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I’m becoming such a geek. For the sake of my children.

So my 2 daughters have become quite entranced with Minecraft.

And I’ve been through the trials and tribulations of getting Minecraft to work on all of our home laptops. It has not been easy. Well, firstly, none of us have like new laptops with super fast new processors and mega RAMs… and to throw a spanner in the mix, my laptop is a Lenovo which is well known for having some issues with getting Minecraft to work.

But all that has been sorted now… thanks to a lot of help from others – none of which helped however, sad to say… I wish it were that easy. But nope. Life has to be hard. I found my answers by tinkling around and by trawling through Youtube tutorials AND the comments on the tutorials.

So voila… labour of love. Felt so chuffed when I got it all sorted.

Then my daughter logged into her world one day and saw that someone had destroyed her building by making holes in it. And that was the day I found out that whenever you create a world in Minecraft, be it Single player or Multi player, it is not private. Anyone can ping your IP address up and then go into your world and wreak havoc in it.

Anyone who doesn’t have much of a life in the real world. Obviously. Someone who gets cheap thrills out of destroying people’s creations by intruding into their worlds by actually going to the trouble of trying to ping their IP addresses up. I guess I just can’t put myself in their shoes because… thank goodness… I am not *that* bored.

So then I had to go through a whole new learning experience again (albeit a very unasked for learning experience), trying to set up personal servers for my daughters on their laptops so that their worlds and creations can be safe from intruders…

That. Whoa… now THAT was another headache. Because once again, nothing is straightforward when it comes to my life… LOL … so I thought I had my server set up, on Creative mode (because that was all my kids were happy to play on… they were not keen on the brutal reality of Survival mode) and then oops… didn’t work actually. And had so many people helping me… in the end, it was only through my own tinkling and trawling through numerous (and I mean numerous – very time-consuming business that has turned out to be) forums and sites to find a way for ME to work this out… and in the end, I got it down to a pat.

Then in the past week, another spanner in the works. Apparently, the Minecraft people have done some major updates on their products and now my daughters’ created worlds on their servers just… won’t… work anymore! And they are upset that they can no longer play with each other on Multiplayer LAN. (Don’t even start asking me what that means… I am kind of finding my feet here). So I went through a whole trial and error day of clean installing Windows on my eldest’s laptop thinking it was a virus she downloaded that caused it because there was some Adware crap on her desktop that would not get uninstalled no matter what. And then even after a clean install of Windows, the Minecraft server we created still wasn’t accessible in Multiplayer mode. ARGHH!! You can get how frustrated that was for me… I’d spent hours doing a clean install and this.

Well epiphany struck around an hour ago… yep at 2.30 am in the morning. Why am I still awake? Well my husband took this entire week off for holidays since it was my birthday yesterday and all that… so he can help me with the homeschooling and the babysitting during the day… and I can sleep in a little. LOL…

But I was just playing around online whilst chatting online with a friend… and just had that sudden realisation that the numbers in red that crossed out the server words on my daughter’s Minecraft Multiplayer world actually stood for something. The “1.4.2” in red, with a red cross crossing it out. And it struck me, oh yes… maybe it’s because 1.4.2 needs updating.. because the new Minecraft client updated itself recently to 1.4.4. GRRR… and to think I spent an entire day clean installing a laptop and doing this and that to no avail.

All because I hadn’t figured out that actually, all I had to do was update the Minecraft server on my daughter’s laptop somehow! So armed with that discovery, I now knew what to type in my Google search… typed in something like “server out of date” or something… and threw up results from the Minecraft forums… here specifically:

http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/106702-servers-out-of-date-problem/

To be honest, half the time I read these forum advice on Minecraft, I only understand about 50% of the jargon and the implications of the advice contained in the conversations. So armed with that 50% understanding, I kind of fiddled my way through this Minecraft conundrum… I basically deleted my old Minecraft Server file on my desktop off… but not before I had kept a copy of the Server.properties file, the World file and the whitelist and ops files on my desktop. I then created a brand new Minecraft Server folder. And then went onto Minecraft.net and downloaded the Minecraft Server.exe into that brand new folder … and then ran it from that location. (same way I did when I set up the previous Minecraft Server folder which I deleted today)… and then I replaced all of the World, Server.properties, whitelist and ops files in the new Minecraft Server folder with the old ones from the old folder I’d deleted..

and then here comes the true test. I turned Minecraft Server and the Client on… and voila, all my daughter’s previous Minecraft Server Multiplayer worlds are working fine again! Victory for me, geeky mummy! Well I’m not actually geeky but kinda nerdy because I get a weird sense of joy out of solving anything that is remotely like a mystery or a puzzle… so there you go… actually you could say, I actually have a love-hate relationship with solving my daughters’ Minecraft conundrums. Even if I know almost next to nothing about computer stuff.

You know what I hate about Minecraft?

It’s the bad instructions for users. Seriously, someone out there shold write a new Dummies book for Minecraft. The Dummies Guide to Minecraft. There… if such a book was written it would have saved me hours. I hate the cryptic language for non-techies… How it works differently on every old machine (and hence even advice on Minecraft forums varies and may not work for everyone)… and the need to rack your brains and sap your precious time to get it to work FOR YOUR situation.

But I am pleased now that I’ve solved this for my kids.

I don’t even like playing with Minecraft. Don’t get what’s so great about it. It is crappy 80s computer game pixelated graphics… And building stuff… hmm well… I prefer real blocks – like you know… Lego sets? But if my kids dig it, I am all for it. I mean, out of all the computer games out there for kids, this has got to win a prize for it’s geek factor and therefore coolness. Like you know your kids are learning something great when they play it because they might just get inspired to become the next Bill Gates or something… To be honest, my daughters are never gonna be gaming geeks. They love Minecraft because they love the creative element on it.. The ability to make and do all kinds of stupid or wonderful things on it… without any right or wrong answers to stop them. They have also, in the past few days, started to play Survival mode instead, as they have become more experienced in this game and feel confident enough to go into the slash-and-hash realities of “Survival” in Minecraft land…

Yes it can take over your life, apparently.

Not mine.

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