FreeCell, the Solitaire-like card game that comes with Windows (and elsewhere), is not a waste of time--it's therapeutic.
"We discovered that we can take an existing computer game that people already have found enjoyable and extract cognitive assessment measures from it," said Holly Jimison, associate professor of medical informatics and clinical epidemiology and the study's lead author. Jimison and study co-author Misha Pavel, a professor of biomedical engineering and computer science and electrical engineering at OHSU's School of Science & Engineering, studied nine people with an average age of 80. All were regular computer users who played the FreeCell game frequently over a six-month period. Each participant was given a cognition score based on a brief battery of tests, and three were found to have mild cognitive impairment.
Edward Greenwood IX was fired Jan. 30 from his job as an assistant in the city's lobbying office in Albany, not long after the mayor spied the game on his computer screen during a Jan. 4 visit to the state capital.
Mr. Bloomberg confirmed yesterday that Mr. Greenwood's firing offense was the game of solitaire, saying that city employees were not paid to play at the workplace. The firing was first reported yesterday by The New York Post.
Mr. Greenwood said yesterday that he always finished his work in a timely fashion, and that he played solitaire only when there was nothing else left to do, usually a few times a week or during lunch breaks.
Mr. Greenwood said that he had left the solitaire game on his computer while going to pick up tickets for the mayor and other city officials to attend the governor's annual address to the state. When he returned, Mr. Greenwood said, the mayor had arrived and was posing for pictures with other office workers.
What can we learn from this?
Mr. Greenwood was probably playing the solitaire game that comes with Windows. Had he been using Pretty Good Solitaire, he could have used the Minimize to Taskbar Tray feature to reduce the game to a tiny icon in the lower right corner while he was gone. If he had done that, the mayor probably would not have seen it.
A new edition of a classic solitaire book has just been published. Dick's Games of Patience or Solitaire with Cards was originally published in 1884. Westholme Publishing has republished this book with a new edition.
new edition is virtually a complete reproduction of the 1884 edition (I
have a copy of the 1884 edition). It reproduces the original
illustrations and text exactly.
is a collection of rules of 64 solitaire card games. For some of these
games it is the original source of the rules that can still be found
(the games probably originated elsewhere, but the original sources are
lost). It contains rules for classic games like Auld Lang Syne, Four
Seasons, Calculation, La Belle Lucie, Baker's Dozen, and many more.
Some of the games are now better known under different names than they
are given in Dick's - for
example, "Napoleon at St. Helena" is now usually known as Forty
Thieves, "The Garden" is now known as Flower Garden, "The Order of
Precedence" is now known just as Precedence, "Rouge et Noir" is the
game now called Red and Black.
The game called "The Pyramid" is actually a very different game than the one now called Pyramid. Dick's "The Pyramid" is in Pretty Good Solitaire under the name "Reserved Pyramid".
of the rules given are different from generally accepted modern rules.
For instance, the game rules described as "La Belle Lucie" is actually
the game "Three Shuffles and a Draw" in Pretty Good Solitaire, as it contains a special draw in the last deal. This is generally omitted from La Belle Lucie in later sources.
The vast majority of the games in Dick's are in Pretty Good Solitaire, added after I picked up a copy of the 1884 edition on eBay.
Dick's Games of Patience or Solitaire with Cards
is without question a solitaire rule book of historical significance.
Dick's published a second volume in 1898 with many more important games
as well. This new edition contains the table of contents of the second
volume but not any of the content. Perhaps Westholme will follow up
with a volume of the second series.
This new edition will make
an excellent addition to any solitaire collector's library. It is
especially interesting to see how the games were described over a
century ago, as the language used is much different than in modern
books. I highly recommend the book for anyone who is interested not
just in playing solitaire but also in reading about it.
author, William B. Dick, was apparently the author of a lot of books of
general interest in the late nineteenth century. In fact, he was not
only the author but apparently the publisher as well (the original
edition was published by Dick & Fitzgerald). The 1884 edition lists
some of his other works at the end. They include Dick's Encyclopedia of Practical Receipts and Processes, Dick's Book of Toasts, Speeches and Responses, Dick's Parlor Exhibitions, and How to Make them Successful, Dick's One Hundred Amusements for Evening Parties, Picnics, and Social Gatherings, and Dick's Original Album Verses and Acrostics.
The description for this last one says: "It contains also Two Hundred
and Eighteen Original Acrostic Verses, the initial letters of each
verse forming a different Lady's Christian name, the meaning and
derivation of the name being appended to each. The primary object of
this book is to furnish entirely fresh and unhackneyed matter for all
who may be called upon to fill and adorn a page in a Lady's Album; but
it contains also new and appropriate verses to suit Birthday, Wedding,
and all other Anniversaries and Occasions to which verses of Compliment
or Congratulation are applicable." They don't publish stuff like that
anymore. Obviously, Dick was the man to invite to all your parties.