Puzzle Craft 2

Puzzle Craft 2I am nearly up to level 100 on this game . It is fun, challenging and really makes me think. You cannot solve things in 5 minutes and you really have to work on strategy across the 5 villages at this level. I have to get a blackberry to be able to progress to the new and last village. You cannot bash and smash your way through this game. You cannot buy your way out and you cannot take the easy road. You have to work with your brain to sort though the possibilities and work out a way of achieving what you are focused on at that point. I work all the villages at different times because some bring resources I need, some rewards, some build up the points levels and then the main village is where I am still trying to complete all the buildings to move on. That and the blackberry. It is a great game for people who like lots of challenges and who like to puzzle! The swamp is awful. No matter how much you install swamp cleaners it never improves. That icky stuff still gets you and your resources. It makes you realise you can be totally inattentive at times . While you are looking at one thing , you don’t notice the swamp is claiming another. Ditto the moles in the mine. They are horrible. My solution now , since I have more money, is just to blow them up because they can really wreck your board when you are trying to get resources in the mine. I don’t think I’ll ever collect all the moose because of the swamp, but then again, there are other things I thought I’d never do in this game and I end up thinking my way through. The game plays with you. It will reward you generously for trying your hardest and achieving something good and it will force you to reshape your approach so that you are more successful in your strategies. I love the water puzzles. At this level they bring some interesting configurations you have to manage but the opportunities are there to apply yourself. The graphics in the game are really good. Much thought has gone into the images, the characterisation and effective visual literacy. That’s the thing. You do have to pay attention. You do have to notice and you do have to read the information about the plants and animals so that you can devise ways and means of progressing. In this game research is important and you have to manipulate the data you have to get good outcomes. I am now regularly getting the  tools from the magic portal so that has been helping a lot. You have to build up those points so that you can. I have also liked seeing the videos of what other games there are on the iPad. It is one way you can get some free rewards but it is also a way of seeing how much the iPad games graphics have improved and the selections of games. This game has just got better and better the more I have played it. I have never felt like I am doing the same ol’ same ol’ and I have never felt like it is too easy or too hard. There is a good balance. There is also an opportunity to work it out for yourself. Some things in the game are just there and are not explained. It is not a nanny game. It makes you stand on your own two feet and think for yourself. Sometimes you just have to work out for yourself how to get something for get rid of something. I like that. There is no easy fix because I have a brain and I can use it. Love that approach in this game.

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Google tricks

These aren’t so much Easter Eggs as improved Google functionality. Google tries very hard to bring you fun and information and to be more and more usable in a way we want a search engine to be useful and helpful. Google can get it wrong but it does listen. Google will follow up on what you are trying to do and it has always surprised me that if I keep trying with searches, how, within a short space of time , Google will change its approach and actually bring me the information I need or want. Google often relies on keywords but there are times when that fails because it is a specific use of that keyword and not the common use. Enjoy these Google tips.

Young and eSafe

Young and eSafe is a new site created by the Australian government to try and help young people with online safety issues. There is a Facebook page where they can contribute to online safety discussions and ideas:

 

“Check out our site—we’ve got a five part video series, real life stories of young people’s experiences, and expert advice from some people in the know.

Think about how the stories relate to you—be inspired to come up with your own clever solutions for the challenges you or one of your friends may come across online.

Take it to the next level—find us on Facebook and join the conversation. You can be the difference between a positive or negative online experience.”

 

The site will develop and grow as people use it and contribute. YES is the acronym being used for the site and you can find it here.  The site offers help in getting you back on your feet when you have been knocked down online and encourages young people to take responsibility for their own online safety and the safety of others.

Sitting or standing?

sitting or standing Image: The Ergonomic Times

There is sa lot of good research going on to do with whether we should be sitting or standing when we use technology for long hours and what sorts of sitting positions and chairs we should be using. The advice from The Ergonomic Times concurs with what my physio told me. Change positions every 20 minutes. My optometrist has also been very helpful in terms of advice with how to sit and view computers and tablets. I use a book seat for my iPad. It makes it more stable and it is at a better angle for viewing which saves wear and tear on my neck and eyes. Justin Young is trying to work out what the problems will be when people use gesturing control and so his time is spent researching the ergonomics of that so we have the right advice about the right set up so we don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome , excessive fatigue and have the right sorts of chairs. He makes the point that some organisations won’t be able to provide ergonomically satisfactory work stations for people. Why not? Maybe that’s a challenge we need to confront and come up with affordable options for everyone.

There is a big, long term study which has just come out of Canada which looks at the impact of everyone standing for long hours. Peter Smith led the study and it has some interesting information which we really need to pay attention to:

“Hilary Poirier, a customer service agent at WestJet in Halifax, spends most of the workday on her feet.

“We don’t really sit down very frequently at all because we’re always out on the floor,” she said. Though she said she has “the best job ever,” all the standing puts a toll on her body: feet, back, hips, legs, everything.

The results came as a surprise to her.

“For something like heart issues I wasn’t imagining that because usually you’re on your feet you’re being healthy,” she said.”

We probably have been getting the message it would be better to stand. Not so. We need options. We need to be able to sit and we need to be able to change and stand. Any place which is requiring us to only do one or the other isn’t helping our health.

FastStone Image Resizer

If you are looking for a free app which resizes and converts images as batch files then FastStone image resizer is worth a look. You can process individual images too. There are other tutorials for it on YouTube if you are looking for additional help or you want to look more into it before you decide to use it.  The specifications here on the FastStone site.

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