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What about you?

 
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keith



Joined: 19 Sep 2005
Posts: 3184
Location: near Detroit, Michigan, USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:39 am    Post subject: What about you? Reply with quote

I think it would be good to have a thread that allows us to reveal a little about ourselves. Nothing particularly personal, but your thoughts about your Sudoku passion.

Possible items:

Age
Place
Vocation
How?
Why?

I have the feeling that most who frequent these forums are white males of a certain age who are mathematicians or programmers.

Am I correct?
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keith



Joined: 19 Sep 2005
Posts: 3184
Location: near Detroit, Michigan, USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

keith

Retired. Engineer.

Well, I spent my career writing simulation codes and managing high performance computing requirements for (then) the world's largest corporation.

When Sudoku first appeared, I was intrigued. But, I wondered how complex this 9x9 puzzle really was. So, I spent a lot of time studying the mathematics and theory of Sudoku before I really got interested.

I was lucky to be around in the early days, when concepts like Unique Rectangles were first being explored. I wrote some tutorials that were pretty popular.

My other passion is genealogy, which is also what I call an "infinite jigsaw puzzle". Like Sudoku, it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Exercise for the mind, is my excuse for the hours spent.

I always solve with pencil and paper, though I do use software (Sudoku Susser) to check my posts and solutions.

Keith
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Marty R.



Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 5184
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a retired accountant with nine years of computer (old mainframe) programing in between the accounting.

I'd never heard of the word "Sudoku" until I saw a puzzle in our local fish-wrapper in late 2005. I took to it immediately and joined here a couple of months later.

I'm strictly a pencil-and-paper solver and the only computer help I avail myself of is using Draw/Play sometimes to populate a grid.
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nataraj



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 1029
Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:55 pm    Post subject: Re: What about you? Reply with quote

keith wrote:
... are white males of a certain age who are mathematicians or programmers.

Am I correct?


Right on the first two atributes (still intrigued, though, why should sex or color have anything to do with my being here?)
and - giving the vague term "certain" some kind of operational value - yes I am fast approaching sixty (counting months now, no longer years).

Now for the Math/Prog part - that's kind of interesting.

When I started College I was a pure business major.

Then, after one year, I switched to "Applied Statistics" - still within the "Social and Economics Sciences" branch -

why?
Because Computer Science was part of that curriculum, then.
I still pursued the "business" branch - specializing in Marketing and Production.

I learned several computer languages,
spent hundreds of hours in deserted computing centers at nighttime (that was the 70s and early 80s, remember),
but many more (tens of thousands of) hours talking to real people on the surface about what computers could do for them and showing them how IT (as it was called later on) could help them in their jobs.

The last 30 years I've spent mostly doing IT consulting and managing a software company.

How did I ever get involved with Sudoku?

... On a beach in Greece... (oh, yea, great beaches in Greece!)
... on a lazy afternoon - when most puzzles in our puzzle book had been solved ...
... I was really, REALLY bored and turned to that (percieved) non-challenge of filling in numbers from 1-9 into nine squares.

How hard can that be?

Oh, my, was I surprised !

Solving Sudokus actually DID need some brain activity!
There was logic involved...
...and some kind of "battle plan" how to go about it.

Hey! Great!

Then I found this forum at dailysudoku.com and met the contributors who shared their knowledge about logic, battle plans, tricks of the trade, ...
... what a great time!

But somehow, most of the excitement of those days seems gone.
We all know how to spot an "XY-wing", don't we?

For the last couple of years, I've become more and more interested in the question what makes Sudokus "good".

Why do we get more pleasure from solving a certain puzzle than we get from another puzzle, even if both proclaim to be "very hard" ?
Is "super hard" better than "plain" hard?, is VH+ better than VH?

My personal answer to these questions is:
I've gone back to the VH (w/o +) and the "Special" types (like diagonal, squiggly, and "compass") that need only "basics" but tend to challenge the human brain.
I like to sit down with a puzzle and a cup of tea (or coffee) and spend 15-45 minutes exercising my brain.
Not "achieving a result" (Hey, the result is 9 x (numbers 1-9) in 9 x 9 squares!)

You could read this as "How do we get the human 'user' back into the equation?". Who are these puzzles for, anyway?

I think I'll start a separate thread about what makes us like some Sudokus and dislike others ...

Helmut (nataraj)
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