Sunday, September 25, 2016

Chess Log: Computer Problems

Last night I was playing chess on the Free Internet Chess Server (FICS), as I have almost every day for, I believe, 12 years. Right now I can't check how long it's been. Ordinarily I'd just go the main console of the Babaschess interface, enter f and my profile would appear, with my overall record for the whole time I've been playing there, my highest official rating, and more info, including the date I joined.

But now when I go to Babaschess, instead of seeing my FICS setup, I see a screen which is grey from edge to edge. I don't know if I did that, or if there's a problem because of the Recent Big Update, or if FICS has closed up shop. I'm pretty sure I did it. More often than I'd like, I unintentionally hit a wrong key and change what's on my PC screen -- the size of a chessboard for example -- and have some difficulty changing it back. Often when I try to change things back I just make things worse.

It's possible that I have that problem unusually severely. That problem, the wetware interface, may be 100% responsible for the grey screen with no controls at my disposal.

I spent some time last night trying to fix my Babaschess connection, then trying to set up another FICs interface, and then I gave up. I said to myself that this could turn out great. For example, I told myself that I could spend all of the time I had spent on chess improving my Latin instead. (It wasn't the first time I had told myself exactly that.) Or maybe I could enjoy chess just by studying chess books.

So this morning, about 5 minutes after I turned on my computer, I looked for other online chess servers, and right away I found Lichess, which I hadn't known existed, and now I play at Lichess. The chess at Lichess is all on the Lichess website, there's no need to a player to set up his or her own interface.

I had been playing at FICS since around 2004, and Lichess launched in 2010, while I was right exactly in the middle of not looking for any other places to play chess.

Maybe I'll actually look around for still other online chess options (this is a very non-autistic thing to say). Maybe FICS is still around and I'll eventually figure out the interface issue. It's not a high-tech issue, or I never would have been able to set up an interface all by myself to begin with, but it's also not as low-tech as playing on Lichess' website. (But even at Lichess, I accidentally made the board much smaller, then somehow made it big again, and haven't figured out how to change its size since then. This is what my life is like.)

Maybe I'll also study those chess books more in addition to playing on line, and also work harder on my Latin, and have a happy well-rounded life. Who knows, maybe I'll even develop friendships to the point where other people, hypothetical future friends of mine, will visit my home and not mind taking a crack at fixing my interfaces and explaining why things suddenly vanish or change because I accidentally hit a key. Maybe they would even know how to change my PC to the point that accidentally hitting a single key would no longer have such disastrous power. It would be a friggin miracle if I could just change some settings so that I can no longer do something I don't want to do by accidentally hitting one key or swiping my mouse incorrectly or whatever the $%#$%#$@#* @#$%^&#$% ^%$# it is.

Maybe -- I have no way of knowing at this moment -- I would learn all about things like that in the first day of a computer class or the first page of a computers-for-dummies type book.

Maybe life will be wonderful even before I become rich and famous. Wouldn't that be weird.

1 comment:

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