Friday 17 February 2012

Social Media Engagement: Attributes observed playing games

Another observation
Obviously, it isunscientific of based a whole set of presumptions on an experience that hashardly lasted 24 hours, but one will be hard-pressed not to draw conclusionsalready.
As I returned homeyesterday from a lovely rendezvous with my growing circle of friends made fromsocial media activities that included the rather usual lunch that had a finelady exhibit her mastery of Nigerian cuisine, she not being remotely African, Ireminisced about the many people I have met in person through blogging,tweeting and on Facebook.
Scrabble in motion
The train journeyback to Amsterdam was uneventful until at one of the stops a passenger boardedand as he was fiddling with his phone as everyone who has a smartphone doesnowadays, out of the corner of my eye I saw he was playing a game that lookedlike Scrabble.
A few days ago, Idid a search on the Android Marketplace for Scrabble and I ended up with a wordpuzzle – WordGame – which had some addictive qualities working against the clock butnothing like the tradition game.
Rather than be apeeping Tom, I asked the man if the game was Scrabble, it wasn’t but it was a Scrabbleclone of sorts called Wordfeud.
Handling the little things
He said he wasplaying multiple games using different dictionaries with friends all aroundthat world and I thought, when I get home, I will try it out.
Wordfeud isavailable for use with mainly European languages on the iPhone, Android andWindows 7.5+ platforms with the programmers having the good sense to differentiatebetween English (US) and English (International) – they deserve the Nobel PeacePrize for just that alone.
There is a premiumversion that removes all advertisements whilst introducing other features. Theboard and game is intuitive enough and each language has a different alphabetset with weights and frequencies differing according to the selected language.
A really good imitation
It was not longbefore I saw the dissimilarities between Wordfeud and Scrabble, the scoring onthe board is different with the premium squares allowing for more interestingplay, the ratings on the latters also differ – it is amazing how much trivialinformation one can recall from years of playing traditional Scrabble.
It offers the basicmoves as play, swap or miss with the shuffle function that allows forrearranging the letters to form new words but no penalties for wrong words, youare alerted and allowed to reply your turn. There are helpers like WordfeudHelper and Word Fraud, yes, you can get help without your opponent knowing –such dishonesty, alarming indeed.
Tardy responsiveness
However, the reasonfor this blog is to highlight an interesting trait I have found which I dobelieve is a pervasive social media problem.
Apart from Skypecalls, most interactive engagement systems are asynchronous, very much likeemail, you send a message and you cannot pre-determine when a response will bereceived. In a phone call, there is usually an unstated length of a pausebefore either party enquires of the other is still in that conversation – thatis usually not available for Instant Messaging, Twitter, Facebook or games thatare played online.
For this purpose,Wordfeud has given each player 72 hours to respond in play before that playerautomatically forfeits the game.
Appreciating the situation
My question is whystart a game you will not conclude and why is there is no sense of commitmentto complete a game you have started, albeit with strangers?
In 8 games that Ihave started since yesterday, only one has been completed, 2 resigned before 10tiles had hit the board and one gave up before placing anything.
The other four havebeen in play for as much as 17 hours, one of which is quite near conclusion. Ihave decided I will rather be beaten than resign the game and I will mostdefinitely avoid a default.
Wordfeud hasoptions to alert, remind and prompt when it is my turn and I have switched allthose options on.
The interestingthing is in a short chat session with one of the tardy, she; yes, she has afemale username said she was still in the game but was simultaneously playingmultiple games – in other words, I had to be patient.
I would not know ifthe trick is to win but drawing out the game interminably, I am however gladthat Wordfeud does not allow you to resign if it is not your turn.
Playing vulture
If anything,besides the addictive qualities Wordfeud might bring to bear, it allows peopleto divide their attention in such a way that they are not committed, attentiveor engaged to the chagrin of some.
It could also bethat the players will rather default than resign or hope that the game isforgotten especially when they are performing badly in the game so as to snatchvictory from the jaws of defeat – not with me.
This vulture is apatient bird and regardless of the social media construct, I will ensure I amcourteous and responsive to all players that have been randomly selected –niceness should be pervasive, regardless of level of acquaintance, though, I dorecognise in certain forums, some people just seek to expose your evils.

Monday 6 February 2012

My Droid - Installing a new microSD card

An upgrade of sorts
So, I got upthis morning and thought; I have a 16GB microSD card in mydefunct Windows Mobile 6.5 HTC Touch Diamond 2 phonewhich I took out of service at the end of September 2011.
My Droidwhich is an HTCSensation came with an 8GB microSD card, not that I have used half thatstorage yet, but the idea that I could double the space was appealing enough.
First, I dida search for the easiest way to transfer all the data and applications from thecurrent microSD card to the bigger microSD card and everything that came up inmy search was some convoluted and complicated method of copying the data, Ineeded to think of a better way.
So first, Igot the card out of my Windows mobile phone and remembered I had a microSD adapterI had acquired years ago in one of my cupboards. Inserting the microSD card inthe adapter I inserted it into the slot on my netbook and copied all the datato a folder on my netbook.
Then Iformatted the microSD card to FAT-32 filesystem and it was ready for usage. As I was doing this, it occurred to me thatI could mount the SD card in my Droid as a drive through the USB connection tomy netbook.
I mounted themicroSD card storage on my Droid, unsure of the best way to copy the data andretain all the security and format of data with the applications on the SD cardI decided to use the Robocopy command.
The first copy
Robocopywhich comes with the most recent copies of Microsoft Windows is a robust filecopy utility that is quite versatile for copy and backup routines.
I used themirror option which should be used with caution because it wipes the targetdrive or target folder before copying data. I needed to be sure I noted thesource and target drives.
Using Robocopy < Source Drive > < Target Drive  /MIR
Once thefiles were copied, I replaced the microSD card and restarted my Droid; twoerrors were displayed, one to do with MSNMessenger and the EconomistApps both of which I had to forcibly close. I could not find them anywhere onmy phone so I started up the file manager and found the .android_secure folderwas unreadable however with the Astrofile manager app I could read the folder.
Using the AndroidAssistant app, I checked to see if there were any apps on my SD card usingthe Tools | App 2 SD widget and that revealed there were no apps on my microSDcard when I was expecting at least 15 or so apps.
It becameevident that the .android_secure folder contained all the apps that I had movedto the SD card and there were no clear solutions to resolve this somewhatannoying quirk much as I did not want to accept the fact that changing microSDcards needed some rocket science tool.
The better copy
So putting myoriginal microSD card in the adapter I loaded it on my netbook then mounted theSD card on my Droid, once again making a good note of the source drive whichwas now on the adapter I selected all the folders and copied them to the targetdrive which was now on my Droid overwriting everything. This being a standardWindows copy and paste procedure.
After thecopy was completed, I restarted my Droid and all my apps were restored,especially those on the microSD card with no errors.
Now, I haveover 10GB of space free on my Droid, looks like there is much more I can put onmy Droid, my complete classical music collect and even the complete audio biblethat adds up to just over 1 GB.