YOUR BIRTHDAY , WINDOWS 3 , AND SOLITAIRE


Hi Hiroo , A normal Birthday Greeting with rib tickling by-lines filched from one of several websites or an illustrative image of a rich chocolate cake used several times over with a customised facial image of the birthday boy or girl superimposed thereon are interesting ways to Greet You On Your Birthday, I was planning to look up events and non- events in recorded history to identify coincidental occurrences on this very special day to make my GREETINGS different .

That JLN passed away on this very day in 1964 has already been used oftentimes by me ( and has also lost its relevance with the present dispensation “assassinating” his memory each day ) . But , behold , there is an event which to many may be of no consequence but to me amongst 100 million users globally , is a daily ” alone but not lonely” companion , which celebrates its 30th birthday today.

It was on this very day way back in 1990 that Microsoft launched its then high-profile Windows 3 with a card game called SOLITAIRE. The cards deck was designed by Susan Kare who later joined Steve Jobs as one of Macintosh pioneers but was never able to replicate her magical MS Solitaire . Microsoft intended the game to soothe users intimidated by the cumbersome operating system of Windows 3 and to familiarize them with the use of an accessory later popularized as a ” MOUSE” required for moving cards through a drag and drop protocol. Addictive , unless regulated to a daily pre- time- slotted routine , Solitaire soon became the most used part of Windows 3 , ahead of the much publicized productivity tools such as WORD and EXCEL . Michael Bloomberg , the then Mayor of New York City banned the game from all office computers in 2006 when he caught one of his senior colleagues playing it on his office computer ( Personal Computer as it was then called ) : a ban that lasted merely a week until the offender got reinstated through Unionised intervention , with Solitaire firmly on his Personal Computer .

I have been a daily practitioner of Solitaire each morning before heading out to work ever since I got my first laptop some 15 years back , barring a short break in the relationship when I , amongst several million , upgraded to Microsoft Vista , an operating system with the “speed of a race horse” as promised ( but “in reverse gear” : as not mentioned ) . Several complaints later and a free changeover to Windows 8 brought Solitaire back on my daily routine , further cemented with my first tablet 5 years back which offers 24 different versions of Solitaire ( I am with Spider Solitaire )

Why you might wonder am I going on about a game which is actually very old ( in the pre Microsoft days it was known and played as a card game called “PATIENCE”) . MICROSOFT chose the name SOLITAIRE well because SOLITAIRE is also the most coveted and respected form of Diamonds . And Diamonds , as the old adage goes , are coveted , respected , difficult to value , but always looked up to and , proverbially : “DIAMONDS ARE FOR EVER” . May you , like a SOLITAIRE DIAMOND, always sparkle and inspire FOR EVER . Cheers and ATB .

About lkkanuga

69 , Mumbaikar in Gurgaon , celebrates Loneliness interspersed with occasional extended- family & old friends' reunions . Good Music , Single Malts & watching the world go by from his 11th floor terrace are his favorite pursuits. Also into pursuit of Safe & Secure Mid Day Meals for Primary School Children , in association with like minded individuals & institutions
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