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Making Minecraft 1.5 Pretty on Ubuntu Raring

I finally broke down and got Minecraft, even though I think Minetest is fairly excellent and getting better. Even though you pay Mojang for the game, making it polished takes at least a couple of mods and making it really slick takes a few more. I wrassled around with minecraft on Linux and found a decent set of bits which make the game pretty fancy. This guide assumes you've got minecraft successfully installed, but not too much else.

Goodbye Justhost, hello Namecheap and Nosupportlinuxhosting

Since this site is really just my personal blog, it requires little in the way of resources as compared to any "real" site. Drupal caches most content for anonymous users, and I am generally the only person logged into the site and I'm not on it very often. As a result I've always gone for the cheapest hosting that seemed it would do the job at the time I was looking. This has sometimes had mixed results, but these days it's mostly fairly simple to change hosting, and this is what I've just done.

Hardware in the hand is worth putting in the bush

Today I replaced the passenger-side braking support rod bushing on my 1982 300SD. The job didn't go so well on the driver's side, because I attempted to use all of the specified replacement hardware. Unfortunately, Meyle is currently delivering substandard and improper hardware for remounting the bushing carrier, with the effect that the nut shears off of its captive shim and causes you to live in a world of hurt. Using the original hardware with some red thread locker seems to be a workable solution; I've done it on the other side with good results, and now I've done it on both sides. In the process, I also learned that one can trivially press the new bushing in with the old hardware.

What I really needed to know about the Dockstar

The Seagate Dockstar is the lowest-end PogoPlug device, a tiny low-power ARM server which runs Linux. Devices like this are ubiquitous now, but when the PogoPlug came out it was extremely unusual. It also cost substantially more than it does today, when a Rev.2 PogoPlug (not the new-new one, the old new one) is only $20. The only cheaper ARM-based server I know of is the Dockstar, which can be had for as little as $14 through Amazon today. Regardless of which PogoPlug you might have, you probably want to run Debian Squeeze with a recent kernel featuring LED support, which is not that difficult — but finding all the information you need is.

Receiving SIP Calls to a phone number for free

I've got an Android phone with, currently, no phone service. Well, OK, it's a WinMo phone chainloading Android, but that's relatively irrelevant. Soon I will want to avoid using minutes from my incoming T-Mo PAYG phone card, so I'll still want to make phone calls using SIP any time I'm in WiFi range. You can even get out of paying for outgoing calls so long as you turn them into incoming calls.

Preview OpenELEC 3 for Raspberry Pi right now

I wanted to run OpenELEC 3 to get XBMC 12 "Frodo" because cancel works, which is to say that I've never previously been able to cancel actions like browsing a SMB server and I've been running XBMC since it was XBMP. To make a long story short, OpenELEC 2.99.2 (RC2) has nonworking bluetooth. Some have reported success with 2.99.1 but that didn't work for me either. But as of yesterday (20130206) there is a dev build that does work, and I have installed it.

Mercedes Bushwhacking

When a one day job becomes a two day job because a part is incorrectly specified or otherwise wrong, you can be sure that you are having an excellent time. When the new self-locking nut intended to retain one end of my driver's side front suspension carrier sheared away from its magical captive shim during yesterday's automotive repair attempt, I knew that I was in for a really good time.

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