Elite Dangerous Useful Tips

Elite Dangerous is a massively multiplayer online role play game with a huge amount of space and wide-open gameplay with a few key areas for players to interact with. These are some links I have found to be particularly useful in the game.

The Road to Riches – Easy money from exploration of Earth Like Worlds, Water Worlds, and so on. By taking your ship out to these worlds and scanning them you will earn anything from 2 million to 6 million an hour.

Make sure not to explode, though, as you’ll only get your reward once getting back to a station and selling your data on the Stella Cartography section of Station Services.

https://www.edsm.net/ has several useful tools but I like this mainly because it shows an out of game log of what you’ve done, your credits, your ships, and a bunch of stats which can be shared with friends. You’ll need to use a tool to read your player logs and send them to the site, I use Elite Dangerous: Market Connector.

http://elitedangerous.hozbase.co.uk/ is useful for finding specific things like black holes to go sight-seeing.

Building your ship is the most expensive, and fun, thing you can do in the game made much easier with the excellent Coriolis tool. You can use this to see how much money you need to buy certain ships, use its links to find stations to buy the modules from, see how effective it’ll be at combat, and even plan out module engineering.

Travian – Worth Playing?

No! Not unless you can get in at the start of a game round. In the village-building and conquest game you control a ‘hero’ character who can go on adventures and build up local resource gathering so you can progress to better structures, defences, unites, and even grow your own guild.

You begin with newbie protection from other “players” (usually just scripted bots) so you cannot be attacked until you’re ready. However, you can never catch up to withstand any attacks by long-standing players and there’s nothing you can do to prevent the botting from whittling away your resources.

The game has many microtransactions and is extremely pay-to-win so if you like throwing money at something this game may be interesting for you. However, if you like to have fun and enjoy building things in games this is definitely something to avoid.

Converting ASP Classic to PHP5

I posted a while ago that I added a page with ASP Classic to show your current IP. This worked because the site was being hosted in IIS with ASP.NET, ASP Classic, and PHP all enabled but I have now moved to a PHP only host and wanted to quickly get the IP lookup working again (I use it quite often).

I can potter around with PHP and would be able to figure it out but I did a quick search to find a converter and discovered this great online tool which did the work for me!

Here’s the original code.

If Request.QueryString("debug") = "1" Then
  For Each x in Request.ServerVariables
    Response.Write(X & " = " & Request.ServerVariables(X) & vbCrLf)
  If Len(Request.ServerVariables("HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR")) = 0 Then
    Response.Write Request.ServerVariables("REMOTE_ADDR")
    Response.Write Request.ServerVariables("HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR")
  End If
End If


Here’s the converted result.

if ($_GET["debug"] == "1") {
  echo "<pre>";
  foreach ($_SERVER as $x) {
    echo $X." = ".$_SERVER[$X]."\r\n";
  echo "</pre>";
else {
  if (strlen($_SERVER["HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR"]) == 0) {
    echo $_SERVER["REMOTE_ADDR"];
  else {


It works exactly the same as before but this time it’s PHP. You can try it with the same link: What is my IP?

Review of Udemy Online Learning

At the start of 2018 Udemy ran a promotion where courses could be purchased for up to 95% off their original price so, naturally, I had to take advantage of this and picked up an The Complete Android N Developer Course by Rob Percival.

There are hundreds of courses available and I picked this one because I’ve been interested in making mobile applications for a long time but always found the YouTube videos clunky and disjointed to watch. Based on the high quality content provided by Rob in his Android course I picked up a few others on other topics and found that the overall quality of instructors on Udemy appears to be very high. They, or at least the ones I’ve found, take the time to enunciate clearly and speak at an appropriate pace even if English is not their native language which makes their topic much easier to follow and a pleasure to watch.

I will likely make a future post documenting a basic timer app being developed from start to finish or if I feel confident enough maybe even a simple game good enough for the Play store!

Teclast Master T10

I purchased this new tablet through GearBest which is an online retailer specialising in products from China. As you might expect, some things get lost in translation but on the whole this seems to have been a good purchase.

The price changes day by day and I managed to pick it up for £152 with about a 3 week wait. In fact I’m writing this review on the tablet right now.




The device itself is a good size, the screen is bright, it’s mostly responsive to touch, and is lightweight. There were some minor problems though:

  • There was no launcher installed. This meant there was no button to list all apps despite Launch3 apparently being installed. I managed to install it from the play store which seems to be fine.
  • Netflix says it isn’t compatible with this device and so cannot be installed from the Play store.
  • Ingress won’t load because it can’t find the location.
  • Apps will minimise if you double tap the fingerprint scanner which is in an awkward place to avoid.
  • It does not come already rooted.
  • There is one Chinese only app and it cannot be uninstalled. It is some sort of app hiding app from what I can read using Google Translate live translation from my phone’s camera.


It seems to be a decent device so far and is much easier to read articles and code on than my phone.

Christmas Shopping vs the High Street Business

I’ve almost finished buying gifts for everyone and I suddenly realised I hadn’t entered an actual shop. This year Amazon have almost completely fulfilled the festive shopping which can clearly put a big dent in high street sales. So why is this?

Ads on sites

Many websites have pop-up ads to entice you with special offers and instant discounts but these cover the content and instantly put me off. To make things worse, it seems that once a site has decided to have intrusive ads they go all out and include automatically playing video, newsletter signups, or even the dreaded auto-play audio.

These techniques not only send visitors scrambling for the back button but put them off from ever coming back. Not forgetting the mobile user who may be paying extra data charges simply for the privilege of having unwanted advertisements displayed.

Online shopping

Convenience is the most obvious reason that Christmas, or any, shopping is done online. It is now possible to ask someone what they would like for their birthday or the holidays and quickly order it so you don’t forget, all while pretending to have a casual conversation so they you can keep the gift a surprise.

The likes of Amazon use employ the use of shopping lists but, more than that, they track which products you have viewed and provide related suggestions. This is almost like an automatic, seemingly endless, shopping list of items that most likely will interest you.

Weather, Items, Location

Who really wants to be wandering around in the cold trying to carry gifts for the whole family? It’s just not possible to do in a single trip. What happens if you get out to your car and drop something breakable? How much time do you really want to spend travelling to a crowded place to choose from a limited selection and then fight your way back home through traffic? Physical shops lose out to the comfort of online shopping but always win in one important way: You can pick up and look at the potential gift.

Being able to touch, play with, sometimes open, or try on different items can help ensure you get the perfect present for that special someone so there are no disappointments on the day. In most shops you can usually find an assistant who will be willing to help and try to answer any questions you have about the product. The staff may not be able to beat the wider Internet on technical questions but that’s why you have a smartphone.


Physical shops are unlikely to ever disappear but I think many would benefit from greater integration with the likes of Amazon, PayPal, or other services that can let them establish an online presence. The bigger names in the street have already done so but spare a thought for the small shops and maybe, if you can, take a visit and see what specialities they’re hiding in their offline world.

SQ10 Mini DV Camera from GearBest

It’s a nice little camera seemingly perfect to attach to your clothes while biking or whatever you want to record (though not waterproof). But the instructions are not in English!

Here’s some things I’ve found while trying to decipher the broken translation:

Getting Files / Using Webcam

Attaching the camera via the USB cable to your PC while the camera is OFF will let you manage the contents of the MicroSD card. Turning the camera ON will let you use it as a webcam. Transfer seemed to be quite slow over the USB cable reaching a maximum of 5.8MB/s.

Setting the Time

To set the time you need to create a file called TIMEREST.txt in the root of the drive with the new time then unplug from the PC and turn the camera on. The file must have the contents of the timestamp it should use like this:

20171118100800 Y

This is the year, month, day, hour, minute, second, SPACE, Y to show the timestamp or N to hide it. After doing this, Windows will tell you the drive needs to be repaired. This is fine and you can let Windows sort it out. It seems to be caused by the camera failing to delete the TIMEREST.txt file.

Recording Audio & Video at 720p

Hold the power button for two seconds and release. The solid-blue internal light will be visible from the hole where the SD card is. Press and release the power button once and that blue light will flash 3 times then go off. The device is now recording 5 minute long movies onto the card at 30fps in 1280×720 resolution with 512kbps audio at 32kHz.

Recording Audio & Video at 1080p

Hold the power button for two seconds and release. The solid-blue internal light will be visible from the hole where the SD card is. Press and release the mode button once. The blue and red lights will now be visible from the SD card slot. Press and release the power button once more to activate recording, the lights will flash three times then go off. The device is now recording 5 minute long movies onto the card at 30fps in 1920×1080 resolution with 512kbps audio at 32kHz.

Enable/Disable Night Vision

Hold the power button for two seconds and release. The solid-blue internal light will be visible from the whole where the SD card is. Now hold the power button down for two seconds and the red light will flash twice to indicate the infra red lamp is now switched on. Hold the power button down again for two seconds to turn off the lamp, the red light will flash twice to indicate success.

After turning the infra red lamp on for night vision you can then proceed to begin recording as explained above (either press the power button once to record 720p or press mode then power for 1080p).

Stop a Recording & Turn Off Camera

Press and release the power button once while recording. The lights will come on solidly. This means it’s stopped and you can then turn off the device by holding the power button down for 9 seconds.

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