Twenty some years ago my right hand became frozen around a mouse. It took the left hand to pry the mouse from my … hand.
Too much Minesweeper.
So, on the principle of “Never do yourself what a machine can do for you.“, I wrote a program to play the game. On screen. Mouse clicks and all.
And after watching expert mode being solved in 7 seconds a few times under Win 3.1, Minesweeper became boring and I stopped playing it. (No. The program did not use the cheat mode. It played fair.)
Fast forward some years.
I wrote a program to solve Spider.
It didn’t help. I’ve still spent too much time on that game. But the program did find only a couple of impossible-to-win games out of 32 thousand dealt. That was informative.
Fast forward some more years.
I wrote a Sudoku program to stop myself from playing that game, uncompelling and bite sized though the game was. It was a fun program and is handy to find impossible and incompletely initialized / ambiguous games (e.g. at sudoku.com). But it didn’t satisfy.
Fast forward to now.
And we have a screen shot from sudo_ku.py playing a game at www.WebSudoku.com :
We’ll see if I keep playing this site’s game.
Or a hacked old Python Gnome Sudoku program:
The program looks at the screen(s), finds boards, solves them, and plays them using mouse clicks and keys to enter the numbers. Though the program is incomplete, it’s pretty satisfying. Perhaps that’s why at one point many years ago I said that my job was to automate my job. And perhaps that’s why I’m not among the robotic hand-wringers of today. It’s simply fun to watch machines do what they do best.