Written by Tech Desk member A.J. Schmidt (2018-2019)
Since it seems like these days everyone's favorite pastime is playing video games, running a video game server seemed like a pretty decent topic to write about. Fortunately, a friend of mine ran a Minecraft server, so I interviewed him about what it was like. Cue all of you whining about Minecraft being for twelve year olds and how no one plays Minecraft anymore. All of that is irrelevant, really. This isn’t a tutorial, nor is it about any specific game, and while a lot of twelve year olds play minecraft, none of them are a part of this interview. Let’s get right into it.
A. Schmidt: Well, what’s it like running a multiplayer server?
Canaan: It’s like being the president of America.
A.S.: How so?
C: He’s gotta deal with a lot of nonsense. - I relate.
A.S.: How much time do you have to put into it?
C: It’s not like a 9 to 5 job. I only have to work on it whenever there are bugs or glitches, or if I’m coding something to release a new thing to do on the server. Typically, I’ll spend two or three hours per day, on average.
A.S.: What was the most frustrating thing you’ve ever had to deal with?
C: Probably dealing with the community. Having to make decisions that will affect the entire community, and having to deal with the backlash.
A.S.: Speaking of the community, what kind of challenges can they create?
C.: Apart from being annoying, they rarely pose a threat. If a player is causing trouble, usually I just ban them. The most annoying player I ever had to deal with was a hacker who had dozens of accounts at his disposal, I had to guess which accounts were his and ban them individually.
A.S.: Does banning players ever bother you?
C.: Not really. I try not to let my friendships with players affect my decisions. Impartiality is essential, but not always easy.
A.S.: Do you have any other advice for people that want to run a server?
C.: It’s actually pretty expensive to do, this server costs over fifty dollars each month just to have it online. You also have to have good computer skills and a lot of friends that are willing to help you.
Many video games like Minecraft can be excellent ways to express creativity and spend time with friends. While many people say that they are useless and have no place at school, video games can improve important skills like three dimensional visualization and hand-eye coordination, and some have also been found to improve memory and reduce stress. Regardless of all that, students still play them, so why not play with a friend?
Special thanks to my friend Canaan, who made this interview possible.
Written by Tech Desk member Dan Ferrara (2017-2018)
Introducing your first white orb wrapped in polycarbonate plastic robot! Sphero, previously Orbotix, is a company that was established in 2011. These gadgets that are made are capable of rolling around, controlled by a tablet or smartphone. The approximate price can range from 80 to 150 american dollars. A newer version of Sphero, Sphero 2.0, was launched by Orbotix in 2013, two years after the initial release. The next version, Sphero Ollie (originally named Sphero 2B), was introduced in CES 2014 and became available as of September 15, 2014. This robot can be see in Disney’s newest Star Wars addition, The Force Awakens as the character, “BB-8” rolls around during the movie. The toys are controlled with a common electronic device, such as a phone or computer, and wirelessly charged with a charging base. It can also be used for games on IOS or Android platforms. Spheros can operate and have operated well in water, with mixed Bluetooth connectivity when in freezing water. The toy received mixed reviews from critics. While many enjoyed the toy’s functional ability and speed, others criticized it for being highly expensive and short on battery life. The Sphero 2.0 was awarded third Best Smart Product of 2015.
Be sure to check out this try along with many other evolving robots at your high school library!
Commercial Flights to Mars
Written by Tech Desk member Alex Wynn (2017-2018)
By 2024 Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, plans to have sent two rocket ships with human settlers to Mars. His vision is for people to be able to travel to Mars as they would to the Caribbeans in a vacation like fashion; Musk even speculated about the possibility of these vacationers having access to the internet.
To accomplish this, his company is currently working on full scale development of a new Interplanetary Transport System. This system will use a reusable spaceship and booster rocket hybrid to transport cargo and people to and from Mars.
Musk has also played around with the idea of traveling the Earth in the same manner. Using the same technology, it would take approximately half an hour to travel from London to New York, a feat that currently takes up to 4 hours.
Perhaps the most exciting news for the common person: travel through SpaceX is expected to cost the same as an economy seat on an airplane.
Written by Tech Desk member Sophia Matla (2016-2017)
Prezi is the perfect online tool for teachers, students or business people looking to create an eye popping presentation. Recently, the Tech Desk team used a new, online program called Prezi, a very useful tool for creating interactive and personal presentations. Recently, Mr. McArdle asked the Tech Desk to create an interactive, visually engaging presentation that highlights all the elective opportunities available to our high school students next year. Prezi was the perfect tool for us to use for this assignment because it allows you to customize the layout for a visually appealing user experience. It also allows multiple users to work on the same project, so each of us were able to easily edit from anywhere. Unlike regular slide shows, a Prezi Project allows you to customize the layout, provide in depth views of specific slides and instead of scrolling through a conventional slide show, you can choose a point in the presentation. Although adapting to the interface took a little bit of time, it was very easy to become familiar with. With a lot of support through articles and videos on their website, Prezi provides a well rounded experience to captivate any audience.
Chromebooks vs. Laptops
Written by Tech Desk member Shawn Rushok (2015-2016)
With the holiday season approaching, many parents are looking to buy gifts for their children. A very common gift is a laptop, however there are many choices. One common question is “Should I buy my child a Chromebook or a laptop?” Personally I would recommend the Apple MacBook Pro, however it is very expensive at about $1500. I would also recommend a Windows laptop, though a Mac would be my first choice! Chromebooks are great computers, although everything is web based. It is a computer that is great for businesses and schools, but maybe not at home. So here is a comparison between Chromebooks and Windows laptops.
Some Tips for Using Your Chromebook
Written by Tech Desk member Taylor Kirby (2015-2016)
Do you use Chromebooks in your classes or have one of your own?
Here are some tips and shortcuts you can use:
If you hold down the control key and...
If you have more than one tab open and don't want to click back and forth between them,
put three fingers on the mouse pad and move left to right.
The Tech Desk
The team writes about the latest developments in technology.