Categories
Games

Learn to program with Minecraft

ComputerCraftEdu Turtle

I’ve long been interested in messing around with Javascript in Minecraft courtesy of ScriptCraft but I never got around to it, partly because it required using an external program to edit code but something always stopped the code running. I gotta go bug Walter about it! 🙂


Anyway, I recently discovered ComputerCraftEdu which is a mod for Minecraft that has both a drag and drop and text mode code editor to program turtles that do anything the player can do. It’s a different beast to ScriptCraft and necessarily more limited but I think it’ll make it easier to teach the basics of programming to my eight year old son. Loops, conditions and functions are all possible here and will hopefully give him a taste for what’s possible. He’s already hooked on command blocks but that single line interface is awful!

ComputerCraftEdu drag and drop editor

ComputerCraftEdu code editor

Installing ComputerCraftEdu is fairly easy, but we experienced some odd problems:

  • Minecraft would crash as soon as we started a map saying it was “shutting down internal server”. The problem was the draw distance. Set that to 16 blocks and it fixes it.
  • One of our machines had weird graphical glitches. Blocks were see through, or corrupted, the icons of the drag and drop editor disappeared but showed the text hint when the mouse hovered over them. Setting Mip Mapping to 2 (from 4) fixed that.

There are a whole series of tutorial videos and a programming section on their wiki to explain the commands available. There are example maps, guidance for parents and tools for teachers available so it’s definitely worth looking into.

Thanks Alex for telling me about this mod. Here’s what r/FTB had to say about it. They’re enthusiastic too! 🙂

Categories
Tech

Beware! The Java Updater installs the Ask Toolbar

I had to update Java this morning and I was in a hurry. I clicked through the first page of the install wizard without really looking and then remembered I should have paid attention and noticed it said it would install the Ask.com app. Grrr.

Java Updater
(Here’s a screenshot I captured a few months ago)

I could have cancelled it but I ploughed on. However there was no sign of the extension after the install. When I restarted it, Chrome reported that the extension “Search App By Ask v2” was added!

Search App By Ask v2

I did not enable it of course, and checked my search engine settings. The site ask.com had been added, but was not set as the default engine. Gone with that then!

I hate that Oracle put a browser toolbar in the install of the Java runtime. I wonder how many kids who installed Java to run Minecraft have this toolbar installed now?

Categories
Games

The Simpson’s Minecraft Intro

My son is going to love this when he sees this. Mind blown I’m sure!

Categories
Games

Great Britain in Minecraft

The Ordinance Survey in the UK have published a Minecraft map of (most of) Great Britain. It’s a gigantic 224,000 square kilometres map made up of 22b blocks.

Isle of Wight in Minecraft

You can download it here. Get it quick before the servers melt!

More:

Categories
Games

Live Action Minecraft

A very impressive Minecraft video, but not like any you’ve seen before! (via)

Categories
Games

Reddit PvE Rev 6 Minecraft Server

One of the great things about Minecraft is that you can pack a level into one nice compressed archive. r/Minecraft on Reddit have a number of servers (I think) and this is one of them. You can download that world from here, it’s pveRev6.tar.gz but there are lots of other worlds there to check out too.

I had to fiddle around a bit to get creative mode working. I think I copied the region folder from the tarball into a creative world I created for this purpose. There was probably one or two other steps too but it’s been a while. Figuring out stuff in Minecraft is half the fun isn’t it anyway so go find out yourself 🙂

Categories
Games

Skyrim’s Whiterun built in Minecraft

Are there Skyrim fans in the house? Sure there are! You’ll recognise the town of Whiterun in the video above, all built in Minecraft. It looks pretty good too! Download link for the map in the description of the video!

Categories
Games

Hires map of Minecraft

Last night I updated the version of Dynmap on my Minecraft server. It’s the plugin that generates a realtime map of the world. I chose to render the hires tiles and it’s already created 2.2GB of data where the previous map was only 20MB! And it’s still going!

I think it’s worth it however. Check out the screenshots below and decide for yourself.

Old Map

 

New Map
DUCKY IS A LIE
Categories
Games

Darned Endermen

One of the cool new features in Minecraft 1.8 was creative mode which allows you to fly around and build things without running out of blocks. It also stops you taking damage from mobs so I switched them on in the server for the hell of it.

Unfortunately the new mob, the Endermen, caused problems for David’s pyramid.

They kept robbing bits of it and moving them about! I didn’t want to disable mobs and thankfully someone created a plugin that restricts what the Endermen will pick up. After verifying that cobblestone wasn’t on the list I restarted the server and the pyramid was safe!

Pity about all the other structures made of “natural” material ..

Categories
Games

What’s new in Minecraft 1.8?

Well, I’m not sure, but here’s a list of features (and I read elsewhere that carrying a torch does not light your way, it still has to be placed) and there’s the video above which I found here.

That NPC village looks nice!