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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Ridiculous rave reviews for “Incredible Hercules” #136

“Incredible Hercules” #136, written by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente with pencils by Reilly Brown, has garnered a slew of rave reviews. Just a few excerpts:
Paradox Comics Group:

Here [Pak and Van Lente] display that knowledge perfectly with an outstanding and gut-bustingly funny fight which employs a manner of playground tactics to get the guffaws a-bellowing from your lungs while dissecting just what makes Herc the legend that he is. Reilly Brown’s talent as an artist really ups the comedic edge and the range of facial expressions that he can produce is particularly noteworthy. Great work from everyone involved.

Chris’s Invincible Super Blog:

I’m just going to put this out there: Incredible Herc is the single best comic on the stands today.

Weekly Comic Book Review:

The battle royal between Herc and Thor is as much a raucous comedy as it is an epic, glorious brawl, and you’ll find it hard not to chuckle as each champion resorts to a string of dirty tricks to best the other. The best part is that you can still pick up this issue without having read the previous ones and still follow along just fine, and in my opinion that is one of the hallmarks of some great storytelling. I would of course be remiss if I didn’t compliment Brown and the art team for brilliant rendering this tale of balderdash and bravura, as their efforts made every page a pleasure to take in and enjoy.

Newsarama:

Best sound effects in human history. I will not do them the disservice of reprinting them in text. Rest assured that this is wholly and completely true.

Comics Should BE Good:

What a wonderful comic. Come on – a purple nurple!!!!! Who doesn’t love that?

The Buy Pile:

Why did this work better than your average fight comic? Well, first of all is the very, very slick characterization and plot work done around the newly prepubescent Zeus, who gets quite a nice turn at the end. Second is the sly humor of it all, from some “down and dirty” fight moves to the beer-swilling mutterings of Hogun and Volstagg to some of the funniest onomatopoeia ever used in sound effects (“WHATAMANNNN,” “SUKKKAPUNCH,” “NURP” and “GODDATHUNDAAA”). Great stuff from Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente on story and the art team of Reilly Brown, Nelson DeCastro, Guillem Mari, Ulises Areola and Sotocolor’s A. Street.

ComicCritique.com loves “Incredible Hulk” #601

Adam McGovern has posted a rave review of writer Greg Pak’s return to the “Incredible Hulk” title. An excerpt:

As for the personality of Banner, it befits his Hulk incarnation’s role as the ultimate military adversary (all those decades of flattened tanks) that in his new mortal persona he’s like a super-Daniel Ellsberg, thwarting the government with superior technical brainpower and the too-much he knows. He manipulates the system to advance a tense truce with Skaar, another once-removed consequence of what Banner unleashed with his weapons-design years ago, in an alliance between raging youth and regretful maturity that has a purpose of strangely tender self-destruction whose secret I’ll leave to readers of the book, which should be everyone.

Click here to read the whole thing.

Previews of “Incredible Hulk” #603 and “Dark Reign: The List: Hulk”!

Comic Book Resources has posted colored, lettered previews of two Greg Pak comic books that hit stores on October 21 — “Incredible Hulk” #603 and “Dark Reign: The List – Hulk. Check ’em out!

Replacing the internal battery on a Macbook Air

Another hyper-technical FilmHelp article by Greg Pak
I recently replaced the battery on a first generation Macbook Air (1.8 GHz). The Macbook Air battery isn’t considered “user replaceable” by Apple — it’s locked inside the enclosure, held in place by nine screws. Apple charges $129 to replace the battery. But I wasn’t thrilled about wiping the drive (for security reasons) and giving up the computer to be serviced. Instead, I bought a new replacement battery for $70 on ebay and followed the incredibly helpful instructions at ifixit.com to open the case with a tiny Phillips head screwdriver and replace the battery.
I started the project with some trepidation because I’d generally seen laptop batteries peter out bit by bit — I’d never had a battery suddenly cease to hold a charge the way this one died. So I had my fingers crossed that this wasn’t part of a bigger problem involving the logic board. But since the computer works perfectly post-op, it’s pretty clear I just had a dud battery.
Since I couldn’t find an exact description of the symptoms I was seeing online, I’m posting what I experienced in hopes that it helps others.
Symptoms:

  1. The battery suddenly stopped charging. The computer would work as long as it was plugged in, but the LED on the magsafe charger would stay green rather than turn to the amber charging color and the battery monitor would report that the battery was empty and wasn’t charging. This might have been shortly after the battery was totally drained. The battery had 227 cycles on it. I followed the instructions at Apple.com to reset the SMC. And I reset PRAM for good measure. Neither procedure helped.
  2. In OS 10.5.8, under the “Power” tab in the system profiler, the battery showed up but was tagged with “Check Battery.” When I restarted using a Snow Leopard (OS 10.6.1) installation on an external USB drive, the battery icon in the menu gave the message “Replace Battery.”
  3. If the power cable was disconnected after shutting down, upon restart, the computer would give me an alert that time and date were incorrect. On other computers, that would be an indication that the internal PRAM battery was dead. But now that I have a working battery in the laptop, there’s no problem with losing date and time settings. I’m deducing that the Macbook Air has no internal PRAM battery — so if the laptop battery is totally drained, the settings that the PRAM battery would normally maintain are lost.

  4. Several times after the computer died because the the AC adapter was unplugged, it made a long “bong” sound upon restart. Not the normal startup chime, but a long, more alarm-like bong. That’s generally a sound associated with memory failure. But the computer started up normally after making the bong and the System Profile showed all memory intact. I ran the Apple Hardware Test, which also showed no problems with the memory.

Solution:
Replacing the battery fixed everything.
Conclusions:

  1. A completely dead battery in a Macbook Air apparently causes Date & Time settings to be lost — presumably because the computer has no separate PRAM battery.
  2. A Macbook Air battery might indeed just conk out suddenly rather than gradually lose its ability to recharge over time.
  3. Still no idea where that long “bong” sound came from.

Snow Leopard doesn’t allow writing to Zip disk

Another hyper-technical FilmHelp computer post from Greg Pak
While undertaking the mind-blowingly nerdy task of updating a 1995-era PowerBook 190 from OS 7.5.2 to 7.5.3, I discovered that my Mac Pro (running OS 10.6.1) would read a Zip disk in an external USB Zip drive — but it would not write new data to that same disk.
After doing some poking around, I found this helpful post that explained that Snow Leopard has disabled the ability to write to HFS-formatted disks — which was the standard when this Powerbook was produced.
In practical terms, that means to get files from my Mac Pro onto the PowerBook 190, I had to transfer them to a G4 desktop via a USB drive. Then I transferred them from the G4 to a Zip disk. And then transfer from the Zip disk to the Powerbook 190. Whew!

2009.10.03 – “All Amateur Ecstasy” and “Mouse” in DC

Greg Pak’s short films “All Amateur Ecstasy” and “Mouse” screen today in the “Best of the Shorts” retrospective programs at the DC APA Film Festival.
“All Amateur Ecstasy” will be screening at:
U.S. Navy Memorial Theater
701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 2:00 pm
“Mouse” will be screening at:
U.S. Navy Memorial Theater
701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 4:00 pm

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