Minecraft mod development with Forge on Windows 10: Setting up the Java Development Kit

 

I’ve been studying Java again lately and decided to look into doing a Minecraft mod as more practice.

I’m currently running Windows 10 x64 RTM + latest updates (v1511 build 10586.420).

I started following the Getting Started guide in the Forge Documentation and once I got to Step 4 had some issues, so this first post is what I had to do to get the gradlew setupDecompWorkspace step working:

Install the latest JDK

I installed the latest JDK (JDK 8 update 91) via Ninite, and uninstalled any older versions.

Sidenote:

Ninite allows you select one or more application and download a tiny installer for the selected software, which when run always installs the latest version(s) with no annoying dialogs, etc. Highly recommended for anything they support.

Set the JAVA_HOME variable

Hit Start, start typing ‘environment’ or ‘variables’. It should show you “Edit the system environment variables” after 3 letters or so, click on that.

Then click on “Environment Variables…” button on the bottom right of the dialog that comes up.

Look for a Variable named JAVA_HOME in the top and bottom panes. If one exists, make sure the path points to your JDK install directory (not including /bin at the end). E.g. today mine looks like:

C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_91

If you don’t see one, create a new one in either the top or bottom pane and make sure the value points to your JDK directory, same as above.

Continue with the Forge Documentation

Then I continued to follow the official guide here.

 

Inoreader’s Integration Options, Pt. 2

In Part One, I looked at a couple image-heavy sites and how they behaved when adding their posts to each of the external services available via Inoreader. This time I’ll look at guitar lessons from a few different places – same as with the previous post, the websites differ and therefore show up differently in each service.

Guitar World lessons

Firefox

The actual article in Firefox:1_gw_web1 1_gw_web2

Inoreader

The article in Inoreader:
2_gw_ino12_gw_ino2

Pocket

Pocket doesn’t let the reading area get very wide, so the images can get pretty small, which makes some of the Examples hard to read.
3_gw_poc13_gw_poc2

Instapaper

Instapaper allows a wider reading area than Pocket, so the Examples don’t get squished and are easy to read.
4_gw_insta14_gw_insta2

Readability

Readability also allows wider reading area, but apparently compressed the images more than the others, making the Examples blurry and harder to read.
5_gw_reada15_gw_reada2

Evernote

Evernote looks pretty good:
6_gw_ever16_gw_ever2

OneNote

OneNote makes the images blurrier than EverNote:
7_gw_onenote17_gw_onenote2

Dropbox

The PDF actually turned out decent this time, but the images are a little blurry:
8_gw_db18_gw_db2Voids of whitespace occupy areas once lush with embedded video, resulting in an essentially wasted last page in this example, but you could use a PDF tool to delete it if needed:
8_gw_db3

Another Guitar World Sample

Another example yields nearly exact results with most of the services, except this time the strange splitting of web elements across pages in the resulting Dropbox PDF.
Sliced bottom off a line of text:
gw2_db1
Sliced a few pixels off the top:
gw2_db2
More off the next image:
gw2_db3
And even more off the next one. At least it’s between the text in the image, but this specific example would better unsliced:
gw2_db4

Verdict for Guitar World

Read it later: Instapaper — Pocket scales the images width-wise, making them hard to read. Readability compresses the images making them blurry, also making them hard to read.

Editable copy: Evernote — OneNote has slightly blurrier images.

Inconsistent PDF results: Dropbox — first sample yielded a decent PDF but the second was the same element-splitting weirdness we’ve seen previously. If you were to actually print them, both samples provided plenty of whitespace for notes. 🙂

 

Premier Guitar

Firefox

The actual article in Firefox has a link to a PDF version of the lesson, embedded video, and links for each Example that open a new tab with a cool audio player that follows the musical notation & guitar tabulature as it plays.
2_pg_ff

Inoreader

The article in Inoreader just contains a summary text:
1_pg_ino

Pocket

Just a link to the actual article again.

Instapaper

Includes some webpage artifacts, and the first image twice at the top:

4_pg_ip_1Also included are the PDF link, the embedded video, and the player links:

4_pg_ip_2

Readability

The PDF link, and the embedded video are lost:
5_pg_ra_1

The player links are intact:5_pg_ra_2

Evernote

Loses the PDF link, the embedded video, and the player links:
6_pg_en_16_pg_en_2

OneNote

Also loses the PDF link, the embedded video, and the player links:
7_pg_on_17_pg_on_2

Dropbox

Starts out good, but also loses the PDF link, the embedded video, and the player links:
8_pg_db_1

Vast whitespace again:8_pg_db_2

Sliced off text again:8_pg_db_3

Verdict for Premier Guitar

Read it later: Instapaper — Nothing is perfect for this one, but at least Instapaper doesn’t lose any of the links.

Editable: It doesn’t matter — Evernote and OneNote both lose the links to what essentially makes these lessons.

Meh PDF: Dropbox, but it’s useless for this example because of the individual links & audio for each example.

 

Guitar Chalk

Firefox

The actual article in Firefox has an embedded video, several images, and a few links:
2 web1 2 web2 2 web3

Inoreader

The article in Inoreader is just a summary:
1 ino

Pocket

Loses the video, the images, and the links:
3 pocket13 pocket2

Instapaper

Loses the video and images:
4 insta14 insta2

Readability

Only loses the video:
5 reada15 reada2

Evernote

Also only loses the video:
6 ever16 ever2

OneNote

Loses the video. Before each image, there is an empty space the same size as the image that follows it:
7 onenote17 onenote2

Dropbox

Loses the video, slices the images terribly again:
8 db1 8 db2 8 db3

Verdict for Guitar Chalk

This one is a mess — might be better just to tag it in Inoreader.

 

Tune In Next Time

I need to look in Pocket to see if anything else doesn’t appear as expected, which is how I started along this path in the first place. Looks like it’s gonna be a little while before I can see my old articles in Inoreader though. :\

Depending on the outcome of that, the next post will either be a wrap-up (with an overview, recommendations, a table with source vs service, and links to the previous posts), or yet more experimenting. 🙂

Inoreader’s Integration Options, Pt. 1

After Google’s announcement regarding Reader’s impending doom, I spent weeks trying out alternatives, including self-hosted offerings. I eventually settled on Inoreader, after seeing someone recommend it in a comment on a post about Google Reader alternatives.

This post is regarding the “integration” options you can see at the top of each post in Column View (and at the bottom of each post in Expanded View) allowing you to send articles to different external services: Pocket, Instapaper, Readability, Evernote, OneNote, and Dropbox.

article top buttons in Inoreader

You need to connect each service in Inoreader to use them: Gear icon –> Preferences –> Integration

integration preferences in Inoreader

I will add several types of articles to each service and report the findings. I’m using Firefox 46.0.1 on Windows 10 Pro x64 RTM with latest updates.

 

Randall Munroe’s “What If?”

Firefox

The actual article in Firefox:
What If in Firefox

Inoreader

The article in Inoreader – using the Dark theme makes the stick figure drawings hard to see due to their transparent backgrounds. Because of this, I’ve switched to light themes in Instapaper and Readability.
What If in Inoreader

Pocket

Just has a link which opens the actual article in a new tab.

Instapaper

No surprises here:
What If in Instapaper topWhat If in Instapaper bottom

Readability

No surprises here either:
What If in Readability topWhat If in Readability bottom

Evernote

Throws an error in Inoreader and doesn’t add anything to Evernote.

OneNote

Adds an editable version of the article as a new Page in the Notebook selected in Inoreader’s Integration Preferences:

What If in OneNote top

Includes some useful info in the footer of the Note:

What If in OneNote bottom

Dropbox

Inoreader created a PDF of the article and placed it in my Dropbox:
What If in Dropbox folderWhat If in Dropbox PDF

Verdict for What If?:

Read it later: Instapaper or Readability – it’s basically up to the user’s preference between the two since the results are very similar.
I need to check out and compare their Android apps to see if I lean one way or the other.
[UPDATE] I prefer the Instapaper Android app over the Readability Android app and here’s why:
Readability’s app seems like an iOS port, only lets you choose between white or black, and none of the 5 font choices affected the yucky sans-serif font in which the text was actually displayed.
Instapaper has 4 colors (white, sepia, grey, black) and the font selection actually works.

Editable copy: OneNote.

Weird PDF: Dropbox.

 

Darryl Cunningham Investigates

Firefox

The top of the actual article in Firefox:
dci-web

Inoreader

The top of the article in Inoreader:
dci-ino

Pocket

As you’d normally expect, but not after seeing the previous example:
dci-pocket-topdci-pocket-bottom

Instapaper

So far so good:
dci-insta-top
Bunch of website garbage tacked onto the bottom:
dci-insta-bottom

Readability

The top looks promising:
dci-reada-top
Again with the additional website artifacts at the bottom:
dci-reada-bottom

Evernote

Looks fine, and editable:
dci-ever-top dci-ever-bottom

OneNote

Adds an editable version of the article as a new Page in the Notebook selected in Inoreader’s Integration Preferences:
dci-onenote-top

Again includes some additional info in the footer of the Note:

dci-onenote-bottom

Dropbox

Creates a PDF and puts it in your Dropbox. Such whitespace! Did it put one image per page?
dci-dropbox-top
Kinda?
dci-dropbox-middle
dci-dropbox-bottom

Verdict for Darryl Cunningham Investigates

Read it later: Pocket is the clear winner – both Instapaper & Readability added a bunch of website crap to the bottom.

Editable copy: user preference between Evernote and OneNote – I’m leaning toward Evernote because OneNote Online is slooowwww.

Really weird PDF: Dropbox

 

Tune In Next Time

In Part Two I’ll look at guitar lessons from a few different places – like with the above, the websites differ and therefore show up differently in each service.

Open Live Writer

openlivewriter-purpleheader  I just installed v0.6.0.0 of Open Live Writer and am giving it a go on Windows 10 Pro RTM, with latest updates.

I’d used Windows Live Writer in the past but not in a long time, so this seems a little more advanced than what I remember.

It’s basically like WordPad, but allows you to publish directly to blogs powered by WordPress, Blogger, and many more. You can add multiple blogs to it and choose which one you want to publish (or push a draft) to via dropdown.

During installation it asks if you want to use a test post to download your theme so you can more accurately preview your posts before you publish, but it failed to download my theme for some reason.

I haven’t closed this post yet, and it’s smart enough to update the same post each time I hit publish instead of making a new one, which would be annoying.

Pidgin + Google Apps for Your Domain with 2-factor Authentication

  1. Create an app-specific password for Pidgin: https://security.google.com/settings/security/apppasswords
  2. Add a new account in Pidgin:
    • Basic tab:
      • Protocol: Google Talk or XMPP
      • Username: {yourusername}
      • Domain: {yourdomain.tld}
      • Resource: {left blank}
      • Password: {app-specific password}
      • Remember password: Checked
    • Advanced tab:
      • Connection security: Use Old-style SSL
      • Connect port: 443
      • Connect server: talk.google.com
      • File transfer proxies: proxy.eu.jabber.org (the default)

Hat-tip: http://superuser.com/a/894407

Remove internal AHCI/SATA from the Safely Remove on Windows 10

I have my motherboard set to use devices as AHCI, and all my SATA drives show up under the Safely Remove icon in Windows 10. Since I rarely need to remove the boot SSD while I’m actively using the computer, I don’t want to see it or any of the other internal drives in that menu.

Run RegEdit and navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\storahci\Parameters\Device

Add a new Multi String Value called TreatAsInternalPort set the value like so (I have 8 internal drives I want to hide, so 0-7):

0
1
2
4
5
6
7

(note the newlines after each number, including the last one)

Found here: http://superuser.com/questions/12955/how-can-i-remove-the-option-to-eject-sata-drives-from-the-windows-7-tray-icon/961242#961242

Ubuntu MATE 15.10 Beta 1 in VirtualBox 5.0.2

Background

Anymore when it comes to Linux distros I prefer a Debian/Ubuntu base and the MATE (maté) Desktop Environment (again, my desktop Linux distro of choice is Linux Mint MATE edition). Just give me APT + MATE + Firefox, please.

Earlier this year I jumped at the chance to try the official MATE spin of Ubuntu 15.04 Beta, as I do like to try out new builds but I can’t stand Unity (or GNOME3 for that matter). Overall, it seemed like a fine OS but I saw no reason to switch from Mint.

Ubuntu MATE 15.10 Beta 1 was announced recently so I decided to check it out as well. This time I’m using a PC I built with 6 cores and 24GB of RAM, running Windows 10 RTM, so Microsoft will also probably have some decent data on how well this runs. 😉

Downloading the ISO and VirtualBox

This time I grabbed the .torrent for the Ubuntu MATE 15.10 Beta 1 ISO and it downloaded a lot faster (~4.4MB/s average).

I had already downloaded & installed VirtualBox v5.0.2 prior to this.

Installing VirtualBox

I uncheck a few things when I install VirtualBox:

  • VirtualBox USB Support
  • VirtualBox Bridged Networking
  • VirtualBox Host-Only Networking
  • VirtualBox Python 2.x Support

Creating the VM

I created a new VM with default options except:

  • Memory size: 4096 MB
  • 10.00 GB VDI

Change VM Settings

Since the ISO was still downloading I decided to change some more of the VM’s Settings to my liking:

General/Advanced

Shared Clipboard: Bidirectional

Drag’n’Drop: Host To Guest

System/Motherboard

Boot Order: unchecked Floppy

Pointing Devices: PS/2 Mouse

System/Processor

Processor(s): 4 CPUs

Extended Features: check Enable PAE/NX

Display/Screen

Video Memory: bump up to 32 MB

Acceleration: check Enable 3D Acceleration

Storage

Removed the IDE Controller

Checked “Use Host I/O Cache” for the SATA Controller

Checked “Solid-state Drive” for the UbuntuMate.vdi

Added an empty Optical Drive to the SATA controller

Changed the ports so the Optical Drive is Port 0 and the SSD is Port 1

Audio

Audio Controller: Intel HD Audio

USB

Unchecked “Enable USB Controller”

 

Some of the above settings won’t have any effect until after the Guest Additions are installed.

Installing Ubuntu Mate

I booted to the ISO and immediately started the install instead of trying the Live version.

During install I checked both “Download updates…” and “Install 3rd-party software” boxes.

However, after reading the comments in latest DistroWatch Weekly, I deviated slightly from my standard VM partitioning scheme leftover from the magnetic hard drive days (2GB swap at the beginning, and Ext4 the rest for /), and chose to try XFS instead Ext4.

Note that the ~8GB should be plenty of space to try out a distro (as long as it’s not one of the ones that include EVERYTHING), but I’ve run out of space in the past doing things like downloading & building open-source software & games.

I also set it to logon automatically and didn’t bother with encrypting the home directory.

Once the install was complete I hit the Restart Now button, then pressed Enter after verifying the Installer did indeed eject the ISO (disc icon is grey at the bottom of the VirtualBox window), and let it reboot.

Initial Login and Updating

Close the Welcome screen. Optionally uncheck “Show this Welcome when I log on.” so it doesn’t show up again when you reboot.

Then let’s make sure our fresh installation is up to date:

Open a Terminal — There are few ways to do that:

  • Press F12 to show Tilda, a drop-down terminal similar to Guake, which is based upon the ~-activated consoles in games like Quake
  • Right-click on the Desktop (or something on the Desktop) and choose Open In Terminal
  • Applications -> System Tools -> MATE Terminal

Then:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo reboot

Installing Guest Additions

In the VirtualBox window’s menu, choose Devices -> Insert Guest Additions CD image…

Then back in the VM, hit Cancel at the Autorun prompt (it won’t work anyway). A disc icon labeled “VBOXADDITIONS…” should now be visible on your desktop.

Right-click on the disc icon -> Open in Terminal, then:

sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run

The installer complains about missing headers but continues on to build the modules and eventually we don’t need to keep hitting Ctrl to escape the mouse cursor, so good enough pour moi.

Reboot just to make sure the Guest Additions stuff is all loaded:

sudo reboot

All Done?

We’re done with the Guest Additions disc for now, so right-click on it and choose Eject.

It’s all set up, updated, and ready to be customized, etc.

Mildly interesting is that Firefox is only at v38.0 — v40.0.3 is released as of this writing.

Below are my usual next steps with notes regarding this specific install.

Totally optional things I also like to do

  • change the resolution
    • I usually choose 1280×960 because it fits nicely above the Windows Taskbar, however the Monitors configuration opens then closes immediately
      • An error reporting dialog opened allowing me to send info re: Monitors crashing to Ubuntu, which I did.
    • Workaround: manually resize the VM window itself and it will adjust the VM’s Desktop
      • upon rebooting it keeps the new resolution
  • get rid of the Welcome screen for good
    • uncheck “Show this Welcome when I log on.”, click Close.
  • disable autolocking when the screensaver starts
    • Control Center -> Screensaver
      • OR System -> Preferences -> Look and Feel -> Screensaver
    • uncheck “Lock screen when screensaver is active”
  • change to 12-hour clock, add my city so the temperature shows
  • reduce the # of Virtual Desktops Workspaces to 1
    • I don’t use them and don’t want to accidentally hit some hotkey that switches to a different one
  • rearrange the desktop Panels:
    • delete the bottom Ppanel
    • move top Panel to the bottom, remove Menu Bar & Power button, and add/move missing elements:
      • MATE Menu, and remove the Button text
      • Window List
      • Show Desktop
      • a shortcut to Terminal
    • Ends up looking like this: http://imgur.com/N6bpfoI
  • Firefox:
    • set the browser start page to something related to the current distro
      • In this case: ubuntu-mate.org
    • change the default search engine to DuckDuckGo
  • install a couple more things:
    • localepurge
    • apt-fast
      • OR setup mirrors in your sources.list

Gran Turismo 6 – GT Kart Championship 125 (non-shifter) B-Spec guide

The kart races frustrate the hell out of me, so I let my B-Spec driver do them. Use the settings below for each track, tell the driver to Push it Hard!

I don’t think it matters (does it?) but I used the Red Bull Racing Kart 125.

Race 1

Car Settings / Transmission

Reset to Default

1st Gear) 1.630 (all the way right)

Final Gear) 4.300 (all the way left)

Ends up being ~57 mph Max.

Race 2

Car Settings / Transmission

Reset to Default

Max Speed) 87mph

Race 3

Car Settings / Transmission

Reset to Default

62 mph/1.373 – 3rd place

68 mph/1.251 – 3rd

(default) 75/1.149 – 6th place

Best I can get is 3rd place using the 62 or 68 mph settings. :\

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Beta 1 in VirtualBox

My distro of choice is Linux Mint MATE edition, so naturally I was excited to hear there is an official MATE spin of Ubuntu. MATE (maté) is a fork of the old GNOME2 desktop environment, with bugfixes and enhancements.

Here’s my experience this evening while watching season 9 & 10 of Red vs. Blue.

 

I started downloading the Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Beta 1 ISO and while that trickled in at only ~1MB/s, I downloaded and installed VirtualBox v4.3.24.

I created a new VM with default options (including only an 8GB VDI) besides bumping up Memory size to 2GB.

 

I booted to the ISO and immediately started the install instead of trying the Live version. During install I checked both “Download updates…” and “Install 3rd-party software” boxes, and my standard VM partitioning scheme leftover from the magnetic hard drive days (2GB swap at the beginning, and Ext4 the rest for /). Note that this will be plenty of space to try out a distro (as long as it’s not one of the ones that include EVERYTHING), but I’ve run out of space in the past doing things like downloading & building open-source software & games.

I also set it to logon automatically and didn’t bother with encrypting the home directory.

 

First thing, updated (using the new F12 ~Guake terminal, Tilda):

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo reboot

And when it came back up it no longer  had Guest Additions installed since it upgraded the kernel, so I installed linux headers for the new/current kernel and gcc so the Guest Additions would build & install:

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r) gcc

Inserted Guest Additions disc via the Devices menu in VirtualBox, then right-clicked on disc icon -> open in Terminal

sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditionsInstall.run

Still complains about not having headers for the current verison of the kernel, but it seems to have worked anyway.

Rebooted, and we’re back with seamless mouse integration and adjustable resolution.

 

Then followed this: https://ubuntu-mate.community/t/enabling-indicators-in-ubuntu-mate-14-10-and-15-04/22

Which didn’t do anything noticeable (to me at least).

 

Totally optional things I also like to do:

  • disable autolocking when the screensaver starts
    • Control Center -> Screensaver, uncheck “Lock screen when screensaver is active”
  • change to 12-hour clock, add my city so the temperature shows
  • rearrange the menu:
    • delete bottom panel, move top one to bottom, add missing elements (window list)
  • set the browser start page to something related to the current distro
    • I used ubuntu-mate.org
  • install a couple more things:
    • localepurge

More Portable App Adventures

In the previous post I indicated that I’ve been interested in making webpages & graphics for a long time now, and was recently remembering using Dreamweaver, mainly for the syncing tools, but still hand-coding most of it.

Microsoft released their Expression Web 4 for free and it reminds me a lot of Dreamweaver back in the day.

I’ve been trying to make a portable version of it, with no luck.

Failed with Cameyo.

I think ThinApp made something usable. It didn’t work at all on another computer, although that one had Windows 10 TP so might need to check it out on another computer that doesn’t have the settings saved on it.

Alternative is Dreamweaver CS5.5 (v11.5) or later, since that’s when they introduced support for FTPS. No luck Portable-izing that one either.