Disclaimer: I am not an investment advisor. When I describe my own trading activities, it is not intended as advice or solicitation of any kind.

26 October 2011

Applications: Minecraft

See Time For a Change for the first in this series, or check out the index for all the posts dealing with Arch Linux. Since I only have a limited time to work on the Arch test machine this evening, I'll tackle something that should be pretty simple now that I have Moneydance working.

Note that this post is not going to be a description or review of Minecraft. If you want to learn about Minecraft, just Google it and you'll have all the information you want, and a great deal more besides. This is about getting Minecraft working in a 64-bit Arch Virtual Machine.

Still Here?

Minecraft is written in Java, and thus is designed to work on just about any major operating system. But when I tried to install it and use it on my Arch 64-bit VM, it crashed on me. I suspected that it was the same problem as Moneydance: OpenJDK vs OracleJRE, but forum reports said would work just fine with OpenJDK. The problem turned out to be that I had not enabled 3D acceleration in my VirtualBox test machine. After a quick shutdown and reconfigure, I booted back up and launched Minecraft again:

$ java -jar minecraft.jar

It sent nearly continuous errors to the console, but managed to login and start the game. Not wanting to see these constant error messages, and knowing that they would slow down execution of the game, I slightly modified my command and tried again:

$ java -jar minecraft.jar &> /dev/null

The additional characters in this command simply redirect all output to the endless vacuum of space.

Minecraft came up, and let me login, although strangely I had to click the Login button a couple of times before it succeeded. But as soon as I entered a world, the mouse control was awful. No matter how careful I was, I found myself staring at either the ground or the sky, spinning in place. After some more Googling, I discovered that this is a known issue when using Minecraft in a VirtualBox guest machine, and the solution is as simple as to disable mouse integration when using Minecraft. I tried that, and voila! Resource-gathering goodness.

In the home stretch now, I used the same menu-editing trick I used for ThinkOrSwim, stealing an icon from my host machine (don't remember where I found it in the first place), and sticking Minecraft under the Games submenu.

Six down, four to go!

  • PasswordSafe for secure password management
  • Moneydance for personal finance DONE!
  • ThinkOrSwim for option trading DONE!
  • Minecraft DONE!
  • Dropbox for cloud storage DONE!
  • Kontact for e-mail, contacts, and calendar
  • Choqok for micro-blogging (following and posting to Twitter) DONE!
  • NixNote for notes/personal organization
  • Okteta hex editor DONE!
  • Bacula for automated backups
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