The (technically adept) parents (shorthand) guide to installing minecraft mods (on windows)

ok. this brief post will be of no use to you unless you’re fairly tech savvy. If you’re not, and say for example, don’t know how to find your …\appdata\roaming\.minecraft folder, then you’re better off trolling youtube for 30 minutes trying to comprehend some script-kiddies rambling video tutorial.. like I did. it hurts

if you think you’re on the same wavelength as me, are as equally busy as I am, and have 2-4 kids begging you daily to help them setup mods then follow on;

1) ask your kids to figure out the bulk of the mods they are dying to install and explain to them you’re gonna install ONE version of minecraft forge and they need to pick the mods that work with that. obviously, it’s in your best interest to pick the forge version that is the same as the majority of mods that they say are ‘must-haves’. yes, there are many version of forge and yup, any mods are made for specific versions. Sometimes the mod developers keep up to date with new forge release – often they don’t. your kids will know which mods they want – you pick the forge version that matches up with the majority of mods they want

2) explain to them you need to know the minecraft forge version. here’s a screenshot showing a bunch of mods with 1.6.4, my son said these are the ones he’s gotta have

20140430-220246-e1398910796929.jpg

3) google and download minecraft forge version that corresponds w/#2 above. http://files.minecraftforge.net/

4) make sure minecraft isn’t running, then install minecraft forge. you don’t need to select the ‘server’ version

5) start up minecraft. Click ‘edit profile’ in the lower left, under your child’s username.

6) change the release version to the corresponding version of minecraft forge you just downloaded and installed

20140430-220308.jpg

7) save the profile, click play – let it load and then quit. this steps simply creates a folder in .minecraft\versions\ that forge will need in place

8) download mods to your desktop, temp, somewhere – THEY HAVE TO BE FOR THE SAME VERSION OF FORGE THAT YOU INSTALLED OR MINECRAFT WILL CRASH.

9) copy the mods to \appdata\roaming\.minecraft\mods folder. best to close the folder afterwords so the kids don’t inadvertently delete anything and coming crying to you. mods are often whole .zip files, but a bunch are also .jar files.
Please – use common sense trolling the web for mods, there’s viruses and questionable content everywhere. ride shotgun surfin the web with the younger kiddos.

10) start up minecraft again, but under profile choose ‘forge’ instead of your child’s username. you will need to login with your child’s usual username & password – it just needs to be done again – under this ‘forge’ profile

voila! if you see “xx mods loaded…” in the lower left hand side of the launcher then you should be good to go!

20140430-220315.jpg
————
there’s a bunch of steps you can go wrong on, it took me 20 minutes to make sense of the thousand youtube tutorials the first time, but my kids thank me endlessly now and have found a whole new appreciation for this ‘virtual legos’ game.

Now I have to apologize but I bet there will be a lot of requests for help, and I probably won’t be able to answer more than 2 or 3. I really am sorry, but it’s why I say it’s a shorthand guide. Even just notes for me to remember how to do it in the future.

I may post how to install multiple versions of forge and teach your kids how to back up all their mods for version x.x.x on their desktop and copy the mods for version y.y.y when they want to switch to another version of forge.. but then again I may not post that one.. as I just gave the super shorthand version of it here! :)

GOOD LUCK, ad enjoy the endless praise and respect you will get!

Just received my Raspberry Pi Kit!

20130805-212444.jpg

Picked up this basic kit from Amazon – has a clear case, Raspberry pi B (512MB) and a usb power supply.

Check out the shipping – it’s just a padded mailer on the bottom of the pic. And it came with these 3 small boxes inside :P. When I looked at the mail I wasn’t sure if it was a paperback I ordered, or if it was the tiny linux computer.

OK, off to build this thing, just need to find a spare 4GB SD card laying around and burn an image to it on my Win7 box. More later

20130805-214910.jpg

20130805-215006.jpg

20130805-220516.jpg

20130805-221501.jpgdidn’t like booting without the USB keyboard plugged in, so pulled out the power cord and rebooted after plugging in the keyboard.

Much better now

20130805-221808.jpg

man, this is one fast little pc.

i plugged it into an ancient CRT maganvox, 11″ and pulled up the blog, with absolutely no configuration needed

20130805-223846.jpg

M6.Net was cheap and feature rich. Unfortunately, it was so unreliable I was forced back to Bluehost.com

After 2 years of hosting with M6.net, I simply could not handle the amount of downtime and subsequent tickets I had to submit in order to get service running again.

I was originally drawn to their feature laden .net hosting plans, and after a few months on their cheapest $3 or so plan, I upgraded to their $7 plan so I could host this site, and several low volume sites for my wife’s clients.  There were long periods of time back in 2010 and 2011 when I would go for months without an outage.  (as an fyi, I’ve been happily using uptimerobot.com to automatically monitor the site).

Sometime in 2012 they started crashing monthly, then weekly, and at times daily.  I had to tell support I was going to leave if they cant tell me why I need to keep submitting tickets to reset the sites daily.  The response was that Cpanel was the culprit and they could move me to a new server using websitepanel.  I jumped at the chance.. and heard nothing until one day that decided to migrate me, and broke every !@!# wordpress installation.  Now I’m a software dev manager… after MANY mails to support – the ‘wtf did you do?’ kind..  I decided fix it myself.  So, I set up a new default wordpress install and looked at the default values in the wp.config file to get the new server names, IPs, set proper folder security.  How many regular consumers do you think could handle that themselves?  I pictured people tearing their hair out waiting 3 days for a reply.. man.. hope none of you guys went through that.

The experience was less than impressive…  nevertheless I thought let’s give the new server a chance..   Again fine for  a few months, then the monthly… weekly… daily crashes came.  Only this time the previously very helpful (offshore) support staff would start to say ‘the site appears up’.  Bullshit, I would send screenshots, and meanwhile uptimerobot is filling my mailboxes for notifications on 7 down sites.  I created a subfolder to STORE all of the emails over the last year (screenshot below).  So I just gave up, and went back to Bluehost.  Not my favorite place in the world, but there’s something to be said for running wordpress on LAMP, and with people who do it for a business.  M6.net, gives you a ton of features, especially in the asp.net/SQL realm.. but PHP is running on IIS (windows servers) and it’s just inherently not as stable..  furthermore all their MySQL databases were running localhost on the IIS servers..  Again, tons of features, but just not reliable at all for what I was doing.

So here I am, on Bluehost.com with 5 of those sites, some 5 months later.. and not one downtime.  Im happy.. I have my life back, they have my $7 a month (well $5, I had a promo coupon).  I don’t have Asp.net, or SQL server….but I do have a dev server in my basement that has those.  In hindsight, I think M6 is probably best used as a dev environment, in that there are so many features and technologies they provide, and you don’t have to worry so much about uptime on a dev box.

Here’s just a tiny sample of the downtime issues I had with M6.Netuptime 1 uptime 2

 

 

Bathroom water damage and floor rot, temporary fix

Man what a pain in the butt.

Preface: we already want to remodel our downstairs bath, some of it we need some contractors (plumbing, electrical wiring aka things you can’t see normally) and the rest.. all the things you can see I will do myself. I want to take my time, maybe a month or two over the weekend and do it right. It will be thoroughly enjoyable. The only problem is, that budget-wise this will NOT be on our schedule for 2 more years… OK.

Back to ‘the now’, I’ve started to notice the floor underneath the cheap vinyl tiling has been feeling spongy near the edge of the shower. Pretty much anyone can tell you that’s not a good thing… it’s just a matter of when are you going to start ripping things apart to see the extent of the damage. I’ve procrastinated because I knew I wouldn’t like what I would find, and needed a whole weekend free of obligations to tear it apart and come up with a plan..

So, today, after a Sapporo, I felt the liquid courage and decided to listen to the voice in my head that luvvvs home demo. ‘do it.. rip it up.. see the rot.. see the decay..’ So that’s what I did. Damn Sapporo, smooth, and tingly, urging me on.

The situation is kinda bad, but not as bad as it could be. All the plywood subflooring for about a 3′ square area is trash. The bottom of the adjacent cabinget wall are also rotted… Even a percentage (maybe 25% of the surface) of the 1900′s thick wooden boards underneath the plywood has rotted.. So that’s bad, but it really does open up my ideas for the complete remodelling 2 years from now.. Basically the shower and cabinet wall needs to get ripped out, all the subflooring and maybe 1 structural floorboard needs to go. With that much demo coming, we can really redo the bathroom however we want… it’s freeing.

Yea, but I need a functioning 2nd bath for 2 years. The plan is to first the damn leak in the shower, now that I can see exactly where it is… then rip and cut out the rot, spray it down with ammonia solution, patch up the flooring with whatever I have in the shop and throw some cheap new vinyl tiles on top.. and be careful no to slop water all over the place until we do things right. Pics of the unplanned project below;

20120701-163443.jpg

20120701-163510.jpg

20120701-163542.jpg

20120701-163559.jpg

20120720-101450.jpg

20120720-101514.jpg

Decals & Detailing – Hasegawa Typhoon Mk.IB 1/48 kit

Starting another post for the 2nd half of this kit, so the site doesn’t load too slowly (with all the images).  The first post can be found here.

The decal kit is great, and is a lot of fun, challenging.. but not back breaking.  I spent a couple hours putting on the main decals so far, using the standard soak in water for 20 second method.  What I’ve found, and strongly suggest is that everyone should invest a little time and locate some Walthers Solvaset.  Used, while a decal is drying or dried, just gently spread some drops of it on top of the decal, and let it do it’s magic.  The first time you use it you will think it’s melting and ruining your decals – but you really just have to wait it out..  After it’s completely dry you will notice the decal appears like it is literally painted on your model, hugging all the fine grooves and surface features of the plastic itself.  In my opinion, next to detailing (which I do after all decals are set) is the most important thing you can do to make your model look like an actual piece of art, as opposed to a toy.

Anyways, here’s some photos.

Without a doubt, the hardest part were the black D-Day stripes on the underside of the wings.  You can see on the picture of the decal sheet that they simply aren’t 8 different stripes, rather they are cut up into various small segments.  This is due to the fact that they span the landing gear as well.  What a pain, but it’s really a nice effect when you work through it.

In this pic you can see the difference solvaset makes.  On the cream fuselage stripe near the tail, notice how you can see the decal snug up and hug the columns of raised rectangular features on the plastic.  Also, if you look a little to the left of that feature you will notice that the “JR371″ decal doesn’t look that good – you can see the film of the decal sheet.  This is because I haven’t applied Solvaset to it yet. Anyways, will post more pics as I finish up decals and move on to detailing and weathering!

Hasegawa Typhoon Mk.IB 1/48 kit

Started this sweet hawker typhoon kit today! Will upload pics as I progress

Pics taken from iPhone and the whole post is being written and published from the WordPress app for iOS.

Kit is nice but a little disappointing in areas such as the wing to fuselage fit. Check out the surprisingly large gap on the top. Luckily the underside is a nice snug fit, but I’m not looking forward to filling in a gap that size wih putty. :(

20120609-194726.jpg

20120609-194745.jpg

20120609-194754.jpg

20120609-194805.jpg

20120609-201518.jpg

20120609-211708.jpg

20120609-211717.jpg

20120610-204413.jpg

20120610-204422.jpg