Monday, March 11, 2024

Getting Minecraft Ultimate Survival World working for an iPad

Note: ideally this should be posted somewhere where interested users would find it (maybe reddit?).  I don't know the minecraft world, and I didn't want to stick it in TrixyBlox Discord because it's more of a wall-garden and search is not near as reliable there.


My son really likes TrixyBlox, a Minecraft YouTuber, and he signed up to support him on Patreon, in part so could play some of TrixyBlox's builds, especially the "Ultimate Survival World".

Despite my offers to set him up on a regular computer, he most enjoys playing on his iPad.  This in turn means we need to do Bedrock Minecraft.

We only have Macs at home, but Bedrock Minecraft isn't supported on Macs.


These are the steps I took.  I'm writing them down in case it's useful for others including my 6-month future self:

  1. Confirming connectivity between server and iPad
    1. Got Bootcamp up and going again on the lone Intel Mac we have.  I hadn't booted into Windows for a couple of years, and as a result, there were a lot of security updates to apply.
      1. Presumably virtualization (e.g. Parallels, VirtualBox) would work too.
    2. Downloaded the Bedrock Minecraft server from
    3. Unzipped it and moved it out of the Downloads folder so it didn't accidentally get deleted.
    4. Started the Bedrock server and ensured I could connect to it from the ipad
  2. Importing Ultimate Survival World into Bedrock server
    1. Downloaded USW-Bedrock-WORLD.mcworld from Patreon (since we're paid subscribers)
    2. Double-clicked the .mcworld file which imported it in Bedrock Minecraft (full client game) that I have installed
    3. Found where Bedrock Minecraft imported the world files. pointed me in the right direction.  The name of the world was some id/hash.
    4. Copied the world folders into bedrock-server/worlds directory.
    5. Renamed the world's folder from it's id/hash value to something I could remember (e.g., Ultimate Survival World).  
    6. Modified the Bedrock Server file to use the name of the world I copied over (e.g., "Ultimate Survival World")
    7. Started the Bedrock server and ensured I could connect to it from the iPad.  It was a good sign when it asked about downloading a ~60MB resource pack.
  3. Connecting to the Bedrock server from a Bedrock Minecraft client on the same machine
    1. The docs discuss running a command "CheckNetIsolation.exe LoopbackExempt –a –p=S-1-15-2-1958404141-86561845-1752920682-3514627264-368642714-62675701-733520436".  You have to make sure you run that command as an admin.  The key is to open the "run command" prompt as an admin.
    2. Opened Bedrock Minecraft client
    3. Added a server for with the default port
    4. Connect

Monday, July 21, 2014

Amazon's Video Shorts category released

Our team at work has been involved with a lot of different things over the last couple of years which won't be documented here, but one area of focus of late has been launching the "Video Shorts" category on Amazon.  We currently have ~100k "short videos" (1-8 minutes) ranging from music videos, game trailers, movie trailers, how to videos, etc.  We have these videos showing up on Amazon product pages within a modal lightbox, and they are also discoverable amongst AIV content.  These videos provide monetization by linking to other Amazon products and with video ads (e.g., 15 second preroll before the video starts).

There is still a long of things to do to improve here, but it's good to get it out and start measuring.  Any thoughts or feedback is welcome.

Ingress Points
Amazon's Global Nav
Any Amazon URL (e.g.,

Amazon Instant Video's Sub Nav
Any Amazon Instant Video URL (e.g.,

Links for the Video Shorts experience


Thursday, December 12, 2013

AWS's premium support - a model for good customer service

Nothing new here, but had jotted down notes from the Amazon all-hands over the summer that was focused on being customer-centric.  I was particularly struck by how AWS is offering premium support.  If a customer buys, premium support:

  • There is no contract length they’re bound to.  They can terminate service anytime.
  • There is no maximum number of contacts.  Ask away without being charged or hitting a limit.
  • They get Trusted Advisor, which provides automated tools informing the customer how to optimize, improve security, and save money.  

I love the last part, where the tool actually recommends the customer descale or use cheaper options, which causes Amazon to earn less.  This is definitely the right thing for the customer, and builds long-term loyalty rather than short term gain.  Good stuff.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mavericks' Apple Mail with Gmail - Getting back to pre 10.9 behavior for deleted messages, drafts, and sent mail

Mavericks' Apple Mail brought some changes to Gmail (as well documented elswhere).  I personally liked the pre-10.9 behavior, which included:

  • Drafts weren't stored on the server.  It would be ideal to have drafts on the server, but too often I found that the message would stay in draft form and be duplicated in the thread, even though the message was sent.  In practice, I never needed to start a message on my laptop and finish it on my phone.
  • Deleting a message from the inbox would archive it.  The message would be visible in the Gmail "All Mail" label, but it wouldn't be in the Gmail "Trash" label.  This is important because search results in Gmail by default filter out messages in the "Trash".  You have to explicitly click show messages in Trash.

  • I didn't need to enable the "All Mail" label for IMAP.  This prevents thousands of messages from being downloaded on to my local machine.  If I want to search old messages, I just log into Gmail's web interface.
Some solutions to get back to this kind of behavior involve enabling the "All Mail" label for IMAP.  See:
This is a no go for me as don't want to be downloading gigabytes of old messages.  I haven't gotten back to the pre-10.9 behavior by doing the following:
  • Quiting Apple Mail
  • Preventing "Drafts" and "Sent Mail" showing up in IMAP.
  • Launch Apple Mail and telling it not to store messages on the server for Drafts or Sent Messages.

With those steps done, the only deviation you will find is that when you delete messages, they will move out of your inbox, but will have the "Deleted Messages" label.  I'm ok with that because at least they don't have the "Trash" label and will thus show up in my search results by default.

Also, you'll want to move all your messages out of the "Trash" in the Gmail web interface after you've done the above.  If not, those messages will be deleted within 30 days.  I moved them to my "Deleted Items" label.

Monday, November 11, 2013

"Bank is a 4 letter word"

Many of my summers growing up involved spending two weeks at my grandparents' house in Manitoba.  My grandpa always weaved education into the time, and I remember one such trip had a focus on financial institutions.  We drove out to the country side and he took me to Steinback Credit Union.  He had lots to share about credit unions and banks.  I remember one of his phrases that "bank is a 4 letter word".  I definitely appreciate that exhortation to use locally based institutions like credit unions.  If you're not using a credit union, why not?

Here's a quick blurb the credit union we use (WECU) sent out on why credit unions are not the same as banks:

When you walk into a WECU® lobby, or call a loan officer, what makes a credit union different from a bank isn’t immediately apparent. The two financial institutions may offer similar products and services but the similarities stop there. Crucial differences exist - in structure, in cost of borrowing money, and in use of services.
Credit unions are member-focused non-profit financial cooperatives dedicated to improving members’ lives. More than 95 million members are part of 7,100 U.S. credit unions with combined assets of $1.02 trillion.  
Credit unions are the only democratically controlled financial institutions in the United States. You and other members elect a volunteer board of directors to oversee the credit union. The manager or president/chief executive officer reports to this board. Bank directors, however, are paid and legally bound to make decisions that benefit stockholders. 
Credit unions have the best rates. Credit unions price loans, pay interest on funds you’ve deposited, and charge fees to provide you with high-quality, low-cost services. Banks price products, fees, and services to make a profit. At credit unions, money market, savings, and interest checking accounts carry higher rates - giving back more to members. Interest rates on credit cards average three percentage points lower than bank rates, and auto loans average about one and one-half percentage points lower than bank rates. Credit unions make consumer loans and member business loans.  
Credit unions educate members about money matters. They provide publications to keep you advised of rates, loan sales, and financial trends that affect you. WECU® stresses education, providing materials and holding seminars on financial planning as well as car and home buying to help you make informed buying decisions. 

Amazon Smile

Amazon recently announced Amazon Smile: .  It's the same standard Amazon, but Amazon will give .5% of all your purchases to a charity of your choice.  Pretty sweet.