Tag Archives: Video games

Some tips for beginners at Elden Ring

Last Update: 2022-05-16 08:03 Irish Time

I played it on Xbox, so these tips are for Xbox.


When you kill enemies you get runes.

These are used for increasing your stats or weapons stats.

When you die you’ll lose the runes.

You can recover them if you go to the place where you died. You’ll see them shining on the floor. The place you died is marked on the map.

You’ll not lose things like the map, flowers you picked, etc…

You don’t lose your stats.

Horseback mount

After you get the Spectral Steed Whistle bind it to your belt through the inventory or pouch. It looks like a golden ring.

Then you’ll be able to summit it by selecting it (keypad down changes the item selected from the belt) and pressing X.

If you jump over some special spinning wind zones you’ll fly to very high distances.

You can run/sprint!

That’s something I didn’t see in the controls and I was being killed many many times, so I figured it out there has to be a way to sprint.

You can run by pressing the dodge button, B in XBox. Press B and hold it and move to any direction.

You can also use it when you are mounting Torrent, your horse.

Rolling dodges some attacks

Some attacks are avoided by rolling.

Mentioned by my friend Cian O’Brien.


You can have many items with you, but when you equip them the weight is important.

If you equip too much you’ll be unable jump or roll.

You can have several weapons with you and just equip what you need at each moment (before engaging combat).

Golden runes

You’ll find golden runes that will be kept in your inventory. They are consumables and you can use them to get instant amount of fragments.

Summon Ashes spirits

You’ll find spirits that you can summon in points of interest and to fight bosses.


You can balance the number of flasks you have, and increase the number of them by using golden seeds at the sites of grace and the amount of life they replenish if you have the sacred tears.

Sort Chest

At the sites of grace you can sort your chest, and move things from your inventory to the chest and vice versa.

That’s ideal for reducing the items you carry until the appropriate moment to sell the goods.

Chests protected by soldiers in cars

You will find some cars protected by soldiers or big monsters.

It took me many time to realize that in the back of them they have a chest.

Jump and open the chest. Good weapons will become handy at an early stage.

Use the shield

Pressing LB if you have the shield on the left hand will raise the shield and keep it lifted.

This will protect you from incoming attacks.

I killed many enemies and bosses without using the shield, and it was a bit of a pain.

Sekiro style, dying and dying. Raising the shield I was able to beat impossible-to-beat-before bosses easily.

Head Skull

There are head skulls in the map, with bright eyes.

If you crack them hitting with your weapon, you’ll get a golden rune.

You can sell the golden runes to merchants or use them at any time and you’ll get runes. You may have a treasure enough to level up and you may not known.

You don’t loss the golden runes when you die.

Cycling items in your bag

You can bind several items to your back and cycle them pressing the down key on the pad.

If you bind the healing potion to the first slot in your bag if you hold down the cycle key it will always go back to the first item (thanks Cian!)

My friend Michela says: Carles I suggest if i may put the ring in backup pouch because if you map on the menu where healing potions are you risk to call  the horse when u wanna heal


If you press and hold Y you’ll see the actions that you have mapped in the pouch. So, it’s also a quick way to access these.

Eliminating groups

Will restore a flask, so you will be able to use another crimson tears. This is capped to your max number of flasks.


You can buy a torch and use it. Useful for caves and dark places. Equip it as a weapon and just select it.

Traveling to the Round Table

When the requirements are met and you travel to the round table, you can go back by opening the map and zooming out. You’ll see then the round table.

Craft bombs

You can craft bombs if you have recipients to hold them.

Bombs are very useful against some bosses.

In order to craft you’ll need to buy a crafting kit.


Michela also recommends: Bosses use to drop medallions. You can equip them in the medallion/s slot.

Use Magic

Once you have a spell you can go to a site of grace and select Memorize Spell.

Then with the up path you can switch.

You need to have a casting tool in any hand and press the attack button for that hand in order to perform the sorcery.

I found my first staff in the Sellia Crystal cave, after killing several of these digging blue crystal enemeies, which is a zone where you travel after you open a chest in a cave in Dragon-Buirnt ruins which you access going down stairs in the runes that have the zombies, where the big dragon is. It’s the Digger’s staff.

The centipedes in that area are very hard but I found them very vulnerable to fire bombs that you can craft and to throwing curved knives that you can buy in merchants.

After you defeat a boss in a cave next to a gigantic plant, you can become Sorceress Sellen’s protegee and she will teach you magic (she sell scrolls).

You can give her the academy scroll, IDK if this is good or bad.

Show glinstone projectiles without aiming

You don’t need to have the focus over an enemy. If you’re looking at the right direction you can just shoot using your staff, and the projectile will go to the enemy automatically.

Use Incantations

You can use incantations, that are another type of spell.

For doing incantations you need a Sacred Seal.

You can buy one in the two commerce women in the round table.

I discovered this after 82 hours of gameplay.

The incantations are based of faith.

Kick stairs

Like in Sekiro Shadows die Twice, after you get to certain parts you will be able to kick a stair so you’ll not need to do all the round to get to a boss.

Try different weapons

Different weapons have different behavior that you may find very convenient.

I recommend you to try different of them.

Some shields parry, which means that if you press the LT action button in the precise moment an enemy attacks, they will become vulnerable for a moment. You can then perform a critical with RB.

Great Runes

When you defeat one of the mega bosses, the demi gods, you will get a great rune.

You can use the great runes after restoring their power (only once) in a tower.

Then you equip a great rune in a site of grace.

They grant some buffs, but to get the most of them you have to use a Rune Arc.

These are dropped by rats and big rats.

Using a Rune Arc when having a Great Rune active gives you buff, like increased stats, until you die. Then you need another Arc.

I used an Arc for the first time when I was level 77.

Hashes of war can be duplicated

The hashes of war give special effects to the weapons. To be honest I have been afraid of using it and ruining a good weapon effect, or losing the ash.

But Ashes of war can be duplicated if you have the proper ingredient, in the smith in the Round Table.

I found the first nomadic merchant selling one of these ingredients just after South Raya Lucaria Gate, coming back after traversing the seal, from Main Academy Gate, just walking through the seal, without examining it, and after killing some packs of wolves.

I found this at level 77…

After 120 hours played I was level 83.

After 150 hours played I was level 111 and I had not yet used a single Ash of war.

Some attacks can be charged

Some attacks, like Loretta’s great arrow, can be charged by holding the fire button.

When it’s fired at its max charge level, it will deal more damage for the same FP cost.

Don’t roll over poison

In some caves you’ll find poison or rott on the floor. Don’t roll over trying to advance faster. That will cover your clothes with the poison and the disease will continue after you leave the infected zone. Just run or walk.

Plants in the caves allow you to level up the spirit ashes

The plants that are in the caves, allow to level up the spirit ashes.

News from the Blog 2022-02-22

My Open Source projects

zpool watch

zpool watch is a small Python program for Linux workstations with graphical environment and ZFS, that checks every 30 seconds if your OpenZFS pools are Ok.

If a pool is not healthy, it displays a message in a window using tk inter.

Basically allows you to skip checking from the terminal zpool status continuously or to having to customize the ZED service to send an email and having to figure out how to it can spawn a window alert to the graphical system or what to do if the session has not been initiated.


Since last News from the Blog I’ve released carleslibs v.1.06, v.1.0.5 and v.1.0.4.

v.1.0.6 adds a new class OsUtils to deal with mostly-Linux Os tasks, like knowing the userid, the username, if it’s root, the distribution name and kernel version.

It also adds:


In v.1.0.5 I’ve included a new method for getting the Datetime in Unix Epoc format as Integer and increased Code Coverage to 95% for ScreenUtils class.

v. 1.0.4 contains a minor update, a method in StringUtils to escape html from a string.

It uses the library html (part of Python core) so it was small work to do for me to create this method, and the Unit Test for it, but I wanted to use carleslibs in more projects and adding it as core functionality, makes the code of these projects I’m working on, much more clear.

I’m working in the future v.1.0.7.


I released the stable version 0.8.8 and tagged it.

Minor refactors and adding more Code Coverage (Unit Testing), and protection in the code for division per zero when seconds passed as int are 0. (this was not an actual error, but is worth protecting the code just in case for the future)

Working on branch 0.8.9.

Currently in Master there is a stable version of 0.8.9 mainly fixing https://gitlab.com/carles.mateo/ctop/-/issues/51 which was not detecting when CTOP was running inside a Docker Container (reporting Unable to decode DMI).

My Books

Docker Combat Guide

Added 20 new pages with some tricks, like clearing the logs (1.6GB in my workstation), using some cool tools, using bind mounts and using Docker in Windows from command line without activating Docker Desktop or WSL.


BTW if you work with Windows and you cannot use Docker Desktop due to the new license, in this article I explain how to use docker stand alone in Windows, without using WSL.

ZFS on Ubuntu

One of my SATA 2TB 2.5″ 5,400 rpm drive got damaged and so was generating errors, so that was a fantastic opportunity to show how to detect and deal with the situation to replace it with a new SATA 2TB 3.5″ 7,200 rpm and fix the pool.

So I updated my ZFS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS book.

Python 3

I’ve updated Python 3 Exercises for Beginners and added a new example of how to parse the <title> tag from an HTML page, using Beautifulsoup package, to the repository of Python 3 Combat Guide book.

I also added three new exercises, and solved them.

My friend Michela is translating the book to Italian. Thanks! :)

If you already purchased any of my books, you can download the updates of them when I upload them to LeanPub.

Free courses

Code Challenges

One of my students sent me this platform, which is kinda hackerrank, but oriented to video games. To solve code challenges by programming video games.

He is having plenty of fun:


More Symfony, APIs

If you enjoyed the Free Videos about Symfony, there is more.


It talks about a bundle for building APIs.

And this tutorial explains in detail how to work with Webpack Encore:


100 Days of Code: Python Bootcamp

A friend of mine, and colleague, Michela, is following this bootcamp and recommends it for people learning from ground 0.


My work at Blizzard

The company sent me the Stein, which is sent to the employees that serve for two years, with a recognition and a celebration called “The Circle of Honor”.

Books purchased

I bought this book as often I discover new ways, better, to explain the things to my students.

Sometimes I buy books for beginners, as I can get explained what I want to do super fast and some times they teach nice tricks that I didn’t know. I have huge Django books, and it took a lot to finish them.

A simpler book may only talk about how to install and work with it under a platform (Windows or Mac, as instance) but it is all that I require as the command to create projects are the same cross platform.

For example, you can get to install and to create a simple project with ORM, connected to the database, very quickly.


So I just discovered that Zoom has an option to draw in the shared screen, like Slack has. It is called Annotate. It is super useful for my classes. :)

Also discovered the icons in the Chat. It seems that not all the video calls accept it.


As Working From Home I needed an scanner, I looked in Amazon and all of them were costing more than €200.

I changed my strategy and I bought a All-In-One from HP, which costed me €68.

So I’ll have a scanner and a backup printer, which always comes handy.

The nightmare started after I tried to connect it with Ubuntu.

Ubuntu was not recognizing it. Checking the manuals they force to configure the printer from an Android/iPhone app or from their web page, my understanding is for windows only. In any case I would not install the proprietary drivers in my Linux system.

Annoyed, I installed the Android application, and it was requesting to get Location permissions to configure it. No way. There was not possible to configure the printer without giving GPS/Location permissions to the app, so I cancelled the process.

I grabbed a Windows 10 laptop and plugged the All-in-one through the USB. I ran the wizard to search for Scanners and Printers and was not unable to use my scanner, only to configure as a printer, so I was forced to install HP drivers.

Irritated I did, and they were suggesting to configure the printer so I can print from Internet or from the phone. Thanks HP, you’ll be the next SolarWinds big-security-hole. I said no way, and in order to use the Wifi I have to agree to open that security door which is that the printer would be connected to Internet permanently, sending and receiving information. I said no, I’ll use only via USB.

Even selecting that, in order to scan, the Software forces me to create an account.

Disappointing. HP is doing very big stupid mistakes. They used to be a good company.

Since they stopped doing the drivers in Barcelona years ago, their Software and solutions (not the hardware) went to hell.

I checked the reviews in the App Store and so many people gave them 1 star and have problems… what a shame the way they created this solution.


I made a donation to OpenShot Video Editor.

This is a great Open Source, multi-platform editor, so I wanted to support the creator.


Attacks: looking for exploits

This is just a sample of a set of attacks to the blog in a 3 minutes interval.

Another one this morning:

Now all are blocked in the Firewall.

This is a non stop practice from spammers and pirates that has been going on for years.

It was almost three decades ago, when I was the Linux responsible of an ISP, and I was installing a brand new Linux system connected to a service called “infovia”, at the time when Internet was used with dial-up and modems, and in the interval of time of the installation, it got hacked. I had the Ethernet connected. So then already, this was happening.

The morning I was writing this, I blocked thousands of offending Ip Addresses.

Protection solutions

I recommend you to use CloudFlare, is a CDN/Cache/Accelerator with DoS protection and even in its Free version is really useful.


So I come with a game kind of Quiz that you can play with your friends, family or work colleagues working from home (WFH).

The idea is that the master shares screen and sound in Zoom, and then the rest connect to jackbox.tv and enter the code displayed on the master’s screen on their own browser, and an interactive game is started.

It is recommended that the master has two monitors so they can also play.

The games are so fun as a phrase appearing and people having to complete with a lie. If your friends vote your phrase, believing is true, you get points. If you vote the true answer, you get points too.

Very funny and recommendable.


<humor>Skynet sent another terminator to end me, but I terminated it. Its processor lays exhibited in my home now</humor>

I bought a laminator.

It has also a ruler and a trimmer to cut the paper.

It was only €39 and I’ve to say that I’m very happy with the results.

It takes around 5 minutes to be ready, it takes to get to the hot-enough temperature, and feeds the pages slowly, around 50 secs a DIN-A4, but the results are worth the time.

I’ve protected my medical receipts and other value documents and the work was perfect. No bubbles at all. No big deal if the plastic covers are introduced not 100% straight. Even if you pass again an already plasticized document, all is good.



One of my friends sent me this image.

It is old, but still it’s fun. So it assumes the cameras of the parking or speed cameras, will OCR the plate to build a query, and that the code is not well protected. So basically is exploiting a Sql Injection.

Anybody working on the systems side, and with databases, knows how annoying are those potential situations.

Python and coding

One of my colleagues shared this :)