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      February 2021

      How to Make a Minecraft Server with DreamCompute (In 3 Steps)


      Minecraft is a rare game with the longevity to still be wildly popular over nine years after its initial release, boasting 126 million monthly players. However, if you’ve ever wanted your own block kingdom, the technical aspects of making a Minecraft server may make it seem like you’re dealing with a real-life Enderman.

      Fortunately, there are ways to make the process fast and easy. 

      DreamCompute is our cloud computing service that can help you set up your own Minecraft server. With just a few simple steps, you’ll be ready to launch your Minecraft world.

      In this article, we’ll discuss some of the reasons you might want to make your own Minecraft server and cover the technical aspects of the process. Then we’ll provide you with three easy steps to get it up and running with DreamHost. Let’s go! 

      The Benefits of Making Your Own Minecraft Server

      Minecraft servers let you play the game either online or in a local network. It’s like a subset within the larger game that is yours to customize as you see fit. You’re free to build inside of it on your terms. 

      There are lots of benefits to making your own server. For one, you have full control. You can use any mods you want to customize your gameplay. Creating a unique environment with these tools can be advantageous if you’re looking to start your own YouTube channel

      It doesn’t have to be just you, either. Having your own server enables you to build a community. You can invite people you want to join you in-game for a multiplayer adventure. If you’d rather keep to yourself, you can still share your custom designs with the world. 

      To top it all off, creating your own Minecraft server can be a pretty painless experience. You might be surprised by how accessible the process can be. With a little bit of guidance, you’ll have your own space up and running in no time. 

      Why You Should Use DreamCompute for Your Minecraft Server

      DreamCompute info on dreamhost.com

      You probably have a few options when it comes to server hosts. They might seem similar at first glance, especially if you’re just starting out. However, there are some important differences to be aware of before you make your choice.

      The first thing to look for in a host is whether it offers a cloud-based server. These are generally a better choice than more traditional local servers, as they don’t directly tax your computer’s resources. Typically, this translates to smoother, improved gameplay. 

      Tech support might also have an easier time navigating a cloud server than a local server if you run into any trouble. Plus, having a cloud server means you won’t have to worry about keeping your computer running at all times for other server members who want access to it. 

      Our DreamCompute service offers cloud servers for Minecraft with competitive features. It’s suitable for both simple and complex configurations, offering impressive speeds for all users. It also has a straightforward and predictable billing system to prevent any nasty surprises at the end of the month.

      Further, it’s flexible enough to grow with if you need to change any aspect of your account. Rest assured that any alterations you need to make will get the support they need. 

      If you already know you’re looking for premium performance and control, you might want to check out DreamHost’s dedicated server option. It offers impressive benefits, such as fully-managed, cross-platform cooperative play. However, if you’re just looking for a basic server setup, we’ve got you covered there too. 

      Get Minecraft Hosting That Scales

      DreamCompute is the ideal solution for Minecraft servers that require fast speeds and consistent uptime.

      What to Know Before You Get Started

      There are a couple of tools you’ll need to get started. First, make sure you have a downloaded copy of Minecraft ready. You’ll also need to set up a DreamCompute account.

      You also might find some knowledge of servers to be informative since it will help you understand exactly what’s going on in each step. However, if you’re a beginner, don’t fret! The process is very accessible, and our guide is here to help. 

      How to Make Your Own Minecraft Server with DreamCompute (In 3 Steps)

      Once you have all the resources you need, just follow these three simple steps to create your own Minecraft server.

      Step 1: Create a Security Group

      The first thing you’ll want to do is create a security group. This is a set of rules that define network access and will allow or prevent traffic into your Minecraft server according to your preferences. All you need to do is adjust some settings.

      To get this started, navigate to your DreamCompute dashboard and click to expand the Network option on the left-hand side.

      The DreamCompute Dashboard with the network options expanded.

      Next, you can click the Security Groups button and then select Create Security Group. This will bring up a window where you can add a name and description. We’ll be using “Minecraft” for both in this walkthrough, but feel free to get creative with yours.

      The DreamCompute security group creation screen. 

      Once you’ve finished filling in those fields, click on Create Security Group to move on to the next step. You’ll then be presented with the options to create rules for this new group.  

      Step 2: Manage Your Rules

      In the new group, click on the Manage Rules button on the far right. Next, select Add Rule to bring up the following screen.

      The “Add Rule” pop-up screen in DreamCompute. 

      There are a lot of options on this page, but you don’t have to worry about them too much. If you’re looking to quick-start your server, you can just fill it in the same way we did above.

      Specifically, we suggest selecting Custom TCP Rule in the first field, Ingress in the second, and Port in the third. Under Port, enter the number “25565”; this is the default port for Minecraft.

      Next, make sure the bottom two fields are set to CIDR and “0.0.0.0/0” respectively. Once you’re ready, click on the Add button.

      Step 3: Create a Virtual Machine (VM)

      For the last step, you’ll need a Virtual Machine (VM). Anything with Java will suffice. We’ll be using Ubuntu-14.04 for this walkthrough, and we recommend using it if you’re unsure which solution to choose.

      You can then navigate back to your DreamCompute dashboard, and under the Compute menu, click on Instances. Next, select the Launch Instance button on the far right. This will bring up a screen that looks something like the following:

      The “Launch Instance” pop-up with the “Details” section selected.

      Try not to get overwhelmed by all the options! There are only a few that you’ll need to deal with. Start by naming your server in the top field under Instance Name. We used “My New Minecraft Server,” but you can name it anything you like.

      Click Next to move on.

      The “Launch Instance” pop-up with the “Source” section selected.

      From the provided list, select Ubuntu-14.04. The search function can be helpful here if you’re having trouble finding it. Then you can click on the up arrow to move your selection into the Allocated section. To make sure that your instance does not immediately run out of disk / storage space, adjust the Volume Size (GB) to be 10 GB and then click on Next to browse to the Flavor section.

      The “Launch Instance” pop-up with the “Flavor” section selected.

      You can also use the search function here to find a specific ‘Flavor’ you’re looking for. If you’re not sure which is best for you, we recommend the Lightspeed option. It has 4GB of RAM, making it a solid choice for most users. 

      Next, select the up arrow next to your chosen Flavor to move it into the Allocated category. Click on Next until you get to the Security Groups section.

      The “Launch Instance” pop-up with the “Security Groups” section selected.

      This section is an easy one. Simply click on the arrow next to the Minecraft security group we created earlier, so it’s listed under the Allocated category as shown above. 

      Click on Next to get to the Key Pair section. If you’ve already imported a Key Pair into your DreamCompute project, use the arrow next to that key to assign it to your instance. Otherwise, use the “Create Key Pair” button to create a new Key Pair and then assign that Key Pair to your instance (this is used for emergency connections and for making additional adjustments to the MineCraft server). 

      That should be all you need to do before switching to the Configuration section.

      The “Launch Instance” pop-up with the “Configuration” section selected.

      At this point, you’ll be brought to a page with a blank field titled Customization Script. On it, you can copy and paste the below code:

      #!/bin/bash
      
      apt-get update && apt-get -y install wget screen openjdk-7-jre-headless
      
      su - ubuntu -c 'wget https://s3.amazonaws.com/Minecraft.Download/versions/1.8.9/minecraft_server.1.8.9.jar -O ~/mcserver.jar'
      
      su - ubuntu -c 'echo 'eula=true' > ~/eula.txt'
      
      su - ubuntu -c 'screen -S mcserver -d -m java -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC -XX:+UseParNewGC -d64 -Xms512M -Xmx2G -jar mcserver.jar'

      You can also load the script from a file. However, you might find that the copy and paste method is quicker and easier.

      Keep in mind that the -Xms512M -Xmx2G part of this code is what tells Java the minimum and maximum allowed memory for the Lightspeed flavor we chose earlier. As such, it may not be suitable for other Flavors.

      After you’ve entered that code, click on Launch Instance. Sit back, relax, and give your server a few minutes for the setup process to complete. Once that’s done, your server will be online and ready to go!

      To add your new server to your client, you can open Minecraft and click on Multiplayer > Add Server. Name it whatever you’d like, and provide the IPv4 address of the VM you set up earlier. 

      If you want to modify the default server settings, you can log into your server via Secure Shell (SSH) as “ubuntu.” This will give you access to a server.properties file where you can change the message of the day, spawn different creatures, adjust the maximum number of players, and more.

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      Build Your Minecraft Realm

      Minecraft offers nearly endless opportunities for creative freedom. If you want to take full advantage of all it has to offer and elevate your game to the next level, making your own Minecraft server is the way to go.

      In this article, we covered three simple steps for setting one up using DreamCompute:

      1. Create a security group for your new server.
      2. Adjust the network access rules.
      3. Set up your VM to finish the process.

      Can’t wait to create a world of your own? DreamCompute can help you set up your own Minecraft server in a matter of minutes. Get ready to grab your pickaxe and get out there!  



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      How To Work with Strings in PHP


      The author selected Open Sourcing Mental Illness Ltd to receive a donation as part of the Write for DOnations program.

      Introduction

      A string is a sequence of one or more characters that may consist of letters, numbers, or symbols. All written communication is made up of strings. As such, they are fundamental to any programming language.

      In this article, you will learn how to create and view the output of strings, how to use escape sequences, how to concatenate strings, how to store strings in variables, and the rules of using quotes, apostrophes, and newlines within strings in PHP.

      Single and Double-Quoted Strings

      You can create a string in PHP by enclosing a sequence of characters in either single or double quotes. PHP will actually interpret the following strings differently:

      'This is a string in single quotes.'
      
      "This is a string in double quotes."
      

      Before output, double-quoted strings will evaluate and parse any variables or escape sequences within the string. Single-quoted strings will output each character exactly as specified. The exception for single-quoted strings is a single quote (and backslash when needed).

      If you were to echo this string in PHP:

      'Sammy says: "This string's in single quotes." It required a backslash () before the apostrophes (\'), but do not use (") with the double quotes.'
      

      It would return this output:

      Output

      Sammy says: "This string's in single quotes." It required a backslash () before the apostrophes ('), but do not use (") with the double quotes.

      If you don’t include a backslash before the apostrophe in the single-quoted string, PHP will end the string at that point, which will cause an error. Since you’re using single quotes to create our string, you can include double quotes within it to be part of the final string that PHP outputs.

      If you want to render the ' sequence, you must use three backslashes (\'). First \ to render the backslash itself, and then ' to render the apostrophe. The sequence " is rendered exactly as specified.

      "Sammy says: "This string's in double quotes." It requires a backslash () before the double quotes (\"), but you MUST NOT add a backslash before the apostrophe (')."
      

      Output

      Sammy says: "This string's in double quotes." It requires a backslash () before the double quotes ("), but you MUST NOT add a backslash before the apostrophe (').

      As with the single-quoted string, if a backslash is not included before the double quotes in the double-quoted string, PHP will end the string at that point, which will cause an error. Since the double-quoted string is not ended with a single quote, you add the apostrophe directly to a double-quoted string. A double-quoted string will output ' with either a single or double backslash used with the apostrophe.

      To output the " sequence, you must use three backslashes. First \ to render the backslash itself, and then " to render the double quote. The sequence ' is rendered exactly as specified.

      The is known as an escape character. Combined with a secondary character, it makes up an escape sequence. Now that you have an understanding of strings, let’s review escape sequences.

      Escape Sequences

      An escape sequence tells the program to stop the normal operating procedure and evaluate the following characters differently.

      In PHP, an escape sequence starts with a backslash . Escape sequences apply to double-quoted strings. A single-quoted string only uses the escape sequences for a single quote or a backslash.

      Here are some common escape sequences for double-quoted strings:

      • " for a double quote
      • \ for a backslash
      • $ to render a dollar sign instead of expanding the variable
      • n for a new line
      • t for a tab

      Here is an example of how you can use these sequences in a string:

      ""What type of $ do sharks use?"ntSand dollars!"
      

      Output

      "What type of $ do sharks use?" Sand dollars!

      Using escape sequences gives us the ability to build any string required while including these special characters.

      Creating and Viewing the Output of Strings

      The most important feature of double-quoted strings is the fact that variable names will be expanded, giving you the value of the variable. You can use a variable to stand in for a string or use a string directly. You output the string by calling the echo function:

      $my_name = "Sammy";
      echo 'Name is specified using the variable $my_name.';
      echo "n"; // escape sequence for newline character
      echo "Hello, my name is $my_name. It's stored in the variable $my_name.";
      

      The $my_name variable is created on the first line. On the second line, the echo function is used to output a string in single quotes. Using the $my_name variable within this single-quoted string displays the characters exactly as they are written, so we will see the variable name instead of its value.

      On the fourth line, we use the echo function again, but we are using double quotes this time. This time the variable is expanded to show the value in the first sentence. In the next sentence, there is a before the $ to explicitly tell the string to display a $ character and not expand the variable.

      Output

      Name is specified using the variable $my_name. Hello, my name is Sammy. It's stored in the variable $my_name.

      Note: When string evaluation is not a concern, you may choose to use either single quotes or double quotes, but whichever you decide on, you should be consistent within a program. Single quotes may be marginally faster.

      With an understanding of how to create and view the output of strings, let’s move on to see how you can manipulate strings.

      String Concatenation

      Concatenation means joining strings together, end-to-end, to build a new string. In PHP, there are two main ways to concatenate a string.

      The first is to include a string variable within a double-quoted string. This was shown in the previous step and in the following:

      $answer = "Chews wisely.";
      echo "What do sharks do when they have a big choice to make? $answer";
      

      Running this code will combine the string and the $answer variable, which is set to Chews wisely.:

      Output

      What do sharks do when they have a big choice to make? Chews wisely.

      A second way to concatenate strings is to use the . operator.

      Let’s combine the strings "Sammy" and "Shark" together with concatenation through an echo statement:

      echo "Sammy" . "Shark";
      

      This code uses the . operator to combine the "Sammy" string and the "Shark" string without a space in between.

      Output

      SammyShark

      If you would like whitespace between the two strings, you must include the whitespace within a string, like after the word Sammy:

      echo "Sammy " . "Shark";
      

      Output

      Sammy Shark

      You cannot use concatenation to combine a string with an integer:

      echo "Sammy" . 27;
      

      This will produce an error:

      Output

      Parse error: syntax error, unexpected '.27' (T_DNUMBER), expecting ';' or ',' in php shell code on line 1

      If you put "27" within quotes, it will evaluate as a string.

      PHP is a loosely typed language, which means that it will try to convert the data it is given based on the request. If you set a variable to 27, when used in concatenation with a string, PHP will parse the variable as a string:

      $my_int = 27;
      echo "Sammy" . $my_int;
      

      Output

      Sammy27

      You’ve covered the two main ways to concatenate, or combine, strings. Sometimes you may want to replace, or add to, the string completely. Next, let’s explore how PHP allows you to overwrite or update a string.

      Updating a String

      Normal variables in PHP are mutable, which means they can be changed or overwritten. Let’s explore what happens when you change the value for the $my_name variable:

      $my_name = "Sammy";
      echo $my_name . "n";
      $my_name = "Shark";
      echo $my_name;
      

      Output

      Sammy Shark

      First, the variable was set to "Sammy" and displayed using echo. Then it was set to "Shark", overwriting the variable, so that when echo was called a second time, it displayed the new value of "Shark".

      Instead of overwriting the variable, you can use the concatenating assignment operator .= to append to the end of a string:

      $my_name = "Sammy";
      $my_name .= " Shark";
      echo $my_name;
      

      First, you set the $my_name variable to "Sammy", then used the .= operator to add " Shark" to the end of it. The new value for $my_name is Sammy Shark.

      Output

      Sammy Shark

      To prepend to the beginning of a string, you would overwrite while using the original string:

      $my_name = "Shark";
      $my_name = "Sammy " . $my_name;
      echo $my_name;
      

      This time, you first set the $my_name variable to "Shark", then used the = operator to override the $my_name variable with the new string "Sammy ", combined with the previous value of the $my_name variable, which before being overridden is "Shark". The final value for $my_name is Sammy Shark.

      Output

      Sammy Shark

      Overwriting, appending, and prepending give us the ability to make changes and build the strings required for our applications.

      Whitespace in Strings

      Because PHP does not care about whitespace, you can put as many spaces or line breaks within your quotes as you would like.

      echo "Sammy
      The           (silly)
      Shark";
      

      TEXT Output

      Sammy The (silly) Shark

      Keep in mind that HTML renders whitespace differently. New lines require a <br> tag, so even though your source may have new lines, you will not see those new lines displayed on a web page. Similarly, no matter how many spaces there are in your code, only a single space is displayed between characters.

      HTML Output

      Sammy The (silly) Shark

      Clean and consistent use of whitespace is one of the best tools for making code more readable. Since PHP essentially ignores whitespace, you have a lot of flexibility that you can use to your advantage. An integrated development environment (IDE) can help you stay consistent with your code and use of whitespace.

      Conclusion

      Being able to control the way our strings are rendered is essential for communicating with an application’s end user. By updating and combining variables that include special characters, you can clearly communicate while keeping repetition to a minimum.

      As you continue to work with strings, keep in mind these three aspects:

      1. Pay special attention to quotes within your strings.
      2. Use concatenation to combine your strings.
      3. Use variables to make your strings reusable.

      If you would like to read more about PHP, check out the PHP topic page.



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      Getting Started With Laravel Jetstream


      How to Join

      This Tech Talk is free and open to everyone. Register to get a link to join the live stream or receive the video recording after it airs.

      Date Time RSVP
      March 10, 2021 11:00–12:00 p.m. ET / 4:00–5:00 p.m. GMT

      About the Talk

      Laravel Jetstream is an application starter kit for Laravel and lets us build Laravel apps quickly. We get authentication, API, and more out of the box.

      Let’s explore Jetstream and see if we should use it for our next apps.

      What You’ll Learn

      • How to use Laravel Jetstream
      • Why use Laravel Jetstream

      This Talk Is Designed For

      Laravel developers that want to build apps quicklly.

      Prerequisites

      Knowledge of Laravel.

      Resources

      Introduction to Laravel Jetstream

      About Laravel Jetstream

      Laravel Jetstream is a beautifully designed application starter kit for Laravel and provides the perfect starting point for your next Laravel application. Jetstream provides the implementation for your application’s login, registration, email verification, two-factor authentication, session management, API via Laravel Sanctum, and optional team management features.

      Jetstream is designed using Tailwind CSS and offers your choice of Livewire or Inertia scaffolding.

      To join the live Tech Talk, register here.



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