Well you see, things aren't exactly what they seem with Two-a-day. I mean he actually does that kind of shit you've known him to, hustles hot software to the caspers in Barrytown, but his main shot, I mean the man's real ambitions, you understand, lie elsewhere... 'Count Zero' - William Gibson

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Moonbase Inc. Android game. Hints and tips. Trade goods prices. Making money. Aliens and Asteroids. Terraforming Mars. Kreep mining.

I tried a Google search for tips on this wonderful game and turned up nothing useful so I thought I'd better write something.
Moonbase Inc is a great city builder game without too much micro-management. It has interesting long term goals such as the terraforming of Mars.

I'll put the link here but if you are reading this you probably already have the game.

You can play for free or donate to support a great game. I have bought a few power generators to make the game a little easier and to support a cracker of a game.

How to play.  Moonbase Inc.

Follow the tutorial and learn to build everything and why. This will help you to understand the rules of the game. Every building has a purpose so try them all.

Maximise the use of the ice craters. Water is critical.
Make sure you build 8 Ice Processing Plants around every ice hole.
Also maximise the space around the Craters to squeeze in as many Mine Shafts as possible.

When you can build bigger and better Houses, knock down the old ones and build Habitat 67s.
When you can build bigger and better power generators, build Fusion Power Plants and stick Heliostats in every spare corner, all touching one another and touching a Heliostat Tower, and then knock down the old solar arrays.
Same with bigger and better food buildings. Pay a dollar and buy a Botanical Garden to support this great game. It's well worth it.
Pay a dollar and buy the Bulk Silos to help support the game.

Build lots of 3x3 Regolith Processing Factories and 3x3 Ice Mines for the raw materials you will need.

Build landing pads and ships to bring in tourists and to buy and sell goods.
Build Passenger Terminals for easy money.

Making money.  Moonbase Inc.

Your first money will come from building your first rocket ship and using that to trade and bring in tourists.
Slowly build up your cash and build buildings that earn cash such as the Crater Park which brings in $500, and the Moon Burger, $1000.

An easy way to earn a lot of money is to build many, up to 20, Passenger Terminals. Fast and easy cash.

Build lots of United Spacelines to bring in tourists to earn cash. These are expensive but they are self sustaining and you don't have to do anything with them.

Build big 3x3 Dumpsites and import Solid Waste for cash.
Check at the bottom left dialog box>All>Solid Waste and try to keep it at -2000. Easy money.

When you have a fair amount of money, build 4 or more 2x2 landing pads and make a fleet of Centaur Cargo ships, or 3x3 pads and USS Balkans. When you're really rich, build a few SC Eris ships which only need a 1x1 Control Tower on the ground and no landing pad.

Then buy low on the market and sell high using the Bulk Terminals as they always give max price for goods, or just use your fleet of ships to then resell at a high price.

Price list for Moonbase Inc trade goods. 
Goods . $Buy/$Sell.
Oxy              1/2.
CO2             1/2.
Mooncrete   1/2.
Food            2/4.
Hydrogen    1/3. Triple your money. Nice.
Glass           1/2.
Water          1/2.
Gold           48/53.
Calcium      1/1 just to fill orders if you sell on the Bulk Terminals.
Uranium      8/13.
Silicon         1/3. Triple your money. Nice.
Metal           1/2.

I am terraforming Mars now. I make enough on the market to buy $50mill Vasimr spaceships.
I started using a lot of Bulk Terminals but then changed to just buying and selling using my Centaurs and Balkans, and my Eris ships in orbit.

Research. Moonbase Inc.

As soon as you can, investigate the Moonhenge and assign researchers to it.
Build any building that enhances research. Hint, pay a dollar and buy the Botanical Gardens as they give research benefit amongst other things.
Build 4 Research Centers to investigate Alien artifacts and other research.
When you can, upgrade your research to 4 people at Moonhenge.

KREEP Mining. Moonbase Inc.

Build a Kreep Mine and learn how to use it. Slow mine for maximum return.
You need the rare earths to build defense lasers and missiles.

Touch on 4 waypoints and make sure you touch on the home spot as your last waypoint to return and recharge. Don't go too far out or the battery runs out. Research to upgrade the battery.

Aliens, Asteroids and Defense. Moonbase Inc.

Early in the game I saw Asteroids flying over with numbers on them and wondered what they were.
If you have just started playing and an asteroid knocks out a building, just touch it and turn it back on.

Part of the tutorial is to build an Alien Beacon in a Crater. Do so.
You can then summon Aliens and Asteroids.

Before you do, make sure you build plenty of Lunar Security buildings which launch big missiles, as well as SkyShield Laser Beams and Missiles. 
Rare earths needed to build these come from the Kreep mine.

Summon Aliens and Asteroids and let your defenses shoot them down and you will receive Alien Metal, Water, Gold and Metal in return.

When you have Aliens overhead, keep touching on the Lunar Security to power up any buildings that have been knocked out. Very important.

Terraforming Mars. Moonbase Inc.

One of your long term goals is terraforming Mars.
Access Mars by building a Mars Inc tower. Go and visit.

You have to send everything, yes everything by rocket, so crank up those cash earning projects.

I started by building a few Gamma 4 Build/Launch buildings and a few Shipyards.
You can build rockets in the Shipyards as well, but that then ties up your Shipyards from building other Mars things.
Build rockets, build Mars stuff and send it off. It takes a lot of time and money.
Go to Mars via the Mars Inc tower and land stuff.

Start building you first 1x1 Mars Solar Panels and send lots, maybe 20, then a few of the other basic buildings.
Most of these buildings go back in your inventory to use if you recycle them, so don't worry about losing them. Recycle your 1x1 water, electrolyte, habitat and garden buildings to make 2x2 buildings later.

Then build and send the 3D Printer and the Mars Part Store.
Then make your first 2x2 building the Life Support Module as this can go anywhere, and the other Mars 2x2 buildings must touch a 2x2 building already in existence.

So, this is my Mars. Start with lots of 1x1 Solar Panels. All 1x1 modules must be places next to one.
Once you have Deuterium Reactors and plenty of power, use a cross pattern, with one Solar Panel in the middles and 4 1x1 modules such as Incinerators around them. There's currently no 2x2 module for the Incinerators or Gas Harvesters.

Build and land the Dozer and Nursery truck and "Land" them to make the lake and nursery.
Both of these go back into inventory when the have finished.
"Land" them again to make the next one.

The Lake and Nursery can be "landed" anywhere.

Make rivers surrounded by trees.

Mars starting to look a bit greener.

I plan to make rivers meandering across the map.

Mars terraforming is complete at 1,000M Heat and Gas release. Touch on the "Supplies" box at the top right of the game to see your progress.

I've added a most of this into the Wiki, so go and read that too. It's accessible from the game.

This is the list of Mars Inc buildings from the Wiki.

Have fun and keep your phone on the charger.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Google Play. Google Maps. Here maps. Offline maps for Android phones. Full screen maps.

Here's a nice bit of news.
Google Maps update of August 17, 2015 finally introduces a 'tap to go full screen' mode on Google Maps. At last !
This is the one feature that has been really missing for a long time. Google Maps is once again useful and usable.

I had completely written off Google Maps for a long time and gone to Nokia's Here map app which has a lovely interface, and still does. It also boasts extremely useful OFFLINE maps that can be saved to an SD card. This feature is still unequaled on any other map app.

Anyway, for all of you who had given up on Google ever producing a decent interface for Google Maps, give it another try, it's quite good now.

Here's a screenshot from my Huawei Mate 7.
Google Maps with that intrusive 'Search bar' and 'Around here bar' blocking your screen.

One tap on the screen and those bars are now gone and you have a full screen map. It's much better.

If you want offline maps saved to your phone when you are going overseas, definitely go for Nokia's Here map app.

Here's a screenshot from my Huawei Mate 7. 
Nokia's Here map app. This is showing an offline map of Australia saved to my SD card - not a real time data download like Google Maps uses.

'Use app offline' when traveling overseas, or just all the time, to save your precious data.

It's very important that you go straight into the settings and select 'Storage Memory' as 'sdcard1'.
The app will then always store downloaded maps here, and you can take your maps to your new phone by also taking your SD card.

Buy a 32 GB SD card and download the world ! You will always have it offline.

For those of you who are familiar with you phone's file systems and want to rig up multiple back up phones for travel, you can copy and paste the Here maps data to a new SD card.

Fire up you computer and first plug in your phone that DOES have the Here maps app and all the downloaded maps on an SD card. Make sure you use a good USB cable that is a data cable, not just a recharge cable.
Next plug in your travel/back up phone that DOES NOT yet have Here maps installed. If it does, uninstall it for now.

Copy and past the "com.here.app.maps" folder. 
When I plug my phone in,the address is...

You must do this BEFORE you install Here maps on your new phone, otherwise the copy and paste will be blocked. You will be trying to overwrite a protected file created by the new installation of the the Here maps app.
If you strike this problem, just uninstall Here maps, copy and paste the file, then re-install.

This process is easier and quicker than downloading the offline maps via the Here map app to yet another phone. It will take quite a while to transfer those files, so be patient and go and make a cuppa.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Google Play. Office Lens. Trim, enhance, and make pictures of whiteboards and docs readable.

I've been trying to take pictures, using my phone, of signs that are over my head height and at an angle. Cropping the standard images produced from camera was just no good.

Office Lens has let me capture exact images of just what I need - cropped and squared. It had interpreted precisely what I was after.

Here's the link to Google Play.

I can then save these images to my gallery and to OneNote, which is now my preferred cloud note storage, as well as to a PDF or Word document. This is very clever software.

Have a look at these two images. These are pictures taken from my Samsung Galaxy S3 with my arms stretched above my head, of a sign that was high above my head and at an angle.

Office Lens has zoomed in and also cropped what it takes to be a rectangular document, in this case, the screen. I have not altered that image at all myself.

From my normal phone camera, without Office Lens, I get this...

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Google Play. Google Keyboard. Gesture Typing. Swipe to type.

You might think that this post is a little obvious as every phone comes with a keyboard.

This is true, but there's a few things different about the Google Keyboard from the Google Play market - it has a swipe to type capability and also has different alphabets, such as Japanese, and has built in dictionaries for more than 25 languages.

Samsung, HTC and Sony phones have their own stock keyboards and from my old experience, they are all missing swipe to type.

For me, it's the swipe function that wins me. There's no going back from it.
To quote Google, "Glide through letters with Gesture Typing".
I find I can always tell people who are stuck with iPhones as I see them slowly and painstakingly tapping out single letters. It's the same with people who have Android phones but have not yet experimented with different keyboards.

Here's the link on Google Play.

Install and enable from Settings - Language and input.

Enable the Google Keyboard.

Enable Gesture Typing.

Then try it out. The secret is not to rush, you can drag your finger around as slow as you want.

The Japanese Input is pretty clever too, if you are trying to learn Japanese.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Google Play. MySMS text message cloud sync.

I broke my phone during my house renovation. I lost my text messages. I needed a solution for cloud sync of my text messages.

Now all my Contacts are in Google Contacts, so I can create and update them from my phone or computer. Cloud synced, no worries.

All my Calendar is in Google Calendar, so I can create and update my appointments and rosters from my phone or computer. Cloud synced, thank you Google.

All my pictures are in the removable SD card, as well as in Dropbox, so that's all cloud synced, no problem. (Never buy a phone without a removable SD card, ever !). Dropbox is wonderful and easy to use and free up to a point.

What I also wanted was to see all my SMS text messages to my tradesmen and friends, on my computer on the big screen.

I wanted to be able to sit at my computer and type messages to the plumber and send them through my phone, and have all that synced to my phone by the time I walked out the door.
I found MySMS which solved all my problems.
MySMS replaces my native text messaging app on my Android phone.

Here's the link on Google Play.

MySMS does all that I need and makes it very easy. It's free to a point, but I subscribe for $15 a year to support the MySMS team and give me more features.

I use the Tron theme for the dark colors.

Good menu system.

Cloud sync. If I lose or break my phone, or just want a new phone, I install the MySMS app on my new phone and enter my account and all my messages sync from the cloud and appear on my new phone.

And most importantly for me, I can sit at my computer and read and send my messages

Some FAQs

* I lost my phone, how do retrieve all my SMS text messages and put them on my new phone ?

Install and use MySMS as your test messaging app on your phone. MySMS will cloud sync your messages so they are always available on your computer or your new phone.

* How can I see all my SMS text messages on my computer ?

Install and use MySMS as your test messaging app on your phone. MySMS will cloud sync your messages so they are always available on your computer.

Google Play. Nova Launcher app.

I am still using my Samsung Galaxy 3 phone which uses the TouchWiz graphical user interface, which is OK, but it's very limited and not very adaptable.

Most of all I wanted to remove the app dock at the bottom of the screen so that I could use 5x4 widgets for my calendar.

So I tried a couple of other launchers such as Go Launcher, but settled on Nova Launcher for it's staggering customizing ability. I can change just about anything on my phone.

That pesky app dock is now turned off.

Here's my phone now, with a 5x4 calendar widget from Jorte Calendar app.
See ? No more app bar at the bottom of the screen !

Here's the link on the Google Play market.

Here's my main desktop page, again with no dock bar at the bottom.

Here's some more of the Nova menus.
The main panel...

The Desktop menus...

Transition scroll for the desktop. I use Cube or Card Stack.

Here's some FAQs.

* Samsung Galaxy S3. How do I remove the app dock bar at the bottom of the screen ?

Use a third party launcher from the Google Play market, such as Go Launcher or Nova Launcher.
Install Nova Launcher and select it for use always, then go to the Dock menu and turn the slider to the left to remove the app dock. See the images above.