newmineserverlogo.jpgIt took only two days for our three sons to reach their $15,000 Kickstarter funding goal and visions of building a kit car were dancing in their heads. Almost three weeks later, however, total pledges are just nearing $30,000, which puts profits more in the deluxe quadcopter range. Still good, but not a Manx dune buggy. But there is one more day to make your pledge — the only way to get a Mineserver™ or Mineserver Pro™ in time for Christmas.

Along the way we gained the attention of Mojang, owners of Minecraft, who didn’t like our logo so the boys held a contest with the winner (from Hamilton, New Zealand!) getting a free Mineserver Pro™. We like the new logo even better and have found a clever way to incorporate it into the case design. These little computers are going to be beautiful.

The whole Mojang experience was weird. Remember Mojang is now owned by Microsoft, though the folks in Sweden don’t seem to realize that. According to their rules no Mojang software is allowed to be shipped installed in hardware, making products like ours very difficult to do. We can have the customer run a script to download and install the Vanilla Minecraft multiuser server but the better expedient is simply to use a third-party server, many of which run far better than does Vanilla, which limits its hardware support to a single core. Our Mineserver Pro™, with eight cores, simply screams with more modern software.

Just for the record, we are now officially in compliance with all Mojang IP. We have it in writing from them.

If Microsoft was actually in charge they’d make Mineservers™ themselves or at least start a hardware certification program and get us to pay a license fee. I’m sure these things will come in time and for now the boys are just concentrating on building and shipping.

They are building a small factory in the Man Cave with just the sort of stations you’d find at a modest PC manufacturer. All orders are driven by a FileMaker database with every part tracked and serialized for warranty and product support. Every Mineserver™ is built and signed by a single boy who is personally responsible for first line product support with his e-mail address right on the case. Production at present is limited to four units per hour mainly because certain parts are being manufactured on the boys’ new 50 watt CO2 laser cutter — the only process that hasn’t (yet) been parallelized. But approaching 400 orders that’s still only 100 hours of production so buying a second laser cutter probably isn’t in the cards.

If you are a posse of kids with an average age of 11, a laser cutter is an amazing thing to own. More projects will be coming from that baby. Fortunately the laser only operates when the case is closed a special safety key installed and Daddy is working in the corner of the room.9016_169573172560_664412560_2750234_6193339_n It seems pretty kid-proof since they couldn’t fit in the box little Samuel from the neighborhood who is the size of a hamster.

So if a Mineserver™ sounds cool for your kids, grandkids, friends or enemies, there are only a few more hours to pay for building that dune buggy ‘er, order.

Thanks for your support.