My favorite time waster is Free Cell. Because I'm on dial-up at the house*, I have lots of "extra" time between page loads, time that screams out for a distraction. And Free Cell is it.
Which was great with XP. Free Cell is a fairly challenging game, not easy enough that I won all the time, but I was good for 90% or so. The big problem is that you can get ahead of yourself, and with but a single 'undo' move available, it's not hard to work yourself into an unrecoverable corner. Sure, you could cheat the stats by shutting the computer down without exiting the game, but that's not really fair, is it**? So I spent a lot of time hovering right around the 90% level, and if a game would drop me below, you'd better believe I took it seriously.
Enter Vista, with its new rules, including unlimited undos***. Now you can't get hung up because of a few bad moves, In fact, you can back up all the way to the beginning and start over.
Now a lot of guys would expect that I'd be happy about that, because it's a lot easier to win. But I'm not, because now there is no excuse for losing. That's right; where I was satisfied with a 90% win rate before, now nothing less than 100% will do. It drives me crazy, and more than once I've been involved in a particularly tough game right at bedtime and spent an extra half hour winning it.
Some people call that anal-retentive, but I like to call it, well, anal-retentive, I guess****.
* I asked the cable guy about getting it run out here. He looked at my kinda funny, gave a cable in the wall a pull, and said, "Ain't gonna reach."
** Yes, I've done that on occasion. But I was almost under 90%. You understand.
*** You can even escape a loss under Vista by undoing every move and then ending the game, something unavailable under XP.
**** (hat tip: Happy Gilmore)
A whistle, blown
1 hour ago