I recently moved into a new house in Bellingham, WA and have started to paint the bedrooms. Being an organized guy I brought up my painting supplies and laid them out on the floor. I then made a list in Note Pad on what supplies I needed to buy. Often when I am making quick, on the spot and temporary list, I find the freehand use of the Note Pad faster and easier than writing a Memo. Once I had the list done I took a picture of what I had. I do this because I will often be in the store and see an item and say “Hmm, do I have one of those?” and the picture will remind me of what I currently have.

When I get to the store I’ll then open my list and as I add the item to the cart I will draw a line through it. When all the items are crossed off, I’m ready to pay. The nice part of having the Note Pad open during this process is that I can jot down something that I might want to buy but not sure until I get home to see if there is a real need or not. If not, I cross it off, if yes, I leave it on the list for my next visit to the paint store. And there is always another visit to the paint store.

Now if I could only get my Zire to actually paint the room.

Solitaire Central is a niche web site that concentrates on solitaire games of all types. I noticed this review they recently posted. Please visit their site to see all the interesting solitaire games they have. However, my game, Word Monaco, is a must see. 🙂 Here is their review.

Word Monaco is a unique blend of a word game and a card game, where the playing cards contain letters rather than numbers and royalty, and your goal is to spell words rather than to build according to suit or value.

At the beginning of each round, the cards are layed out as in Klondike solitaire. You must use as many cards as possible to spell as many words as possible within the tableau (there are no foundations). Each letter card is worth a certain number of points, based on how often it is used in common words (this is similar to the way that Scrabble and many other word games work). Words are spelled within individual tableau piles, and letters or words may be moved between piles to build new words, or to add on to or modify existing words. You can score bonus points by building long words, using all the letters, or using various power-ups that you earn during play.

It’s an interesting concept, and it works reasonably well. There’s no time limit, so the game is really more of a puzzle than an arcade game (which is not a bad thing). As in most word games, success does depend a good deal on your ability to spell, and to recognize combinations of letters that form the building blocks for words. With a word list of over 50,000+ words, the game does recognize a great many possible words.

The game uses only the one layout, as far as I can tell. With so many layouts available in solitaire, I don’t know why the developers limited themselves to just one. But that’s a minor complaint. The bottom line is this is a fun game. It’s certainly not your everyday solitaire game, but if you enjoy word games, I think you’ll find this to be a fun way to spend your time and exercise your mind.

Download Word Monaco (7.81MB)

This evening I met with Darrin in Lynden. Darrin is a writer who will be helping me with various editing and writing tasks. For the meeting I printed out a hard copy of his contract, directions on how to access the FTP site, an outline of work that I needed help on, and ideas that I had for my next newsletter. I only needed to print out one copy as I had copies of all the documents on my Palm. This was very convenient and demonstrated the power of the Palm. We quickly worked up some additional ideas of which I jotted down on my Palm and then copied back to my PC. After the meeting I met my wife for dinner. If I would have brought my laptop to the meeting I would of have worried about leaving it in the car during dinner plus the laptop would have been overkill for what I needed for this quick ½ hour meeting.

Here’s how. Try any version of Word Monaco (Palm, Pocket PC, Treo, Windows XP / 98) and then go to our forum (the link is below) and post your opinion about the game. The first 5 posts will get a copy of the game – no charge – and 5 more winners will be randomly picked. Make sure to register so we have your name and email address on record. Contest ends February 11, 2007 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.

The Pocket PC version of Word Monaco has arrived to take you away. It’s our new and unique twist on the game of Solitaire by using letters instead of numbers. Whether you have a PC, Palm, Treo 650/680/700/750, or any other Windows Mobile device, we have the game for you.

In referring to word games, Allen Gall of Pocket PC Magazine says, “Word Monaco Solitaire is the most interesting title in this category that I’ve seen…”

With nine difficulty levels, settle in for whatever type of challenge you’re in the mood for. Mac users… stay tuned!

Click here to try the Windows Mobile / Pocket PC demo
Click here to try the Palm / Treo demo
Click here to try the Windows XP / 98 demo