Crytek put out a patch with DX11 support and hi-res textures in mid-summer 2011 and I found absolution. My game rig started to sweat by lifting the heavy weight graphics of “Crysis 2”, but hey, there’s a reason why I invest lots of bucks in a high end system and why I’m a passionate PC gamer. Despite all these graphics, “Crysis 2” is a good game, but for me personally, I still prefer its predecessor. Open world and free decisions, you know?

Some great indie games also hit the shelves. One that I totally adored and where I just couldn’t stop playing was “Limbo”. Took me like two or three sessions and I was at the end, or the beginning again. Whatever. “Beat Hazard” was another title that kept me playing for a long time. A download only title called “From Dust” was able to entertain me for several days and nights as well. But what happened next was a series of disappointments.

alice is a bad girl.

It started with the long awaited “Dead Island”, which had more bugs than features. Seriously, the game was almost not playable during the first days and needed lots and lots of patches. My 7.1 noise sound bug hasn’t been fixed till now. It continued with “Rage”, the first id title that, well, I don’t know how to say it. I miss something. It’s not the kind of id game that I actually expected.

My personal heart’s desire “Alice: Madness Returns” will be discussed later in another blog entry.

“Deus Ex: Human Revolution” was a game that is basically good, but it offers lots of moments of frustration as well. I guess, this is the kind of game that you love or hate. At the moment, I’m somewhere in between.

Biggest fail and disappointment of 2011 is definitely “Duke Nukem Forever”. They just should’ve canceled the game or buried it somewhere really, really deep. This shooter is not old school, it’s just ridiculously old-fashioned. I mean, what the f#+k? Seriously? Why? I got the “Balls of Steel Edition” and you totally need balls of steel and also nerves of steel to compete with this terrible game.

I was so happy, that “Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition” made everything right. There’s light, at the end of the tunnel.

But when I take a look on titles like “Battlefield 3” with its evil companion called Origin or the blurry texture fest called “Skyrim” I see black for the end of the game year 2011. My last hope lies on “Batman Arkham City”

Happy, lazy days

It’s been quite a while since my last post and the reason for this is simple, I’m on my free and enormous lazy days. Actually, I had several of what to on days like these but I finally decided to do whatever comes up on my mind. I have to admit, once you’re into this vicious circle of laziness you probably don’t have much you actually want to do. I prefer waking up late, watching some stuff on my HTPC, play some games I always wanted to complete and so on.

This week is a little different because I suffer from some things broken. Most importantly, the hard drive storing all my TV stuff on my HTPC alerted me with a SMART error. The drive is still functional in some kind of way but it will completely break down in the very nigh future. As far as I found out does this drive have some spinning problems and several bad sectors appeared during the last couple of days. Till now I’m able to do the backup, which takes some time, approximately around 32 hours due to the spinning problems. Normally this drive runs around 60MB/s but currently it gains around 8 – 24MB/s on average. Anyhow, I’m able to backup and the exchange drive is already on it’s way.

clock ball

Another weird thing happened the day before, my office chair broke. By leaning back I totally fell backwards because the top of the vertical axis ripped off the attachment beyond the seat. I cannot deny that I have a massive overweight right now and that this was predictable, but it’s pissing me off because it finally happened during my lazy days where I use to sit a LOT on this particular chair. Whatsoever, I’ll replace this broken chair as soon as possible.

I’ve finally made to finish a lot of games that I always wanted to have completed. “Limbo” got released on Steam I completed it. A fine noir-esque indie title that totally deserves a try. Another game on my list was the awesome “Batman Arkham Asylum”. I completed the main plot and now I only have got some Riddler trophies left to gain the 100 per cent. Besides this I revisited Liberty City in “GTA IV” and I would say I am at 90 per cent of the main plot, almost finished per say. Most importantly “Mirror’s Edge” gained back my attention and I’m already in chapter 7. It’s a pretty tough and sometimes frustrating game but it’s still a very awesome game. The whole graphic style is unique and beautiful and the parcour gameplay is just great.

Besides these games I started playing the new Alice game “Alice: Madness Returns” which a little disappointing under some circumstances but on the other hand pretty intriguing. The levels are a pleasure to look at but at the end of the day you’re always doing the same and it’s pretty linear. It feels pretty much like jumping section, fighting section, jumping section, fighting section and so on. Anyhow, I guess I’m going to complete this game, too though.

I wanted to do some sports during my free time, but I actually haven’t found the will to do so. Maybe, within the next, let us say, in the nigh future.