First Run | Let’s Play while True; learn() [DONE]

I stumbled across a let’s play series on this game on YouTube and was absolutely fascinated. I bought it and started playing it. It’s in early access and while it’s a little rough around the edges, I am enjoying playing it so far

#01 – Getting Started

Getting the hang of the game and getting involved with a startup.

#02 – Self Driving Cars

Getting involved with self driving cars.

#03 – Optimisin’

Lots of optimisations.

#04 – More Optimisin’


Try my hand at more optimisations and also complete one more task.

#05 – $2,147,483,648


Fail at completing a task because it’s just a little too slow. Run into a bug that puts me billions of dollars in debt, effectively ending my playthrough.

Let’s Play Space Engineers | Pilot Series


I have been watching gameplay videos on youtube for a while now. I have always been inspired by them and wanted to start a series of my own.

I hadn’t played space engineers for a few months and had been wanting to go back to it. That made it an ideal candidate to try this on. One thing I always struggled with Space Engineers is that it doesn’t have a goal to work towards. To this end, I have tried to come up with a backstory that’ll give something to work towards

It was substantially more difficult than it looks to talk and play a game and the first couple of episodes are incredibly stumbly. I share them for posterity, continuity and hopefully to also show how much improvement there is later on, hopefully.


A lone space engineer wakes up in his small ship, far away from a home he once knew. There are only a handful of people still awake, with a few thousand people across a few factions in cryo-sleep. A capital ship is being built to house these cryo chambers. Several engineers have been sent out into the galaxies to build a base.

Their mission is to colonise planets, ideally multiple planets, for each of the three factions. With a few hundred to a thousand people in each faction. Once all the habitats have been built, the engineer is to send a radio signal and await the arrival of the cargo.

With the heavy burden of this mission on their shoulders, this space engineer wakes up, caught in the gravitational pull of a blue planet.


Below are the episodes already uploaded to youtube.

#01 – Hunting for Uranium





In the first episode, we start in a respawn ship within the gravitational pull of Earth. We then move off into space and go hunting for uranium before we run out of power. The most excitement came when I realised that I was running out of oxygen and I hadn’t taken a canister with me. Will I die from suffocation? Find out 😉

This is a very noob video, my very first. Also, due to a recording mistake, there are no game sounds on this video 😦

#02 – Starting a Base

We identify a location to start our base out on and start building it in earnest. Partway through, I realise that the scaffolding that I had painstaking built out was way too large, so I tear it down and try to build a small base. I also spend some time mining out a bunch of iron.

This is also a very noob video, though I think there are fewer boring parts (hopefully). The game audio issue is also fixed part way through.

#03 – Furnishing






This episode revolves around finishing construction of some of the items inside the base. There was some confusion about how to build a cargo container without dismantling the one on the ship.

This is hopefully starting to get a little better.

#04 – More Furnishings


Realise that I am running out of oxygen (again) and we don’t have an Oxygen Generator or Ice. Fix that first, then build a turret for some protection.

I felt this episode was a lot better.

#05 – The Bug

This episode starts with building a rudimentary mining ship which I screw up. I had been away from this game for a while 😉 I then fix a bunch of the stuff, do some mining, then fix a bunch of other things.

This episode also felt pretty ok to me.

#06 – The Shredder

In this episode, I build a grinding ship. I then use this ship to grind down the original respawn ship completely. I also reconstruct the roof of the base to be a little tidier. The rest of the episode is spent scouting for resources.

It feels like I need to commentate more. While editing, I realise that there are a few unexpressed thoughts and the sheer amount of time when I am not saying anything still surprises me. A lot more work still to do 🙂

#07 – The Digger



We build another version of the miner, so that we don’t have to deal with the container snafu ‘bug’ 😉 This episode runs a little longer, but we end up with a much better version of the miner which I call the digger. This is a callback to a game that was released in 1983 which I loved growing up 🙂 You can try it online.

I feel that the videos are definitely improving and look forward to hearing what you think 🙂

#08 – Tim is in Charge




Tidy the base up a bit, plugging the reactor into the conveyor system. I then set up Talendan’s inventory management (TIM) to automate the refinery, assembler and the inventories. Set up some LCD panels to see the status of these as well.

#09 – Base Expansion

Fix a couple of things on the base and start on expanding it.

#10 – The Mole


Build a tiny mining ship using the Vertex Thrust 2 Script. This doesn’t go exactly according to plan.

#11 – The Refinery Room

Get the framework for the refinery room more or less complete

#12 – The Beaver

Most of this episode was spent trying to build a small and compact enough welding ship.

#13 – The Refinery Room Pt 2

We weld up the refinery room and link it up to the rest of the cargo network.

#14 – Misbehavin’ Tim

Start on boring out the refinery room and run into some trouble with Tim too.

#15 – Assembler Jigsaw

Start putting down assemblers.

#16 – Assembler Room

Finish construction of the assembler room.

#17 – Base with a View

Prettify the base and tidy things up.

#18 – The Storage Room

Drilling out the storage room

#19 – Storage Room Complete

Completed the welding and setup of the storage room.

#20 – Control Room

Tidying up the Control room and preparing the base for pressurisation.

#21 – Fully Automated Mining

Using Rdav’s AI Autominer Script to put together a fully autonomous mining ship.

#22 – Ant Mk II Better Automated Miner

While falling asleep, I had some ideas on how to improve the Ant. I get on with constructing the Ant Mk II.

#23 – Testing the Ant Mk II

Wait, why does the ship try and drill through the asteroid sideways?

#24 – Ant Mk II Chassis


We build the Chassis around most of the Ant, send it off mining and start working on airlocks.

#25 – Rotary Airlock


Put in Airlocks and start on getting the base airtight.

#26 – Airtight Refinery Room


We manage to get the refinery room airtight? What was the problem – something I had done right at the start of setting the room up.

#27 – Fully Pressurised


Fix the autominers so they work across reloads. Get the base fully pressurised and move on to the next project.

#28 – Holey Cave


What I wanted was to have the new section to be mostly just rock, or in this case, iron deposits. Do I manage to get it airtight?

#29 – Unholey Cave


Working on making the way to the hanger airtight.

#30 – Fixing Sim Speed


Space Engineers had been dragging for a few episodes. Fix that.

#31 – Way to the Hangar


We make progress building our way towards the hangar.

#32 – Building a Tunnel


Building the tunnel that’ll take us to the Hangar.

#33 – Finishing the Tunnels


We finish off the tunnel to the Hangar

#34 – Under the Stairs


We start furnishing under the stairs 😉

#35 – Starting the Hangar


We make our way to the hangar and start on it in earnest.

#36 – Hangar Foundations pt 1


We start putting in the struts that will hold the hangar together

#37 – Hangar Foundations pt 2


We continue our work in putting in the struts around the hangar

#38 – Small Steel Tubes


While putting in the tubing around the hangar, we run out of small steel tubes.

#39 – Automining Without Lag


Try and get the autominers working without lag.

#40 – Faster Mining


Try and speed up automatic mining by attaching several more drills.

#41 – Hangar Foundations pt 3


Putting down another set of foundations for the hangar

#42 – Hangar Foundations pt 4


Piping up the hangar

#43 – The Printer


Build a welding ship and get started on the capital ship.

#44 – Everything is Broken 😦


One by one fail by fail. At least, that’s how it felt.

#45 – Fixing Things


Try and fix everything that broke in the last episode.

#46 – Making Space


Making more space inside the large grid ship to put things.

#47 – Interior Design


So… What should go inside this brand spanking new ship?

#48 – No More Gold!


We run out of gold while building the jump drive.

#49 – Detaching the Ship


We grind off the supporting beams. Will the ship crash and burn?

#50 – The Big Five O


The fiftieth episode of this series. My first ever YouTube series and it has got to 50 episodes. Hurrah!

#51 – Interior Redesign


I start off with the intention of finishing off the hanger, but end up grinding the whole hangar down.

#52 – Rebuilding the Hangar


We get back on to the hangar and get most of it down

#53 – The Right Wing


No, it’s not a political episode, it’s about building the wing on the right hand side of the ship.

#54 – Out of Cobalt


Working on the right wing and I run out of metal grids, which as it turned out was because we were out of Cobalt.

Future Plans

The main next plan is to flesh out the base a bit and get a solid starting point. After that, we’ll go to the moon. We’ll build a moon base with a habitat of some form.

If I am not bored after that, I might try heading to Mars or the Alien planet since I’ve not been to either of those locations.

Unlikely but would be awesome

In an offline map, kaljack and I were working on building a massive capital ship with hundreds (or thousands) of cryo chambers. The idea being that this ship would contain the remaining people from a now dead civilisation. They are looking for a place to land and call home.

The habitats and the environments we are building are for these people. If we ever finish that capital ship, we’ll get it jump into our world and land on one or more of these locations.


I welcome comments, ideas and thoughts, ideally in the form of compliments 😉 but I also welcome constructive criticisms, ideas, questions and requests.

If you like Space Engineers, you might also like games like Space Engineers (by game cupid)

Database Systems Compared

My first experiences of a computer started with DBase III+ which is now dBASE, then went on to Foxpro, now Microsoft Visual Foxpro. I have since used Filemaker Pro, Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite and HSQLDB. I have not yet used IBM DB2, Oracle. Wikipedia has a list of database systems.

Having worked with this range of database systems and having done copious amounts of research into DB2, Oracle and other DB systems I have not mentioned, I like answering the age old questions. Which is the best database system?

Ah! if only it was that simple. There is no database system that is appropriate for any given requirement. But then, if you have been in the technology sector long enough, you would already know that. It’s all about using the right tool for the job.

I separate these systems into two broad categories and Oracle. There are the Desktop based database systems:

  • DBase
  • Foxpro
  • SQLite
  • Filemaker Pro
  • Microsoft Access
  • MySQL

DBase, FoxPro, Filemaker Pro and Microsoft Access are essentially a GUI frontend that has a database backing.

Access is the best choice for this purpose under the majority of circumstances. Filemaker Pro is relevant in some. The usual reason to use DBase or FoxPro is simply that the developer is used to it. This is not a good enough reason.

I have used DBase III+ for developing an office management suite back in 1994. I have since used Filemaker Pro to develop a simple contact management database in 1998, Microsoft Access to develop a patient management system for a clinic.

SQLite, HSQLDB and MySQL are database engines that are to be utilised by popping a frontend on top; sometimes the frontend is Microsoft Access. Microsoft Access can also be used for its database engine.

Access is usually the worst choice for this except as a stopgap. There are exceptions to this. One is for a web frontend if the site is not too busy and its running on a microsoft platform. You don’t have to go to the hassle of installing anything on the server. The drivers will take care of it all.

HSQLDB becomes an obvious choice for a light java based application and SQLite for any other lightweight applications.

MySQL is substantially more powerful and scales a lot better. I include it in this section because it is a server grade database system that can also work well in a desktop environment.

I have used Access for several web based systems and I have used HSQLDB for unit testing hibernate and for a quick and dirty MP3 library that linked into musicBrainz. I have used SQLite in passing to be utilised by open source products.

I have used MySQL with an Access frontend as a management suite for a website as well.

And we have the server based database systems:

  • MySQL
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • IBM DB2
  • PostgreSQL

MySQL was used as the backed database system for the website. This was the perfect choice since the most important requirement was speed. Particuarly with the Query Cache and Master Slave replication, MySQL was the best choice.

SQL Server was used as the backend system for an online course for the Scottish Enterprise around 1999/2000. While MySQL would have been a good choice this, it was not of production quality at the time.

We have also used Ms SQL Server for an insurance company since all the infrastructure was based on Windows and PostgreSQL did not have a viable Windows version at the time.

We use PostgreSQL for megabus. While speed is absolutely critical, it is a ticketing system which means that transactionality is absolutely critical.

While MySQL now has transactionality with innodb, it is still nowhere near as good as the transactionality provided by PostgreSQL through MVCC (Multi-version Concurrency Control). We could have used Ms SQL Server but the cost savings are dramatic.

To summarise, each system has a specific use, specific strengths and weaknesses and which should be used is highly dependent on what it is to be used for. I am hopeful that the summary of what we have used each of these systems for us useful in determining which one is best placed to solve any specific problem 😀

We have not yet used Oracle and it was a strong contender for megabus but the serious heavyweight functionality provided by Oracle comes at a price and it is not yet a cost effective option.