It is sometimes frustrating to see that history tends to forget those who have played the most important rolls. This is very much the case with the British mathematician Alan Turing who, during the second world war, not only was responsible for breaking the German Enigma code, but also for laying the foundations of the modern day computers we use. Turing has never really gotten the credit he deserved back in the 1950’s because of his homosexuality. He died in 1954 and has only recently been “rediscovered” by Hollywood in the upcoming movie “CODEBREAKER” featuring Benedict Cumberbatch. But this is not the first movie to be made about Turings remarkable life and his utter brilliance. In “Breaking the code” (IMDB 1996) Derek Jacobi portrays Turing in his struggles during the second world war against the Nazi Code .. but also against a narrow minded society that cannot except his true nature.
GAME WEEK : Cross platform terraforming with Minecraft.
I started off playing creative mode minecraft this is where you have access to every block and item that is currently in the version you are playing. With all these blocks available to you, you can craft anything and the only limit is your creative self. The first thing I did in minecraft was to build a house and a bed so I was nice and safe from those pesky little monsters. Little did I know in
creative mode there are no monster mobs spawning at night and therefore is a nice mode if you just want to create a massive tower; a nice house or even create your own mini games.
When you get used to minecraft on creative mode and looking for a tougher challenge the next step is Survival mode, with 4 levels of difficulty which are peaceful no spawing monsters up to difficult. Unlike creative mode here is were the real game gets you hooked. You will start with no tools, blocks or information, you are however given a map which is empty. From this point on the game will only progress with the work you perform within the world. Sit back and wait for dark and monsters will keep attacking you. Get in early and start building your house and a bed and in no time you will be safe from the onslaught you will see when the sun sets.
Singleplayer minecraft is a lot of fun as you can move along the timeline of your world as quickly or as slowly as you see fit. You are mining and crafting items for yourself which can take up precious time you need to collect other valuable resources if only someone could help you. Well in Multiplayer the entire experience changes, not because you have a friend to mine resources you also have an enemy waiting to attack you. Be careful if you find gold or diamond your friend might want those for themselves. With a few swings of a stone sword your hard work might just become someone’s ill gotten gain.
There are so many features in the game that just need to be experienced by the player, with the game still in development there really is a lot more content that can be added. With the over world (main seeded world) which contains villages, dungeons and very different biomes (Rain forest, Forest, Desert, Sea, Caves, Solid Ground, Mushroom) all these biomes have different creatures and blocks you would need to mine in order to build your wildest creations. The current version 1.7.2 has most of the features above along with many types of animals, all of which are interact able and can be used for food, security(Wolves), or just to admire.
So to sum up Minecraft the game is endless fun for all ages I spent roughly 2 hours a day playing Minecraft with my niece over christmas. I must say it was one of the highlights of my holidays. Fishing a close second.. I want to finish off with my top 5 favorite things to do in minecraft.
1. Wolf Pack: Using bones collected from skeletons to be-friend a pack of wolves, then running around and attacking other animals to watch the wolves attack. Same with monsters spawned.
2. Pet spawning: this is where you get two animals of the same kind and you fence them. Then you make them enter love mode. After a few seconds a smaller younger version of these animals appears.
3. Creepers: While these are monsters the creepers will just pop up on you, you will here a hissing noise followed by a big explosion. Normal reactions are “Oh Crap!”, “ARRGGHHH!” , and “NOOOOOO”
4. Traps: Setting up pressure pads connected to TNT, which can be used to destroy someones creation or simple to have fun with dispensers.
5. Mini Games: I have seen many YouTube videos with free maps you can play that have multiple mini games, designed to use normal minecraft items to advance through levels.
About Matt : (A.K.A Turtlez) Age: 26
I have been a gamer for quite a few years now close to 14. I enjoy playing both online and offline games with friends. I have been mainly a PC and Xbox gamer with a tendency to play mostly First Person Shooter games, however I have branched out recently to third person hack and slash games. I also have been enjoying 2K’s NBA2k range of Basketball games, as well as Formula 1 games. Growing up in my household my father enjoyed working with computers and IT equipment which meant I spent loads of time doing the same as a kid. I now have an IT Based job in Australia working with an IBM Mainframe as a performance tester. I still to this day enjoy getting a gaming session in on a weekend or even after dinner when the time suits me. I first cut my gaming teeth on the good old Counter Strike 1.6 and Team Fortress 2 (A.K.A Team Fortress Classic). I then moved onto the newer versions of these games years later and expanded to Battlefield 2. Now I have a list as long as a stack of cases with all the games I currently play. The major of my time is spent playing the following: Battlefield 4, Team Fortress 2 (Source Edition), or Counter Strike Source , NBA 2k13 or 2k14 Formula 1 2013 (Usually driving in full GP length races with my cousin online) GTA IV, Forza, Ryse when I feel the need for change. Matts online coordinates : Xbox Live: TurtlezPantz – Steam: zyther (Screen Name Turtlez!) – Raptr: TM_Turtlez
Minecraft is a cross platform game. (to play it you just need Java on your machine) You can DOWNLOAD IT HERE.
There are also many completely FREE and open source alternatives to the “original” minecraft that might be more suitable for your system (or your budget) : choose from one of the many other alternatives out there in THIS list.
Free book/podcast : When sysadmins ruled the earth.
“Reading” : Aside from reading green text on a black terminal background of a remote SSH connections, most system administrators don’t do a lot of reading. Yet you should consider withdrawing from the screen and keyboard from time to time just to relax with a nice cup of tea and .. do some reading. But about what ? Vampires ? Wizards ? 50 shades of greyscale ? Most popular ‘books’ that line the bestseller que at the bookstores don’t appeal to us. So lets find something that does.
It has to be about something that interests us, something that is geeky and techie enough to keep your massive brains entertained, but also short and fast enough to outrun our ADD brain .. (oh look : Squirrels ! )
Cory Doctorow’s books have always checked those boxes. For those of you who have not read “Little Brother” and “Homeland” : You are missing out. 2 great books that SHOULD be fiction, but considering what the NSA is doing to day .. feel more like a reality soap. The books are free, you have no excuse but to download and read them.
Cory also regularly writes short stories like “When sysadmins ruled the earth” Exiting easy to read short stories about the oompa loompa”s who make the internet work ! You can download the stories individually over at Cory’s website (as a podcast if you are too lazy to read) or download them as a complete book in .ePub or .mobi format. Its free .. there is no excuse … Read … you fools ! 🙂
Download the separate chapters here.
Download the entire book as an ePub or mobi here.