The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Spare Time

When I am not doing anything important, (which is most of the time) and I am at the computer (which is when I am least likely to be doing anything important), I often play solitaire. To do that I use Windows (stop laughing) Freecell Solitaire and I have Thomas Warfield's Pretty Good Solitaire. Solitaire on a computer has both good and bad points. A good point is that you don't have to pick up all the cards and reshuffle them, the computer does that for you. A bad point is it is expensive when you throw the deck across the room in frustration.

Windows Freecell (I can still hear you laughing) for Vista is much better than it used to be. It now allows you to cheat properly. On the earlier versions, you could back up just one move. And, if you lost the game, it immediately went into the statistics. The only way to cheat was to hit ALT-CTRL-DEL and kill the task before you actually lost. Oh yeah, you can see it coming easily enough. Now, however, you can back up as far as you wish, even all the way to the beginning and start over. You can even lose and you'll get a chance to go back to the game and back up without it affecting the stats. In order to get a loss in the stats, you have to quit, resign the game, acknowledge defeat, crush your ego. This is a Good Thing in my opinion. On the New Computer, I am at 89 random games and no losses as of this writing. On the laptop, I am at 96% of 970+ games because I was unaware of the changes and quit when I thought I was going to lose a few times. My long term stat on my Old Computer (a fine little Win98 SE machine) was 83% with no cheating. Either I am getting better at that or the cheating is helping. Yes, I do know that starting over or backing up is cheating. But, since it isn't recording it, I am only cheating myself and I forgive me.

Thomas' Pretty Good Solitaire is actually a solitaire suite. That is, it has 700 variations of solitaire to explore and play. That's right, 700. I knew of about 10 of them before I got the suite. The best part of the suite is that you can create a "Tour". A Tour is a group of games which you play in a row and accumulate an aggregate score. The suite has several Tours built in and you can make your own. You can also create your own solitaire version with the Wizard built into the suite. I have not mustered up the courage to try that yet. Besides, I am going to play relatively few of the games already in the suite, just the ones that do not challenge my meager solitaire skills too strongly. By the way, I am not plugging the above suite for Thomas nor am I getting any kickback on it. I just happen to like it and I decided to let you know about it.

I don't want you to think that's all I do on this computer, besides blogging incessantly. No, I also play Mahjongg, watch the value of my holdings in the stock market dwindle, email the few friends I have and some family, and wander around the web following paths my curiosity takes me down. I also do a number of crossword and jigsaw puzzles online. I find puzzles and solitaire (which is really just a card puzzle) are good exercises for the mind. The medical world seems to think so, too, since they say it often enough. In any case, the following ones are the ones I play on a daily basis. None of them are very hard so I use Master level on the first two. There are plenty of others on the internet, I just sort of fixated on these.

From the USA Today (Monday thru Friday only)
From the Palm Beach Post
From An untimed X-word
From Australia Another untimed one
From Heritage News A Weekly one
From the JigZone A daily timed jigsaw puzzle
From JigsawOnline A daily group of three jigsaw puzzles (untimed)

It's nice to be retired. But I did much of this when I was working too. Only not when the boss was around, of course.


Neo said...

was not aware you could cheat in freecell, I have played that for several years, not much lately though, as this blogging is a wonderful waste of my time.
I do get to interact with a fine clan of geeky people though
always found minesweeper to be a much more challenging game though.

Douglas said...

Neo, isn't Minefield basically just luck? Perhaps I don't grasp the nuances of some strategy involved. Now, if played like Battleship where you have to guess the strategy of the opponent then that would present a puzzle of high magnitude.

redchair said...

Hi Douglas,
To funny. You could hear me laughing!

Never figured you for the game type. I have to admit, I’ve never played an Internet game- not even once. Although, when I was working I always supplied a desk with a computer for my clients. They all played games for hours as I worked! I loved it because it kept them busy and out of my way.

All I can say about your gaming is - ‘you show man’s indisputable genius and superiority over the computer’.

To funny.

Michael said...

Hi Douglas,

“There are only two industries that refer to their customers as ‘users’.” [Edward Tufte]

A great quote above.

And don't worry. We've all had our Microsoft games phase. You'll get out of it years later. Then you'll get addicted to it again even more years later. The Microsoft games have that effect on people.

I'll be checkin' those puzzles when I have the time this week.


SavyArt said...

My laptop came with all sorts of new and addictive games on it. Very bad for me. I'm trying to forget they're on there. ;)

Everyday Housewife said...

I play solitaire, but I have yet to best my daughter's score not for want of trying... Now I play Wordcube and Bubble Words. There was a time when I was addicted to Pandora's Box, but I think I like the game because of the lovely pictures.

The Logisitician said...

I, like Vikki/Red Chair, did not figure you to be the gaming type. The legal industry, being paper intensive, got into the use of computers, on a front line basis, perhaps a tad earlier than some other industries. I recall in 1980 and 1981, people slipping into the word processing department to play to most simplistic types of games, only to come to their senses and realize that they were taking up time that they could be generating billable hours.

It's an interesting utilization of one's time. I understand that there some games now which can actually improve your brain power. I should check those out. I'd like to be able to compute faster. It's my ultimate goal to visit Hong Kong which I understand is the world's fastest moving city. Any recommendations for games to improve reaction time/brain computation time?