Rocketfuel Self-Heating Black Coffee Review

This is utterly unscientific from about 4 to 52 angles so please stop reading if you’re inclined towards sanity.
Disgusting rat coffee
Now, for the rest of us: this is a review of “Rocketfuel (self-heating) Black Coffee (Hot Energy Strong Black Coffee Powered by Guarana)”, see image for visual appreciation and deep scientific understanding of the issue at hand. Ok, so here’s the, erowid.org-style, personal trip report from the encounter:

Dose: 1 (oral) Rocketfuel Black Coffee (wet)
Body weight: 69 kilo (152lb or 11 stone)

First, before I begin, despite what may be deducted from the intro and everything else, this ALL HAPPENED TO A FRIEND and it is only for ease of writing that I have adopted a first person perspective to re-tell the daring tale of despair.

15:47
I first spot the much feared yet also tantalizing substance flaunted on display at a local news agent in the area. After the initial doubt over the slightly hefty price of £1.45 my curiosity gets the best of me (its coffee.. it HEATS ITSELF!) and I commence to pay for the drug with my girlfriend’s (named “Y” for anonymity in the rest of this report) money as I’m as always low on cash.

15:56

After calming myself down (by walking out of the store and thinking about a watermelon and listening to an psychedelic ambient music album by Shpongle) I promptly read the simple yet tantalizing instructions on the side of the jar: 1) “Click the base (once)” 2) Shake for 40 seconds 3) Drink (after opening). Because I’m largely fearless, and mildly retarded, I proceeded to press the base nearly 10 times to make sure it was more than ordinarily pressed and…

15:57

… immediately after I was transferred to another reality zone of complete appreciation in regards to just how well the self heating cup functioned as a hand-warmer; this effect is so strong that it was also commented on by Y who was my sitter throughout the trip [Erowid Note: always use a sitter when trying out dangerous/novel substances].

15:58 (ingesting the substance)

This is f*cking mind-blowing, the coffee just heated itself (at least mildly) and now I’m drinking it… ARGH, the issue is that it taste as if someone is forcefully injecting roughly one imperial gallon (yes that is 4.54609188 liters) of sewer waste into my gullet. The shock causes a strong onset of hallucinations involving small pixies dancing with metal boots in my groin while laughing hysterically. This hallucination however rapidly fades and gives way to swirling visions of me kicking the manufacturer of this coffee in the groin and then finally disappears.

16:05 (the come-down)

I now strongly need a toothbrush and industrial strength hydrogen peroxide to clean my mouth from the vile taste. The lingering taste even as I’m writing this reminds me exactly what sort of price one should be willing to pay for buying pre-manufactured self-heating coffee crap. As I wipe tears from my eyes due to the emotional impact of this trip I cannot help but wonder whether this experience will make me think twice next time. I think I learned my lesson, crac.. coffee isn’t for me, self-heating or not.

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Overclocking Dell Vostro 220

Update (06-09-10): at least one report in the comments confirm stability of the hack when applied on the E7500 processor as well. Its almost one year down the road from the original hack and my E7400 is still running smoothly at 3500 MHz. I recently took the Dell apart again to fit a new Intel X25-M SSD 80 GB in it and was quite surprised at how absolutely clogged up the machine was with dust; biyearly hovering of PSU and CPU fans is definitely called for.

This particular hardware hack was performed using a modified edition of the so-called BSEL hack on the Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 processor that I got with the machine from Dell. Unfortunately only older guides for BSEL hacks seem to be floating about and most of them require use of conductive ink. Not so easy.

Basically after finding image on ocforums.com showing a 1066 MHz to 1333 MHz FSB hack performed by using tape I rejoiced; the worst thing that could possibly happen was a total Dell meltdown.

So I took the Vostro apart (they are by the way incredibly nicely build (and silent) machines) and put, I’m sorry but yes, ordinary-99-penny-postoffice-brown-tape over one of the pins on the bottom of the CPU. This tape was cut out to fit on a scientific scale by using a pair of kitchen scissors. See image.

Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 BSEL Overclock

Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 BSEL Overclock

Prime95 2hrs stress testing

Prime95 & Core Temp after 2hrs of stress testing

This worked when I put in back in the computer and actually allowed me to boot into Windows with a 3491.3 MHz (332.5 * 10.5) clock speed, so I decided to run a few benchmarks. First of all I did 2 hours of Prime95 stress testing (I know probably too little but the temp stabilized already after an hour so I’m not concerned) which worked flawlessly and only took the temp up to a max of 50c (measured with Core Temp) on one of the cores.

CPU-Z stats

CPU-Z stats

Then, seeing as the temperature was stable and so forth I found it prudent to put some actual evidence up to suggest that this is not total bullcr*p, tada, enter CPU-Z verified overclock, or seeing as you may find me trustworthy anywho simply have a closer look at the image on the left.

As a final little prod to make it clear that this is absolutely all in all brilliant I took an extended screenshot from PerformanceTest (nice benchmark software from PassMark; they have free 30 day trial out and that should do fine if all you want to do is ascertain the awesomeness of your overclocking adventure). In order to view the image full resolution you’ll have to click it a few times to get the fullscreen version and then make sure your browser isn’t scaling it to see the neato details. One more thing: “This Computer” represents the 3.50 GHz overclock and the other two are simply in there for you to see that not only is the CPU at this speed about 15-20% faster than stock speed but it also about 15% faster than the much more expensive Core 2 Duo E8400 (!)

CPU PerformanceTest 7.0 Benchmark

CPU PerformanceTest 7.0 Benchmark

What the above does not touch upon is the fact that the increased FSB (1066MHz to 1333MHz) has allowed everything from the (admittedly shitty) integrated graphics card to the RAM to run 10 to 15% faster. And it shows. Now.. about that solid state drive..

Clean Laptop Guide

Ok, so my laptop fan is running 24/7 and even seems to be getting slower – chances are that it is being auto-throttled because of dust accumulated in the CPU vent (and maybe, as you’ll see, because the copper heatsink is basically not properly attached!)

So there’s a huge amount of guides out there that are all very professional and neat. And long. And f*cking tedious. And also.. most of the time the exact manual that -you- (read: me!) need is simply not there to be found.

Fret not – help is here to be had!!

Because you see, I have a 100% un-authorized (seriously I take no responsibility what-so-ever if your precious machine craps out because of this guide) way of cleaning up your laptop and making it dust free (true).. and sparkling new (patently a lie). Also, if you follow the most crazy part of this guide the heatsink will end up being more tightly attached to the CPU, meaning better heat-transfer which again translates to a colder & quieter running laptop!

A) find a large unobstructed space (say your bed) and take the laptop completely apart by slowly and methodically taking out first the battery and then the harddrive and then ALL the screws you can find in it.

B) Check a couple of the guides above and then realize that you’ll need to gentle take off the keyboard. And then a lot more. Be sure to NOT be violent and GENTLY loosen the connectors from the keyboard/mousepad/powerbutton..etc. before you lift off the final bits leaving the motherboard exposed. The machine is naked now and you should seriously start thinking about having grabbed a water tap to make sure you grounded yourself before you started taking the machine apart.

C) Yes, it will look somewhat like this:

Notice that all the screws are laid out in a super organized pattern around the crime scene

Notice that all the screws are laid out in a super organized pattern around the crime scene

D) Notice that all of this dust crap is stuck in the copper CPU air vent, I got a hover and cleaned it out (be sure to see the fullres pic for the dusty un-goodness):

This crap needs to go - try and hover up a bare minimum of screws, chances are you'll need them

This crap needs to go - try and hover up a bare minimum of screws, chances are you'll need them

E) Yet the fun was just beginning since I then noticed that the copper heatsink seemed oddly loose on the CPU. Basic reason was that the heatsink was attached too loosely to begin with allowing it to wobble slightly from side to side over time causing all of the thermal paste to disappear from the actual CPU core. Crap. Look and see:

There should be thermal paste -in- that square, not around it.

There should be thermal paste -in- that square, not around it. This was alleviated by scoping some of the stuff back on an applying thinly with a knife's edge - do NOT use fingers, thermal paste is probably more or less unwell from a health perspective

D) Then things got really.. special. Basically I hated the fact that the heatsink was applied with the same force that some very vague specimens shake your hand: un-freaking-forcefully. So (..) I thought: “what will make the heatsink stick closer to the CPU”? And gladly answered myself: “A tea candle”. More specifically the aluminum from a tea candle that is (I know – not smart if the aluminum breaks off and short-circuits  your motherboard or a nano-mouse runs into your computer and builds a railgun with it). See following 3 pictures for instantaneous understanding of the situation and followingly prolific happiness.

These things will combine gracefully. They will.

These things will combine gracefully. They will.

This looks dodgy but in effect it is very close to high precision engineering done by Intel. All the time.

This looks dodgy but in effect it is very close to high precision engineering done by Intel. All the time.

The heatsink actually DOES fit a lot tighter. And by tighter, I mean better

The heatsink actually DOES fit a lot tighter. And by tighter, I mean better

So. The end of the story is that I then used my elephant memory to re-assemble the whole laptop and then wrote this “guide” with it. The happy side of the story is that it runs A LOT cooler now – I can once again do basic web work without having the fan run continually. Please do remember that laptops are somewhat valuable (largely depending on whether they are from this side of the closest historical millennium or not) before attempting taken one apart.

Whether it was mainly the removing of dust or the better contact between the heatsink and the CPU that did most of the job is hard to tell. My guesstimate is 60/40.

DIY Organic Apple Chutney Guide

Revision 3: errata; added mustard powder on the spice side of things, that should be all now!
Revision 2: errata; updated and adjusted, a) spices/onions/vinegar in text and in the check list. Also b) adjusted amount of used sugar down since I found that I actually only used 2/3 of what was originally, and wrongly, written. Finally c) the cooking time was wrong; I only cooked the chutney for 35m. Everything should be in due order now.

Organic apple chutney. It is a commodity for which you normally pay around 30kr (£3 or about $5) a glass in whatever expensive organic store you choose to adorn with your cash. Now this needn’t be so if you happen to live in a area where apple trees are abundant and are prepared to put in some energy to make some yourself – follow the picturesque guide here for extra incitement to go make your own jars of chutney! Before we start though; the obligatory check list of needed stuff so no-one starts crying halfway through the guide:

  1. 5 kilo of garden apples
  2. 400 gram of brown cane sugar
  3. 300 gram of organic raisins
  4. 500 gram of onions
  5. mustard powder (or regular mustard)
  6. 800 ml of organic vinegar
  7. 1 apple corer (device to remove the core from a apple)
  8. 150 gram of ginger root
  9. some pepper
  10. quite a bit of salt
  11. a big pot to cook the whole lot
  12. a stove (not to forget)
  13. and finally 2-3 hrs to spend on the project

The cost of this whole project will be on the cheapish side when compared to the amount of delicious apple chutney you’ll be left with (around 14 regular size chutney glasses for about 60kr (£6 or $10)). If one should decide to go completely bulk order on all the ingredients the final cost could of course be brought down further.

Procuring the apples

Fallen apples

Fallen apples

First of all we need to procure about 5 kilo’s worth of apples, I simply used a mass amount that have fallen off the trees in my family’s garden (tip: have a family with a lot of apple trees in their garden, it makes things easier by far). It is October and quite cold here in Denmark so the apples are mostly fine. Those apples that are not completely ok, i.e. bruised or worm eaten, can still be used with a little extra cleaning. By using these apples that would normally be thrown out, I upped the amount of apples I had access to tremendously – since not many people are engaged in traditional food making any longer many a neighbor will be happy to have you ‘clean up’ the fallen apples.

Cleaning the apples

When you have collected the apples and washed them thoroughly the cleaning process can commence.

Apple corer

Apple corer

And. Here comes the one caveat of this guide; you need a tool like the one you see on the left; it is what is knows as a apple corer, a classic contraption invented to allow exceptionally easy removal of the apple core while leaving a maximum amount of actual apple behind!

Apples

Apples

Of course you can use a knife instead but it will be tedious hard work and you’ll have to be quite skilled to be left with the same bulk amount of apple for the chutney boiling.

So after a lot of cleaning (and meditation upon a wide array of differing subjects in life..) I was left with quite a nice amount of apples. Then almost all (being optimistic here) there is left to do is…

Cutting and cooking the apples

Now, honestly, this chapter should almost have been named “Spicing and cooking the apples” because, yes, the spices are important (and, if you count the onions and raisins in as spices they take up about 20% of the bulk volume!).

Cutting apples

Cutting apples

First of all, I acquired a suitably large knife and cut the apples to pieces, not too small, because then they’ll all end up as mush with no texture and not too large cause then they’ll take up too much volume in the pot you use. Check the image on the left (I was left with -just- enough space in the pot so a bit finer cutting is probably in order).

Then, secondarily I cut up about a half a kilo of onions for the remaining 4 kilo of apples (I weighed my apples at the end of the cleaning process; initially had 5 kilo and was left with exactly 3.7 kilo to work with after cleaning).

Then I put the whole lot on the stove and after adding 800ml of vinegar I brought the whole thing to a boil and then turned heat down to left it simmer/boil happily away for 20m while stirred with 10m intervals.

After the first 20m I added 300 grams of organic raisins and 400 grams of brown cane sugar to help sweeten and preserve the chutney, on the spices side I grated 2 whole nutmeg nuts and added 2 teaspoonfuls of mustard powder, 1 teaspoonful of pepper and 2 tablespoonfuls of salt and boiled/stirred the stuff for another 15m.

Final spices and bottling the apples chutney

Now everything was suitably chutney-like in the big pot that had 35m on the stove. Before I bottled the the material in the glasses I added 150 grams of finely chopped ginger root which was gingerly stirred in with the boiling mass before the stove was finally turned off.

Jars

Apple chutney jars

Finally the chutney was, still very near boiling temp (to help better preserve through the natural vacuum created when cooling down), added to a lineup of jars. As you can see I was lucky to have about 7 biggish jars but if you only have small jars you should probably count on having double that amount. Hurray, done! Be sure to leave a comment or two in case you decide to try this; new/tweaked recipes and ideas are welcome. Also.. commercial chutney recipes often contain 50% or more pure sugar.. this home made variety taste rather wonderful and only contains:

(0.4 ÷ 4.7) × 100 = 8,51% of sugar

…and that is not even taking into account how healthy the apples in and by themselves are. It would be interesting to experiment with taking the sugar level further down or perhaps adding cinnamon to slow the carbohydrate uptake (actually the ginger already does this and a load of other good stuff to your body). Also the overall boil time could probably be shortened to preserve a larger amount of antioxidants. Enjoy the chutney.