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Showing posts from October, 2017

Review - take 2: Drocon Bugs 3 brushless drone

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Now, the eagle eyed will have spotted that I've already written about the (Blue) Bugs 3 on this blog. That was a month ago and I've not only lost one since then - and had it replaced - I've also built up a mountain of drone flying experience.

Which is why I wanted to re-review this drone, in the context of the mountain of other sub-£100 drones on the market. And it's also why I included the word 'brushless' in the title - as that bit's important.

But before I get started, a few links, as usual. In the USA, you can get the Bugs 3 here and there's an exclusive discount code you can apply, 3UE8L7BJ, getting you 20% off, down to $104. In the UK, you can get the Bugs 3 here and the code is ZE79A4G6, also for 20% off, bringing the drone down to £89, which is a steal for something of this quality.


This being my second Bugs 3 drone (ahem), I wanted to apply all my hard won experience to the testing and reviewing. Here are the things I've learned in the last…

Review: Dowellin 4-axis Aerocraft (Mini RC Drone - Yunshangauto)

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Something of a cumbersome title then, but electronics often have multiple names these days - usually an OEM title (and that's on the manual) and a branded title and vendor name (that's on the Amazon listing)!

In this case, it's on Amazon UK at £19.99 and is.... just about the most fun I've ever had with this pocket money amount. Really.


I got intrigued by drones when seeing the super smooth video footage online. And then I realised that the drones which shoot 1000ft high 4K footage are the best part of a thousand pounds. And need space. And serious skill to fly. Next, I was sent the Drocon Blue Bugs 3 to review - and it was very impressive for £100 or so, but I underestimated the skill required to manage it and - on a gusty day when I perhaps shouldn't have been flying - lost control of it over a forested area and that was that.

Lesson learned. I was also painfully aware of how large and relatively fragile the BB3 was - the slightest crash and the props got scarred…

Tech-fail and clueless DECmove!

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Inspired by The Register's On Call series (e.g. here), here's a classic #fail from my tech past.

I was the system manager of a MicroVAX set-up back in the early 1990s, about a dozen users. The MicroVAX was a waist high mini-mainframe, about a metre square by 40cm wide, from memory. Not huge, but larger than the biggest desktop systems of even today. Here's roughly what it looked like:



The management had arranged to move the company (Simmonds Precision) to a larger office (from Swallowfield to Wokingham, if you're interested) and, because we had a service contract with DEC for the MicroVAX, the company wanted to pay 'DECmove' lots of money to make sure all our DEC equipment made it the 10 miles safely.

So, on the way, guys in overalls arrived and proceeded to start with the peripherals. Mice? Keyboards? Monitors? Even cables? All wrapped in bubble-wrap. I was very impressed. Wow, these guys know what they're doing!

As they got closer to the MicroVAX itself I…

Galaxy Note 8 cases: four of the best

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So, the Galaxy Note 8 is here, the most powerful and flexible phone on the planet - it can do everything - see my full review here. But with glass front and back, it definitely needs some protection in daily life. So I got in a selection of case designs from the friendly folk at MobileFun...
Olixar Ultra-Thin (£8)
By far the least substantial case here, the idea is to put the absolute minimum amount of material around the Note 8, so as not to increase its dimensions, but significantly improving your grip in the hand.


And 'grip' is the operative word, rather than protection. This Olixar design won't help the phone much if dropped onto concrete, it's just too insubstantial, but in theory the clammy plastic should mean that you won't drop your Note 8 in the first place.


A little expensive at £8, but this does fit snugly and the Note 8 feels a lot better for it.

Spigen Ultra Hybrid (£25)
Very expensive for what this is - a moulded TPU design, it's also my pick of the…