If you’re looking for motorcycle stuff – move along, nothing to see here…
What is it about me that I can’t stay away from computers? I work all week as an IT Manager, and I accept jobs from friends and coworkers to fix their computers at home (I have three of these next to me right now, waiting for my attention). Why then, do I come home and spend hours working or playing on my computers at home? My latest activity is trying to get a network server up and running just to host a game for myself, my son, and my son-in-law. The game is called MineCraft, and it’s one of the latest crazes to hit the gaming world online.
I run Windows Server 2008 R2 on a system in my house, and I utilize the Hyper-V functions of the operating system to run various virtual machines. If you don’t know or care what I mean by this, that’s fine. I’m just typing blind at this point. Hyper-V enables me to create “sandbox” systems that I can play with as much as I want without having to have individual physical computers. It also allows me to run various programs from questionable sources that may contain a virus or something and NOT infect any of the other systems on my network.
Enough background, though. I first created a MineCraft server using a virtual Windows Server 2008 system. It turns out there’s a LOT of computational overhead just in getting the operating system to run. I got it running, but it was slow and laggy. A lot of this may have been how I configured the virtual machine (how much RAM I dedicated to it, etc.). But it turned out to be less than acceptable to me.
I then did some research, and ended up building a virtual Linux machine with some instructions from the Wiki for MineCraft (once again, if you don’t know or care what a Wiki is, it’s not important.) Since I did NOT load any graphics features of the Linux server, it runs pretty efficiently with much less RAM and CPU utilization than the Windows one did. It now runs quite well. The players don’t know or care what operating system the server uses anyway, and the impact on my actual server is much less now.
If anyone reading this is interested, the website for MineCraft is www.MineCraft.net. It can be run both single and multi-player, and there are already hundreds of servers being run around the world. Pretty good for a program that’s still in alpha testing.
I’m not a huge fan of the program yet, but if you listen to my son and son-in-law, you’d think it was the greatest thing since toilet paper. Guess I’ll just have to grow into it.