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Why Windows Solitaire Eats So Much Time

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the chomp-chomp dept.

Puzzle Games (Games) 261

An anonymous reader writes "This article suggests that Windows Solitaire may be the most-often played computer game. It's not so much an article about Solitaire, but rather an article about Windows and human nature and socialization. If you play FreeCell, there's a interesting paragraph about its inventor." Can Solitaire really eat up more hours than have been sacrificed to Tetris?

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"Read more" (5, Funny)

thetorpedodog (750359) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457362)

Read more from Slate's special issue on procrastination.

Actually, I think I'll wait until tomorrow...when I have work to do.

More truth than humor here. (4, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457916)

People who use computers at home do something better with them than Solitare but it is still some kind of common lowest denominator.

Solitare is "popular" because it's on every corporate desktop at every big dumb company where people are better at looking busy than they are at getting work done ... when they have any to do. Everyone also knows that the really fun things you can do with a computer will get you fired. For some reason, people big dumb company types let anti-social wastes of time slide but anything useful is punished. Self improvement, religion, language studies and unauthorized training are explicitly prohibited at most companies looking to fire lots of people.

Re:More truth than humor here. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23457992)

You've been a busy boy today. Hell, every single of your ten sockpuppets posted today. Wow. Just wow.

Re:More truth than humor here. (3, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458132)

Full disclosure: I am a Microsoft MVP and have been on campus and this information is not from anyone there but rather from a conversation in a bar in Seatle as I recall. My memory is a tad bit fuzzy. I blame beer.

However... I came away with the impression that Windows "still included" the games (this was XP release era) because of the reason that it has always included the games. The games were there as a test for graphics and the ability to create random numbers. I am unable to find anything online to add to this however and would love some insight/thoughts. Saying, simply, "That's what I was told." Surely isn't going to cut it with the /. crowd but it seems to make some sense to me.

I'm not sure how or why you got modded down but them's the breaks.

Can It? (5, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457378)

"Can Solitaire really eat up more hours than have been sacrificed to Tetris?"

On a Per-Person level, I think there are more people that have spent 20 hours in a day playing Tetris, than Windows Solitaire.

But, I think more people play Solitaire than play(ed) Tetris, so collectively its more hours.

Re:Can It? (2, Funny)

kojimoto_atusis (566124) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457522)

I hate you! Now I will remember the songs again, is gonna be a long long week, unless i can find my gameboy

Re:Can It? (5, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457754)

There is an antidote [youtube.com] .

Re:Can It? (5, Funny)

leothar (896958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457790)

You evil bastard!

Re:Can It? (4, Interesting)

kesuki (321456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457634)

"Can Solitaire really eat up more hours than have been sacrificed to Tetris?"

On a Per-Person level, I think there are more people that have spent 20 hours in a day playing Tetris, than Windows Solitaire.

But, I think more people play Solitaire than play(ed) Tetris, so collectively its more hours.
I think you missed the tag line from TFA "Chen, the company's usability research crew discovered that the three most-played computer games solitaire or something else, Microsoft or otherwise, preloaded or user-installed) are, in order Spider Solitaire, Klondike Solitaire, and Free Cell."

now personally, i have over 13,000 games of WC3TFT, which translates to roughly 135.416*(infinitely repeating 6s) days of warcraft 3... and i know free cell is probably not even the second game, for my list, that right belongs to the first (us release) of Advance wars, with well over 1000 hours (over 41 days straight) free cell isn't even my third favorite game, I've probably only done 500 hands of it in total, but i am an atypical player.

It makes me wonder, how exactly did Microsoft figure out which programs are used the most? does windows XP and later 'phone home' the top 10 most launched applications? if it does that, that number can be skewed, if the Microsoft coded apps are going by 'games played' using built in statistics, then how can they compare to ordinary video games that don't provide these statistics to Microsoft? after all, i would only launch wc3 once a day, and get in as many as 50 games a day... but if the statistics are of launching the application, I've known some people who 'think' they get better game hands by exiting and restarting free cell than by normal means of getting a new game...

seriously How is Microsoft getting their numbers?!?

* = based on an average game length of 15 minutes, but my average game length might be longer, i can't recall and the statistics are only for one season, not the whole time I've been a warcraft player.

Re:Can It? (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457802)

"...does windows XP and later 'phone home'..."

I Dont think XP does, or it would have shown up on my firewall somewhere (although I rarely play them, maybe it tries to phone home after X amount of hours played or something)

Vista, I really wouldnt doubt that it does, considering its already got other internet-connected stuff in its "Games"...thingymajiggy (has a centralized Control panel for the the default games, aswell as most you install afterwards)

But I havent used Vista much, so I dont know personally if it tries or not... but if it did, it would report that Chess has 100% usage, everything has none... there free Chess (made by someone-and-other) that comes with Vista is kickass...best part about Vista in my opinion...lol

Re:Can It? (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457822)

"their" (just to thwart corrections)

Re:Can It? (4, Interesting)

slyn (1111419) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458124)

You figuring that out makes me think of Xfire, which tracks the amount of time played by people who have the Xfire client installed.

Some quick calculations [google.com] using stats from the xfire [xfire.com] site show that on today, a non-holiday sunday, approximately 44 man-years of time have been played only in the game World of Warcraft. Not to mention that leaves out all Mac WoW'ers (we do exist), and ever so rare wine linux WoW'ers. And even on top of that, all the people who did play on windows today but don't have the Xfire client installed.

Re:Can It? (5, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457858)

But, I think more people play Solitaire than play(ed) Tetris, so collectively its more hours.
That's ONLY because Windows doesn't come default with Tetris.

Re:Can It? (1)

fyrewulff (702920) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458060)

It used to, a long time ago... although nobody should be subjected to the horror that is Windows Tetris.

Re:Can It? (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458068)

It used to, a long time ago... although nobody should be subjected to the horror that is Windows Tetris.
... not even my mother in-law?

Re:Can It? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458182)

"Can Solitaire really eat up more hours than have been sacrificed to Tetris?" On a Per-Person level, I think there are more people that have spent 20 hours in a day playing Tetris, than Windows Solitaire. But, I think more people play Solitaire than play(ed) Tetris, so collectively its more hours.

Alternatively, we can blame Microsoft's monopoly for this one --- after all, Tetris isn't bundled, so it won't get played as much... ;)

I think it adds up in more ways than one, though. I spent a few weeks playing Tetris obsessively during my early teens. On the other hand, I can't even count the amount of time I've spent playing a "quick game" of Solitaire here and there in the two decades since that time.

Screw Card Games! (3, Interesting)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457384)

There's too much luck involved and not enough skill. I'll play Pinball over Solitaire any day. Now if only Microsoft would include a good Chess game...

Seriously though, I have Quake, SimCity2000, and Diablo on any computer that I use just in case I do get bored. Those titles will run on pretty much anything.

Re:Screw Card Games! (5, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457424)

I guess the key difference is that Solitaire and Pinball are usually found preinstalled on most systems. I find that when I'm preparing workstations I tend to leave them on there. When I walk by and see somebody playing solitaire it doesn't bother me, if I saw somebody playing the Sims or some fps there would be a problem.

Re:Screw Card Games! (1)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457464)

What do you have against The Sims? I think someone's just ticked their Sim children kept on getting taken by social services. ;)

CPS can't come get them... (4, Funny)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457542)

if there's no doors in their house.

Re:CPS can't come get them... (4, Funny)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457760)

That's simply not true. They'll just teleport in and take your baby anyway. They can teleport out as well, so it's not as if you can set the house on fire in order to kill the baby and the social worker. :(

Re:CPS can't come get them... (1)

leothar (896958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457812)

I hear you're speaking from experience. :)

Re:CPS can't come get them... (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458038)

last time i played (over 9000 years ago) any unwanted visitor or thief etc could be caged with a fence around them, using cheats of course

Re:Screw Card Games! (2, Interesting)

Izabael_DaJinn (1231856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457772)

Ya...same reason IE is still used by most people....

So if Windows came pre-installed with "Alien Munchies" [goodtimeretrocafe.com] or "People Pong" then THOSE would be the most played computer games ever??

Re:Screw Card Games! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23457452)

For all the vista bitching, it does have a fairly nice chess game :)

Re: Solitaire Variants ForTheWin! (2, Informative)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457600)


Then you, sir, have never actually played the more obscure variants which have addressed this problem. The Victorians mastered the art, and created a whole spectrum from pure luck to 100% solvable.

Windows has included the now famous Klondike variant. However, if you're a skill maven, look up the Spider family of variants which were always my favorites. I think I even saw a Windows port somewhere too. (If not, it's a snap to program them.)

Re:Screw Card Games! (4, Informative)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457666)

Windows Vista (some versions) now comes with a quite decent Chess game.

-David

Re:Screw Card Games! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23457742)

It's in the business version too, you just have to enable/install the games from the control panel.

Re:Screw Card Games! (5, Funny)

stuporglue (1167677) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457974)

Finally, a reason to upgrade!

Obligatory (3, Informative)

imamac (1083405) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458008)

Mac OS X has had Chess for YEARS!!

Re:Screw Card Games! (1, Informative)

STrinity (723872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457752)

Now if only Microsoft would include a good Chess game...
Upgrade to Vista.

Re:Screw Card Games! (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457870)

There's too much luck involved and not enough skill.
In some there is a lot of luck but in freecell all the cards positions are known at the start of the game and almost every game is solvable.

Re:Screw Card Games! (0, Redundant)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457942)

Now if only Microsoft would include a good Chess game...

Actually, they did on Vista. *ducks*

If I were stranded on a deserted island... (5, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457386)

... and could only have one thing, it would be a deck of cards. I would start to play solitaire and eventually somebody inevitably would come along to tell me to place that red eight on the black nine and I'd be rescued.

Re:If I were stranded on a deserted island... (1)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457630)

So is that why all the new episodes are off the island?

Re:If I were stranded on a deserted island... (5, Funny)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457650)

If I could only have one thing on a deserted island it'd be a yacht.

Re:If I were stranded on a deserted island... (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457960)

Bear in mind that if you had a working boat you wouldn't actually be stranded in the first place because you could leave anytime you want.

Re:If I were stranded on a deserted island... (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458012)

No, I'm pretty sure GP had that firmly in mind... ;)

Re:If I were stranded on a deserted island... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458036)

That wouldn't help. I saw that on Lost - you'd just keep circling the island like being trapped in a snow globe.

Spider (1)

A little Frenchie (715758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457388)

I prefer the spider one... and yes, Tetris doesn't come with Windows....

TOD is like Tetris on drugs (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457392)

Can Solitaire really eat up more hours than have been sacrificed to Tetris?
What, are you on drugs [pineight.com] or something? ;-)

Perfect steps... (4, Insightful)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457400)


People waste time because they don't know how to cheat! Here are the vista Solitaire [tech-recipes.com] and XP Solitaire [tech-recipes.com] cheats.

Honestly, solitaire has the perfect assets to be the most popular computer game.

1. Anybody can figure it out. My children picked it up in 5 minutes.
2. It's available on to a huge population. Everybody with a windows box has it installed and staring them in the face. Any system is powerful enough to run it.
3. It fills downtime while other processes are loading. Need a few minutes to download that huge iso? Heck, you can probably get in a game of solitaire!

Interestingly enough, solitaire is probably the most popular card game as well... for similar reasons.

"It is the cockroach of gaming, remarkably flexible and adaptable..."

Re:Perfect steps... (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457508)

2. It's available on to a huge population. Everybody with a windows box has it installed and staring them in the face. Any system is powerful enough to run it.


And to sorta nitpick, most Linux distros include some version of solitaire too. Its even on Emacs! http://stuff.mit.edu/afs/athena/contrib/games/elisp/solitaire.el [mit.edu]

Re:Perfect steps... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457554)

Woops, should have actually read most of the code.... The Emacs version isn't like Windows Solitaire, it is the peg variant, it has nothing to do with cards.

There's a tetromino game in Emacs too (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457616)

The tetromino game is on a lot more machines than some people might think: Open GNU Emacs. Press M-x (Emacs-ese for Alt+x) to open Emacs' command prompt. Type tetris and press Enter [google.com] .

Re:Perfect steps... (4, Interesting)

kesuki (321456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457684)

Linux solitaire(AisleRiot) has everything from Agnes to Zebra! not 'just' spider, Klondike, and free cell... which windows implements through three separate executables?!? for simple card games?!? you need 3 game engines to play cards?!?! crazy man crazy...

Re:Perfect steps... (4, Funny)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457806)

Linux solitaire(AisleRiot) has everything from Agnes to Zebra! not 'just' spider, Klondike, and free cell... which windows implements through three separate executables?!? for simple card games?!? you need 3 game engines to play cards?!?! crazy man crazy...

And the inverse to that is:
Several small, individual, standalone files that do one thing each and do it well, vs one bloated monolithic pile o crap that tries to do everything.

Re:Perfect steps... (3, Insightful)

kesuki (321456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458226)

AisleRiot is a single program '/usr/games/sol' and even though it has so many games '/usr/games/sol' is just 151,904 bytes.

In comparison, on Windows 'sol.exe' is 56,832 bytes, freecell 55,296 bytes, and Spider (AsileRiot has 3 versions of spider, btw) is a whopping 538,624 bytes, but you know the fireworks at the end are clearly worth it, right?

AisleRiot For what it's worth, in it's 151,904 bytes of glory has exactly 82 version of solitare. many with multiple rule settings...is only 25% of the file size of 'windows top three games' (as per TFA) even though it supports a whopping 79 'extra' games that windows users don't have.... just imagine, if the card engine were expanded to the same file size of those three executables by adding perhaps, a generic computer multiplay game engine the likes of 'hearts' and ' internet spades' that XP has... then you might have over 200 games in one 600 k executable...

Re:Perfect steps... (1)

Johnno74 (252399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458170)

They actually share a common graphics library - cards.dll (well pre-XP versions did, at least...)
I wrote a little card game for my wife based on an unusual version of solitare she plays, and a little research on the web lead me to the API for cards.dll which made the project a doddle.

Re:Perfect steps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23457716)

I knew Emacs was like xbox hueg, but I never knew it had turned into a full featured Linux distro while I wasn't paying attention. :-)

Re:Perfect steps... (3, Funny)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457778)

Well, as they say, Emacs is a perfectly good operating system, it just lacks a decent text editor.

How to install vi in Emacs (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458160)

Well, as they say, Emacs is a perfectly good operating system, it just lacks a decent text editor.
I thought Emacs had Viper-mode [uni-hamburg.de] . Use it when you're not playing Tetris-mode [slashdot.org] .

Re:Perfect steps... (2)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457808)

Turned into?

Re:Perfect steps... (1)

Nero Nimbus (1104415) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457750)

Before I learned to cheat in the XP version of Solitaire, my best time was 46 seconds. After I learned to cheat, my times actually got worse until I picked up a Logitech G-5. With it, I got a time of 34 seconds when I was testing out the mouse the day I got it, and I got a 33 second time the next day. It was somewhere after that point that I realized that when you can play a single game of Solitaire and beat it in under 60 seconds without having to worry back, it's time to find a new game. With that, Solitaire lost its magic.

At work (Where I have to use Vista when I'm in the office), I switched to Chess for a while, before moving on to reading Slashdot. So basically, I've traded one time-wasted activity for another. Does anybody have any ideas on what's next?

Re:Perfect steps... (2, Informative)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457972)

Does anybody have any ideas on what's next?

Another version of Solitaire that I play a lot of is TriPeaks [wikipedia.org] . An early version was shipped with the now ancient Windows Entertainment Pack [therhogue.com] and you can still grab a copy of the original game [therhogue.com] (near the bottom of the page or direct link [therhogue.com] and manual [therhogue.com] ). It's a great break from normal (Klondike) Solitaire because you're trying to accumulate points and streaks instead of just beating a clock. It's also pretty pretty cool (and depressing :) how it tracks your game stats over time. Besides, who doesn't like going back and playing games from the Windows 3.1 era? :)

I always thought... (2, Funny)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458034)

Funny, I always thought that the reason so many people played solitaire was because it's the only game that doesn't crash in Windows.

Re:Perfect steps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458072)

Why the flying hell would you cheat at Solitaire?

Seriously? (1)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457422)

Can Solitaire really eat up more hours than have been sacrificed to Tetris?
Given that Tetris isn't installed on every Windows desktop...do you even have to ask?

Pack-in Tetris (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457472)

Given that Tetris isn't installed on every Windows desktop...do you even have to ask?
But Tetris was packed in with every Game Boy for the first couple years, as well as in the "Gamesampler" packed in with blank floppies [wikipedia.org] . And I seem to remember an online version of either The Next Tetris or Tetris Worlds being packed in with some game console's online gaming kit (Dreamcast BBA? PlayStation 2 network adapter? Xbox Live starter kit? I forget).

Re:Pack-in Tetris (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457602)

~120 million game boys sold (all versions)

~1 billion copies of windows currently in use.

It's at least a toss-up, and 20 minutes a day on 5% of the installed base of Windows computers is going to add up to an awful lot of time playing a game that hasn't been popularly sold for 15 years (I loved the original Tetris, Tetris Worlds for the GB advance is no competitor).

Tetris Worlds (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457730)

(I loved the original Tetris, Tetris Worlds for the GB advance is no competitor)

Was it the infinite spin [ytmnd.com] [1], the T-spin triples [epictetris2.com] [2], or the piece randomizer that lets you keep playing forever [tetrispwned.com] [3]? In fact, all three of those "features" have been mandatory in new versions of Tetris [tetrisconcept.com] for the past half decade, including Tetris DS, Tetris Zone, and Tetris Evolution.

For me, it was the control lag that killed the joy in Tetris Worlds for GBA. It bothered me so much that I learned how to program for the GBA [coranac.com] and made TOD [pineight.com] .

[1] Infinity [tetrisconcept.com]
[2] Super Rotation System [tetrisconcept.com]
[3] Random Generator [tetrisconcept.com] and Playing forever [tetrisconcept.com]

Re:Tetris Worlds (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457890)

I think control lag was probably a contributor. My brain is also sort of stuck on the Game B music and gameplay.

Is there an easy and cheap (think $20) way to get your game onto a cartridge?

Re:Tetris Worlds (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458024)

Is there an easy and cheap (think $20) way to get your game onto a cartridge?
Nowadays, the cheapest way to get GBA homebrew onto a GBA is probably the SuperCard SD [dealextreme.com] or SuperCard miniSD [dealextreme.com] .

Origins of Solitaire? (4, Interesting)

Eastree (719351) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457462)

I don't have any proof, but I'll still tell:

A few years ago I was cleaning out the records room where I worked. Among all the old manuals of long dead software, I found a four floppy install set of Windows 3.1 (or 3.1.1? It was a very long time ago). On its list of features was Solitaire, listed as mouse practice software of all things. Needless to say, a joke quickly circulated in the office, that we weren't playing games; we were training for better hand-eye coordination with a computer mouse.

That aside, if anyone has an old copy, or knows of an image online, I would very much appreciate the correlation of ecidence.

Re:Origins of Solitaire? (5, Insightful)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457694)

Wasn't Solitaire supposed to be showing people how to drag 'n' drop, and Minefield was to show them how to left and right click?

Re:Origins of Solitaire? (3, Informative)

allanw (842185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457740)

That aside, if anyone has an old copy, or knows of an image online, I would very much appreciate the correlation of ecidence.
If you had read the FA, you would have seen this exact same point made there ;)

Re:Origins of Solitaire? (1)

WMD_88 (843388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458048)

Windows 3.0 was on four floppies. I used my copy on a second-hand 386 laptop a few years ago; Tetris was there and played fine...and took up the entire 640x480 screen. :) However, I'm not quite sure where my disks are right now (nor do I have the means to transfer them to my modern computers). There's bound to be torrents of it or something somewhere.

It is an addiction (5, Interesting)

CliffEmAll (794568) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457482)

I loathe Freecell. I also play an average of 3 or 4 games of it a day. I don't think I get any satisfaction from the act of playing or from winning, but it has become the primary opportunity to shut off my brain for a moment or two between tasks. I cannot count the number of times I have opened the game, then closed it because I could find no motivation to play, then re-opened it and played a game 15 minutes later. In the meantime, I could be reading /. or wikipedia or playing a real game, but none of these other diversions quite fill the short-term, no thought required niche that the hated Solitaire game does. There is something seriously wrong with me ...

Re:It is an addiction (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457926)

If you really want to stop playing freecell, convince yourself that no matter what you do, a relatively trivial computer program could play it faster and more accurately than you do.

There is some argument about this sort of argument and a game like Chess, but the algorithms that play chess are more data set than algorithm, and you don't need a data set to algorithmically solve Freecell.

It's the ultimate casual game (4, Interesting)

CurtMonash (986884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457490)

One virtue of solitaire over most other computer games is that it's not time-based. You can play for exactly as long as you want to. You don't need to finish a level in the time allotted, kill the aliens before they land, play a word before your opponent gets annoyed with you, or anything like that. You have complete control of the gaming schedule.

One can have similar experiences from playing board games vs. computer opponents, or from the crafting aspect of MMOs. But solitaire is by far the simplest way of achieving them.

Re:It's the ultimate casual game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23457514)

only if you dont care about the score.

I'm ridin' spinners, they don't stop (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457638)

One virtue of solitaire over most other computer games is that it's not time-based.
Neither is Tetris. You can just sit and spin a piece forever [ytmnd.com] . In fact, this infinite spin behavior [tetrisconcept.com] has been mandatory in Tetris(tm) products [tetrisconcept.com] since the early 2000s.

Re:I'm ridin' spinners, they don't stop (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457908)

I don't think microsoft tetris for windows has that behaviour though.

In any case the game still controls the schedule. If you don't keep spinning that peice (or pause but that tends to require moving your fingers away from the main controls limiting when you can safely do it) it will drop.

Re:I'm ridin' spinners, they don't stop (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458044)

If you don't keep spinning that peice (or pause but that tends to require moving your fingers away from the main controls limiting when you can safely do it) it will drop.
The lock delay in most recent Tetris games is half a second. That's more than long enough to press Rotate Right with one hand and Pause with the other.

Solitaire vs. Sid Meir Games (3, Funny)

Proudrooster (580120) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457504)

It was often said in days of yore that Windows was the best $80 Solitaire game one could buy. However, I believe that Sid Meir games such as Civilization dwarf Solitaire have consumed far more time. Civilization IV is epic and can take days to finish a single game.

I won't even touch the MMORPG's like Evercrack and WOW.

Can anyone get me a pre-release demo of StarCraft II ? That is the one I really want to waste a lot of time on.

Re:Solitaire vs. Sid Meir Games (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23457736)

It was often said in days of yore that Windows was the best $80 Solitaire game one could buy. However, I believe that Sid Meir games such as Civilization dwarf Solitaire have consumed far more time. Civilization IV is epic and can take days to finish a single game.

I won't even touch the MMORPG's like Evercrack and WOW.

Can anyone get me a pre-release demo of StarCraft II ? That is the one I really want to waste a lot of time on.
http://torrentz.ws/search/Starcraft-2.torrent [torrentz.ws]

use of torrent warez sites is at your own risk, if you get rooted don't blame me.

Re:Solitaire vs. Sid Meir Games (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458198)

You should try Company of Heroes if you liked Starcraft

Why Windows Solitaire Eats So Much Time (0)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457524)

Because it is hungry?

Inaccurate Summary (4, Funny)

wbren (682133) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457532)

If you play FreeCell, there's a interesting paragraph about its inventor.
Inaccurate! The interesting paragraph about the inventor of FreeCell is present in my copy of the article, despite the fact that I do not play FreeCell. /badjoke

Re:Inaccurate Summary (1)

Alegis (1248634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457810)

If you play FreeCell, there's a interesting paragraph about its inventor.
Inaccurate! The interesting paragraph about the inventor of FreeCell is present in my copy of the article, despite the fact that I do not play FreeCell. /badjoke
There's nothing wrong about the statement, semantics would say. It does not exclude the possibility that the paragraph is there if you do not play FreeCell. ;)

George W Bush plays Solitaire? (4, Funny)

Centurix (249778) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457534)

Do you think GWB has admin rights on his PC? As a system administrator, would you have the guts to remove sol.exe? If you did, would it be a unilateral decision?

Just imagine, sol.exe could be the only thing to stop GWB from getting bored enough to push the Big Red Button.

Re:George W Bush plays Solitaire? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23457644)

Do you think GWB has admin rights on his PC?

If he does, I hope in the name of all that is holy that the PC he uses doesn't have any important information on it.

As a system administrator, would you have the guts to remove sol.exe?

If I was his sysadmin, whether or not he played solitare would probably be the least of my worries, assuming that his public speeches and other displays of density is any indicator of the type of problem user he'd be. So, I don't think I'd bother.
Just imagine, sol.exe could be the only thing to stop GWB from getting bored enough to push the Big Red Button.

I'm an intellectual elitist by Bush supporter standards(I don't stutter or drool and I've never given myself a black eye by choking on a pretzel), so I have no problem admitting that the last 8 years with a dumbass in the whitehouse has had me worried about many things. I've never really worried about him pushing the button though, because anyone who gets their ass kicked by a pretzel probably couldn't make a button his bitch.

Re:George W Bush plays Solitaire? (4, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457764)

Do you think GWB has admin rights on his PC?
GWB has a PC? Maybe someone put a speakandspell there and told him it was a PC. But lets face it, he's going to be a 1st level IT support nightmare -- "Is it plugged in Mr President? ...etc".

Unless there's a MS Whitehouse edition? "Who do you want to bomb today?" and "Ah I see you're trying to waterboard someone. I can help with that!"

Re:George W Bush plays Solitaire? (1)

Ariastis (797888) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457990)

Reboot by shaking it ; Etch a Sketch

Where is the Community? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23457556)

I admit to not having played Solitaire since Windows3.1, and then only a handful of times. I don't see where it is that interesting or challenging. What do players talk about with their friends? "oh, if only the Jack of Hearts had come up." Come on, there is no community or strategy involved.

On the other hand, several years ago my son got involved in playing Age of Empires to the extreme, and then posted hundreds of times to a AOE strategy discussion board, discussing the various ways to advance civilizations and wipe everyone out. The end result: he could type like Superman with zero errors. And he could compose logical sentences, which doesn't happen with todays teen text messaging scene. Made a difference when a summer job came along.

I doubt 5000 straight victories in Freecsll will amount to anything good.

Tetris Concept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23457586)

Speaking of Tetris, here is the best version :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwC544Z37qo

http://www.tetrisconcept.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=893

Enjoy a fine game.

qwert (0)

overcaffein8d (1101951) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457588)

i spend more time slacking on slashdot than i ever have on solitaire

Windows Solitaire was for mouse training at first. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457624)

Windows Solitaire was for mouse training at first so people are still sticking to that. It is a easy to play time waster.

How did Solitaire work in a Casino? There is mode, (2)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457640)

How did Solitaire work in a Casino? There is mode in the windows one for it Does it play like the Casino way did? and are there Casinos that still have it?

Am I the only one... (0, Redundant)

MrMage (1240674) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457654)

... who was playing Solitaire when this story was posted?

Solitaire is a good thing... (3, Interesting)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457748)

Solitaire is a good thing.

Although it probably seems foreign to most of us here, mouse hand-eye coordination is not automatic.

And for new users or even new users at a business, our IT people encourage people to start with something like solitaire and just let people goof off until it becomes automatic. (Notice the stores or businesses that have mouse driven software and the users take FOREVER to move the cursor on screen to make selections. Giving them a week of play time on something like Soitaire would increase their productivity in the long run, and reduce customer frustration. (Not that I recommend a Mouse UI for checkstands or small business invoicing, but there is a lot of crap software out there in specific industries that rely on it.

It is also a good tool for users moving to touch pads, pens, thumbsticks, etc as it is simple, mindless and yet lets people master the abstract motor neural control of input devices.

Everytime we have a proficient tech that 'hates' an input device, our policies are to make them use that input device, at least for stuff like solitaire if not general work until it becomes second nature. Especially if the tech is ever going to be using it in public or assisting corporate clients where the device might be widely used. (Touchpads and Thumbsticks being #1 on this list.)

 

How much does it cost us? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23457756)

"800 trillion dollars."

Wow, will Microsoft pay that money back to someone real quick?

Why Windows Solitaire Eats So Much Time (1)

DanWS6 (1248650) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457798)

Because it's running on Windows! lololol

There is one simple reason for this.... (3, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457912)

MS Solitaire eats up so much time because they did not ship a decent version of Maijong.... meh

Re:There is one simple reason for this.... (3, Interesting)

Johnno74 (252399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458178)

They did on Vista. My wife wants to use my work laptop all the time, just to play mahjong.

Infact all the windows games have been re-written using WPF and look very sweet.

SSHH!!! (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457948)

don't say that too loudly. next thing you know there will be SPLA Solitaire Licensing.

I spent 1991 playing Tetris. (4, Funny)

ChrisCampbell47 (181542) | more than 6 years ago | (#23457998)

I'm not kidding. Well, I was finishing my engineering degree, and had a frisky girlfriend, so it didn't consume all my time, but I swear every remaining waking moment was spent playing it. On my tricked out zero-wait-state 12 MHz 286. And it was the original Russian DOS-mode game, none of this crappy flash knockoff shite. I will bury you.

Cell phones are the new casual platform (1)

ET3D (1169851) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458154)

Haven't touched Windows Solitaire in a while, but I'm hopelessly addicted to Spiderette on DChoc Solitaire. In general, I find I play more phone games than PC games. The phone is with me most times, it's easy to carry, and it has some nice turn based games: DChoc Solitaire is one, but also a few RPG's like Orcs & Elves (way to go Carmack!).

Most played? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458180)

I can honestly say that I have never once played Solitaire.

It could be because I only ever use Windows in VMware for development work and occasionally when I need to play a real game that isn't available for Linux.

Re:Most played? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458234)

no one cares what you do you fucking dick smoking faggot.
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