Monthly Archives: October 2010

happy thanksgiving

Okay, happy Thanksgiving from Canada. :D

While watching How To Train Your Dragon on DVD at my gf’s parents’ place, I was on a laptop dinking about with the Web site a bit.

  • Tower ad on the sidebar!  Woo!
  • Proper links in the menu bar – no more clicking through a page to get to the map.
  • Cuboid protection zones now have a minimum height of 32.

Map update

Thanks to agrif, regular on the server and contributor to Overviewer, the server map now marks protected areas. They’re normalized to sea level, which makes them a little off sometimes, but most of them are most accurately represented at sea level anyway.

Hm, I guess I could render it at the *average* Y instead of at a set Y.

Productive day

Well:

  • we’re running WordPress now,
  • the map is moved,
  • the forum is moved,
  • some basic content is in place,
  • I made a spiffy new banner from the Cathedral (probably the most recognizable landmark),
  • we’re running MySQL on the backend now,
  • I updated the map marker and premium member scripts to use MySQL,
  • We ran with 30 users for three hours. It was amazing!

Moving to MySQL

Minecraft multiplayer is fun, but playing it quickly grows old. Without the challenges imposed by server-side health, enemy mobs, and the tempting, easily-available /item spawn command, it doesn’t pose a whole lot of challenge for a server admin. Running the server is interesting, though.

Today, I’m working on moving the backend configuration to MySQL out of flat files. That part is done. I wrote a script to parse the text files and insert them into tables, restarted the server, and everything seems pretty okay, with the exception of some duplicate entries in the groups table, and some leftovers in the user table. I’m rewriting the “contributor” script, which will promote users from “regular” to “member”, the premium rank.

2 subscriptions so far. Rolling in the dough!

Still to do: add Google adsense ads to the global WordPress template, and then fix the Paypal registration script. Currently it doesn’t renew subscriptions properly.

Improvements

I moved minecraft.novylen.net to a RAM disk yesterday. Performance issues have been resolved entirely. In a stress-test today, I had 30 users logged in without a hiccup. It’s pretty easy to see how a server with more memory and better CPU could support 60-100 users.

Currently I am limited only by bandwidth: the package we have right now is $150/mo for 130KiB/sec upload, but latency issues when the upload is as little as 75% saturated (sigh, as much as 3 seconds ping time to fraser.sfu.ca) mean that the ISP has temporarily put us on the $300/mo package with 750KiB/sec upload, which is nice. With 30 users, the server did a pretty steady 300KiB/sec up. So we could easily support more users if I could find a way to partially fund it.

Subscriptions will help, if I can find the right combination of carrot, stick, and price. It doesn’t seem to be the price so much as the concept of paying a subscription, or donating, that people have trouble with. So I’m aiming for $2/mo, which is pretty comparable to iphone apps. I only support paypal at the moment.

Now on WordPress

As current members have noticed, I’ve re-vamped the novylen.net Minecraft web site. The links along the top lead to various places. This feed is intended for news related to the server. I will post here from now on instead of making forum threads.