Author Archives: aardwolfweb

About aardwolfweb

Journalist, Web Designer

Learning how to use Screen with Ubuntu and Minecraft

An interesting challenge this. It’s half term and I’ve offered to start a Minecraft server for the children while I’m in the office. There’s no great distraction – start the Azure server, run the Minecraft server startup script and off we go. The trouble is I can’t really leave the PuTTY window running. Just in case the boss wanders over and looks closely enough to read the text. But if I close the PuTTY window the server dies as well.

The screen utility is the solution. It lets you start the server and leave it running while you close PuTTY. Later on, you reconnect to the server and the Minecraft game.

The office Ubuntu documentation is on the Ubuntu Community site, but here’s my guide.

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Running a Spigot Server on Windows

Setting up a Minecraft server is fairly straightforward – most of the time you just download the jar file into a folder and run it. But you might end up wondering how to add some of the clever stuff you see on other servers such as games or preventing griefing – such as people starting fires.

There are plenty of add ons out there but they require something more than basic Minecraft. A common version of Minecraft for these addons is Spigot. Installation is much easier than it used to be but I though some instructions would be helpful.

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Simple Minecraft world backup

Running a dedicated Minecraft server on Azure means I don’t really have to worry about storage. But I do need to worry about unwanted changes to worlds as the server runs for a group of children.

I’ve been testing this with my instance of Ubuntu Server hosted on Azure so it’s all terminal. I’m also going to work with vim as I need to get in the habit of using it rather than nano.

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Throttling Windows to prevent overheating

powerOptionsI’d wanted to throttle Handbrake video conversion because I was worried that the system was getting too hot.

*I’m running Speedfan so it’s not so much the CPU that bothers me but the mysterious Temp2 reading that never seems to stop rising when the CPU maxes out and takes a lot longer to go down.

Turned out that the answer wasn’t with Handbrake but with Windows. I remembered that all the Power Savings options are available even if you’re not on a laptop so I set the maximum CPU speed to 48%.

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Ukulele Chord Chart

One of the most useful things when I started playing guitar was a chord chart that laid the chords out by how you might actually want them. Rather than a simple list of all the majors, then minors, etc it had them in groups of:

  • Tonic
  • Relative Minor
  • Sub Dominant
  • Dominant

As I didn’t spend enough time paying attention in GCSE Music that doesn’t really mean very much to me but you might recognise them better as C, Am, F and G7 or E C#m, A and B7.

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Saving a default template in Xara Xtreme Photo and Graphic Designer

How to change the default units in Xara Xtreme Photo & Graphic Designer

Xara Xtreme is a fantastic design program but I’ve often been frustrated by having to change the default units in every document I work on. As I mostly work for the web, I think in pixels rather than cm or inches.

It turns out that the default Page Units are saved in templates. Create a new document and set up any other options that you want as defaults.

To change the Page units, click Utilities then Options. Select the Units tab and then select Pixels in the Page Units menu. Click OK.

Click File and then Save Template. Choose a name and location for the template and select the option ‘Use as default template’. Click Save. Restart Xara and you should now be using pixels as the default unit.

My raspberry pi on a shelf

The Pi on the shelf – Getting to grips with X

As I don’t really have space for lots of monitors in my office, I’ve been experimenting with remote access to my Raspberry Pi. Why not just play around with a virtual Pi with QEMU I hear you ask? Well, the most exciting thing about the Pi for me is the breadboard with LEDs so there’s no fun emulating that in software. Remote access is nothing new for me (fixing the Aged Ps’ computer would be much harder without), but I’ve never tried it with something like the Pi.

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