19 September 2011

Here’s a weird one for you… I have recently given Minecraft a go and a friend set up a nice server for us both to play on. However, although I can connect initially, the connection times out within about thirty seconds.

At first we assumed it was the server so he spent about an hour tweaking it. He added RAM, give it a dedicated IP and more… all to no avail. This was a bit disappointing because one of the reasons I got Minecraft in the first place was so that we could play the game together. I much prefer multiplayer games, especially when you can play with people you know.

In the end we gave up on that but I bought a gift voucher for another friend who has just pushed himself so hard over the past weeks and has not only hit his goal but has blasted straight through it. I figured he deserved a little something to celebrate and what better way than a “quick” game of Minecraft?

Because the other server didn’t work properly, I set up on my own in the UK. And guess what? Same error. To add insult to injury my friend could easily connect to the server that I’d had trouble with the day before. In fact he joined just in time to have a creeper experience!

So I owe some apologies - it wasn’t the server after all. But if it’s not that, what the hell can it be? Minecraft makes my Macbook Pro crawl (serious keyboard lag) but it’s a relatively new machine. It’s an i7 with 8GB of RAM. It should not be having issues. I even tried it in VMWare but it still had the same problem. I then tried it on my wife’s laptop which is also pretty powerful. Same problem. So at least it’s not my computer - but the only thing left is my Internet connection…

The weird thing is there’s nothing special about my connection. Hong Kong has some seriously kick ass connectivity. I have 100Mb ethernet that goes into the back of a CISCO ASA5505. From there, into a gigabit switch and from that directly into my Macbook Pro. We’re not talking a complicated set up here and everything else works perfectly. I can browse the web, chat on IRC and send and receive email. The only thing that won’t work? Minecraft…

That’s pretty much where this story ends. I will try connecting to the server from work tomorrow so I can at least determine whether or not it is my router or Internet connection. What I don’t get though is that it’s just a TCP connection which is what pretty much everything else I’m doing is using. So why the hell is it only Minecraft that’s getting its ass handed to it?

Tell you what - if I ever figure this out I’ll let you know….

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