Resolving Minecraft 1.12.2 connectivity problems

Minecraft was auto-updated to version 1.12.2 yesterday and it was a great tragedy for the kids who were at home on summer vacations, while I was still at work, since after upgrade local LAN multiplayer did not work, and neither could they start the Minecraft server.

As it turns out the error was quite simple once you found it. The installer updated the game fine, but the Windows Firewall rules were not updated properly. I’d guess it’s because the kids are not using admin accounts on their computers.

On the first computer, the Windows Firewall rules were added for

…\minecraft\runtime\jre-x64\1.8.0_51\bin\javaw.exe and
…\minecraft\runtime\jre-x64\1.8.0_51\bin\java.exe,
but only enabled for java.exe, not for javaw.exe.

On the second computer, there was only added a rule for

…\minecraft\runtime\jre-x64\1.8.0_51\bin\javaw.exe, but it wasn’t enabled.

(I assume the difference comes from the first computer also running the Minecraft server.)

Additionally, the firewall rules for the old version,

…\minecraft\runtime\jre-x64\1.8.0_25\bin\java.exe and
…\minecraft\runtime\jre-x64\1.8.0_25\bin\javaw.exe, were left still enabled.

Cleaning up the rules solved the problems of peer-to-peer play. Updating the connection info to the Minecraft server to its new IP-adress, plus updating the launch path for java.exe solved the remaining glitch.

The world can start turning again for the kids.

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Windows patch tuesday and some side effects

Today is patch tuesday again, and it’s also release date for iOS 11.4.1, so here we go.

I received some odd results from the first upgrades, first of all an error message stating I need an adult in the family to approve my shell experience. Whatever this now is, it has started occurring every now and then on one of the PCs. But everything seems to be working and the error disappears after first login, so I’m sure it’s just another bug along with all the others that doesn’t seem to get fixed soon.

windows shell error 2018-07-10

On top of this, Office365 is also behaving oddly, both computers upgraded so far claim to have all the most recent software versions, but they’re running different versions. But as long as they work I’m sure it will sort itself out in a short while.

There was also an odd network problem today, completely unrelated to this, but the fiber cable to the whole town was cut this morning. Twice. So after some lengthy repairs by our ISP we’re back online again now in the evening.

 

Finally, Binero offers Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates

Finally! It took a while, but as of midsummer Binero now offers SSL-certificates from Let’s Encrypt. And it’s really smooth installing them as well, at least on WordPress which is the only kind I’ve tested so far.

Since there is a drawback, ignoring the fact that the service is in beta-mode, (something which for example shows up when you try to access all help- or info-links, where all info is not yet in place), there is currently a limitation on 2 certificates per account.

Well, it doesn’t say so anywhere, but I could only register two certificates for my account, and as a consequence since I’m running two main sites and two subdomains, two of these are still missing certificates. And the webmail is also (still) missing a certificate.

All in all I believe I would need 6 certificates to cover all current needs. Or a (two) wildcard certificates. Or I’d need to redesign some of the subdomains into being integrated subfolders in the main site. Something I don’t really want.

But Let’s Encypt is free, so why not just order the additional certificates. Well, first of all Binero charges a small administrative fee for these. Not so expensive but I think I’ll manage without for the time being, (at least during beta). And secondarily, the link to order additional certificates doesn’t work yet… Another beta-flaw I suspect.

But still, it’s a giant step forward. And just in the nick of time, since most web browsers are about to start flagging http-sites as unsecure, beginning now in July, and going a step further after summer vacations, in September.

And I’ve yet to find out how to force https-redirections through .htaccess. My initial attempts haven’t worked, even though as per WordPress recommendations.

But despite some minor glitches, so far this is a huge success!

Password Safe, an upgrade with glitches

I am in the process of upgrading Password Safe on all my computers from versions 3.42 and 3.43 to the latest 3.46.

I feel somewhat forced to do this since having the most recent version of the store for your sensitive passwords feels mandatory, though I really don’t like the new version for two main reasons. And while these may seem minor, they annoy me to the point of considering changing to competitor Keepass, at least to see how it works.

The main problems are first of all the new version has removed support for system tray icon color, and it’s now red (brown?) when Password Safe is minimized without any open database. And while I don’t have a color problem with seeing differences between red and green, I really liked having this white.

The second and more interesting issue is that the new version has a setting for autostart, just like the previous versions have. But the new version also seems to preload opening of the database in some way. While the old installed version would autostart the software, opening the actual database would require choosing File… Open…, the new has already selected the last used database and as soon as the icon in the system tray is clicked the password prompt appears.

Now this may seem handy, but what I’m not sure is how this works, is the database opened or not? And if opened, how does this affect file locks on the file in Dropbox. and furthermore, how does it affect login to multiple computers at the same time? I’d really prefer if autostart only actually autostarted the program itself.

Oddly enough, the database cannot be closed from the system tray before having been first unlocked, and a mouse-over shows no filename, indicating the database is actually not really open. But in that case the icon color ought to be red (brown?) instead of the green it is now.

I would have given Keepass another try again much sooner had it not been for the difficulties in finding a reliable and trustworthy iOS counterpart for the Windows version.

Messages in iCloud

This morning it finally arrived, iOS 11.4 and Messages in iCloud. Finally I was going to be able to sync up all my devices where messages had been scattered over time. Partly because purchasing a new phone and not restoring backups, and partly due to some glitch for a short while causing all replies to SMS:es sent from my phone to end up on my iPad only.

And it worked. Right out of the box.

Now I haven’t counted every single SMS since they’re from 4-5 years at least, but it looks like most messages got over from the old, otherwise unusable, phone to the new one, and the messages from the iPad as well. Oddly though, messages does not seem to have synced to the iPad. But I can live with that.

For this one feature, this was the best iOS upgrade in a very long time.

Upgrading Plex to version 1.12.1.4885

I needed to upgrade Plex on my QNAP NAS again, and I felt quite hesitant considering the last few botched attempts. It began with the new iOS app update change notes that Plex would in the near future start to require a minimum server version.

I was running, mostly happy, on version 1.3.4.3285, which was released almost precisely a year ago, and had it not been for the iOS requirements I would probably not have risked upgrading. I seem to have forgotten to write down the pains and rollback of the attempts to upgrade to versions 1.4, 1.5.5 and 1.5.6, but the bugs were plenty and rollback was required since I don’t really want to rebuild my entire library, that takes far too much time I do not have.

But it’s been a year and the current version is 1.12, and I hoped most bugs would have been fixed, though I initially feared I would also need to upgrade QNAP firmware at the same time which I hoped to avoid since it’ll replace my current 32-bit firmware with 64-bit, which is nice if everything works of course. But there’s so much pain if it doesn’t.

Anyway, there was a 32-bit version available and I just did an in-place upgrade, and surprisingly everything worked. (This wasn’t always the case). And the initial feeling is that the new design looks fair enough. Not as good as the old one but I guess it’ll have to do. Though I still haven’t tested all my devices if they actually still work, my first impression is ok.

But what would a Plex upgrade be without its glitches, and so far here’s what:

  • The Plex server is a bit slower at starting after NAS reboot, than the previous versions. Not a big deal since I don’t reboot more than a few times per year.
  • The Plex server settings now require login with an account, so I needed to create one. Somewhat annoying since I don’t feel I need it, but I won’t rollback due to this.
  • The new dashboard came with some youtubeian newsfeed, mainly US sources, but even with local sources I wouldn’t have wanted it. Luckily after some searching Plex support site there was an option to disable the newsfeed. Gone!
  • The new dashboard also comes with an ugly scrollbar if the number of libraries are too many to fit on one screen, that really could have been fixed I think. But it’s still only on the annoying level on the scale.
  • Lastly background images are gone in the web player, only the covers remain and some dizzy thing indicating there might be a blurred version of the background image somewhere. Now this is more annoying, but I haven’t yet had time to see how this looks in the iOS apps, so I’ll not do a rollback for this either. At least just not yet.

At least mostly positive experiences from the upgrade so far (i.e. Plex actually works, the upgrade didn’t break any libraries, and I didn’t have to upgrade firmware at the same time). One has to be grateful for the little things nowadays.