Sunday, January 11, 2015

Minecraft: Disco-Beacon

Deutsch | English ]

This post describes my first created Redstone-Circuit in Minecraft, to create a beacon with constantly changing colors.

Minecraft – some hate it, some love it. It is a simulated world of bricks on the PC (or mobile phone) which you can modify as you like. When I first tried Minecraft I experienced it as boring. Today, after a second approach trying (and meanwhile buying) Minecraft I found one word which describes Minecraft for me: contemplative. From Wikipedia: “to admire something and think about it” . Fits for me.

My children love it as well. And it was my 8 year old son, who asked, if I could create a disco light. Well, why not:

I already knew the basics of Restone-Circuits. And I already saw impressive Redstone creations like a hard drive within Minecraft. Compared to this my Disco-Beacon is a piece of cake.

I described the circuit at Minecraft Bauideen: Disco-Leuchtfeuer mit Start/Stopp Schalter. Although the description is in German I assume that you can easily rebuild the circuit by just watching the screenshot (or the video) below.

After all it is not much more than some pistons which move glass blocks of different color over a beacon. A so called Redstone repeater delays the signal between the pistons so that eventually the blocks move in a circle.

Such a beacon is perfect to mark your spawn point for example.

Have fun creating it!

Minecraft Disco-Beacon auf YouTube

Friday, January 21, 2011

Create WebDAV Connection via Batch File

Deutsche Version dieses Postings.

If you find any documentation how to create a WebDAV connection on Windows (Windows Vista, Windows 7 and alike) it will always come to a bunch of dialogs you have to fill in. But as soon as you don’t want a persistent connection but only a connection on demand you will hate this procedure.

Instead it is much simpler to create a WebDAV connection via net use. And if you put it into a batch file you could easily execute it any time you need the connection. Having it linked to your desktop the WebDAV connection is even only a click away — "WebDav on demand" so to say.

The following Batch file can be reduced to one simple line but for convenience I made it more chatty and I skipped specifying a password as this is (for sure) a security risk.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Alternating Prayer as Evening Ritual with Children

Deutsche Version in meinem deutschen Blog.

Early on I learned as father that evening rituals are important for children to calm down before going to sleep. With our two sons we have two rituals: We read to them and afterwards we pray with them. So does my wife – so do I. Each of us in his own way.

The prayer is always the finish. First I always spoke the prayer – but at some point in time our son wanted me to do an alternating prayer: First word spoken by him, second word by me, third he again.

We keep this ritual up for years now and today also our youngest son wanted me to speak the prayer in this alternating way. It is an incredible beautiful experiences that creates a nearness for us. Sometimes even a cuddly toy has to take part in the prayer – as third person, sometimes spoken by me, but much more often by our sons.

The prayer – are actually two prayers. How did it happen? I do not remember. But our both sons like it this way (prayer translated from German – don’t know if there is an English equivalent):

I am small, my heart is pure, no one should live in them as Jesus alone. Amen.
Dear God, make me religious, I come to heaven. Amen.

Intercession and Wetten dass..?

Sometimes we complete the prayer with an intercession: usually for a sick relative. Today was a special day. Today an accident happened in a well known German TV show named “Wetten dass..?”. An 23 old man named Samuel K. fell to the ground in a very difficult bet and it was not clear at all if he was still alive (current news say that he is alive but his state is not yet clear). The TV show stopped – the first time ever. And so our son had to go to bed.

I thought about how I could help him to come to a rest and I remembered the intercession. And so we did: I spoke an intercession so he could believe that he was able to do something. I hope it helps and that he has a peaceful night. And for Samuel K. I hope that he is soon up and well again – without consequences.

Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup 2010 in South Africa: Enjoy!

Die deutsche Version findest Du hier.

I just want to tell everyone: Enjoy the Fifa World Cup 2010 in South Africa. And as a tribute to South Africa I embed their national anthem in here, which is really great to listen to (I especially like the following version I found on YouTube):

Oh, and I cannot stop listening to K’naan’s song “Wavin’ Flag” especially the version with Nancy Ajram:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tips using Magix PhotoStory on CD & DVD, Issue 1 - Zooming

Hinweis: Du findest die deutsche Version dieses Postings in meinem deutschen Blog.

I like to create photoshows from different events. Recently based on some days vacation on Wangerooge, Germany. Since some years I am using PhotoStory on CD & DVD by Magix. I take nearly every second version step, so the latest were 5, then 7 and this time I updated to 9. It was a great step forward and a major enhancement.

One of the major enhancements – introduced earlier but now near to perfection – is the generation of paths through an image. You can make a picture alive as if it is a video – at least this is the feedback from audience watching my videos who asked: “Is this really only a photo?”

Today I will tell you about zooming images. One of the things you will use most when you generate your paths through the images manually (that is not using the wizard). You can get a picture to zoom with just a few clicks (mind that I use the German version and have to guess how menu entries are called in English):

  1. Insert an image into the timeline.
  2. Go onto the effects-tab.
  3. Open “View & Animation”
  4. Go to “Clipping & Zoom”
  5. Click on “Zoom In”

That’s all – and you already have a very nice effect. But actually there is a problem when you define a changeover effect like for example fading out: Your zoom will even continue when your image is nearly not visible any longer.

The first simple approach would be to stop zooming before the image fades out. Therefore you just have to move the diamond marker at the end of the zoom just before the dotted line. But: With this you will have a boring freeze image.

The better solution is: Slowing down. This works perfect with Magix PhotoStory on CD & DVD:

  1. Find the zoom-timeline on the effects tab.
  2. Click on the timeline near the end of the zoom.
  3. Move the marker until you see the image section marked (on the right) which is the image section where you would like to slow down.
  4. Now create a new waypoint with the icons above the timeline.
  5. To slow down: Just move it a little to the left. Of course to speed up: Move it to the right.

Now you can ensure that before the fading starts you have (nearly) the image clipping you wanted to reach – and you still have no boring freeze image while fading.

The following screen shot shows the (German) User Interface of Magix PhotoStory. The blue markers mark the diamonds which control the waypoints. The penultimate waypoint is the one I used for slowing down the zoom. The orange markers mark the time-indices where the crossing over starts/ends. This is automatically shown by Magix Photostory with a dotted line:

Magix PhotoStory User Interface - Zoom Effect

Hope you like the tip. And here is the resulting video (with Music from Unheilig “An deiner Seite”):

Example Video for Zooming

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Dinosaurs Song

Hinweis: Du findest die deutsche Version dieses Postings in meinem deutschen Blog.

Already in May I mentioned in my German Blog the Dinosaurs Song by Bernard Derriman. I was not the only one who was wowed by this song, but also Martina and her son. Martina replied to my blog-post about my crafted Emma-Dragon-Costume via mail and told me that she had crafted it, too – in Australia. Here the video we both like that much:

Some time ago I already tried to write down the lyrics. But I failed because I could not identify some words in the song as I am not a native speaker. I was totally happy that Martina helped me and wrote down the lyrics for me. And she allowed me to publish them here in the blog. So here we go:

The Dinosaurs Song

They used to walk
They used to swim
They used to fly with a toothy grin
Some ate plants and
Some ate meat
Some walked around on just 2 feet


Oh the Dinosaurs, big as trees
The Dinosaurs, brains like peas
Jaws and claws and teeth and bone
That used to growl and groan and moan

Some had feathers
Some had scales
Spikes and clubs and whip like tails
They fought like dragons
The earth sure shook
The volcanoes sizzled and the lava cooked


Tyrannosaurus was a terrible king
The stegosaurus’ tail could really swing
Brachiosaurus liked to stomp
Trachodon would chew and chomp


They roamed the earth for a 100 million years
Without worries, cares or fears
Then one day, they hit the soil
Now they’re fossils, gas and oil

2x Refrain

Monday, October 12, 2009

News from Morrowland: Emma in Australia

Hinweis: Du findest die deutsche Version dieses Postings in meinem deutschen Blog.

On Saturday, I was incredibly happy and shared my joy on Twitter (including a typo I made): I received an email from Australia.

In Australia a mother read my craft instructions for a dragon costume for the locomotive Emma (Title: “Happy Birthday, Jim Knopf!”; sorry no English translation available for this blog post). She crafted the costume by herself then. She did not make the costume for the Lego locomotives Thomas or Percy but for the original loco from Lego Duplo. The argument of her son: “She looks more like Emma.” And he's right!

Then I was completely fascinated by the photos that she had sent to me. It feels strange to see how it is that Emma's costume suddenly made it to Australia.

Emmas Drachenkost├╝m in Australien

Oh, and a tip she gave me: The dragon costume holds even longer if it is laminated. But I have to add: The two dragon costumes for my kids are still fine, too.