Francesco Castellana


Born: 1981/04/27,
Verona, Italy
I live in
Padova, Italy.
My sweeping career started way back on my father's old 386 laptop with Windows 3.1 and the first real minesweeper, at that time included in the so-called "Windows Entertainment Pack". It's always been just a game until my mother started getting some sub-200 times and I understood something better could be done. I don't remember what my first record were, but I sure remember being very impressed when I once saw a 127 coming from my own hand. I was the best in my family now! After that I played just occasionally because after all it was such an interesting game, made up of both randomness and user-skill ...until I met Daniele (look at his profile, too!). After that we started challenging each-other and I got my first sub-100, until I reached 92, but after sometime we didn't seem to get any better and the challenge was almost over. Then One day Daniele told me about The Authoritative Minesweeper and after watching what the real best times were around the world (yes... I thought I could be the best in the world, too, before checking Damien's site) we both agreed we could do better.
A new challenge started and this time it was more serious than the first one. Daniele started getting some sub-100's; I just changed my pc and got an optical mouse, needing some extra training, but when all was settled one after the other (I've been on the lead most of the time) we went sub-90, sub-80 and finally sub-70. I reached 61 on 2004, May 10th on a 120 3BV, which has been the best ever Italian until some time later Daniele scored a 60.
Until this point I only told about the expert board because that was the main challenge, but good times started coming from Beginner and Intermediate boards, too, reaching a lucky 1 on the first and a good 15 on the latter. These, together, make of me the best ever Italian sweeper at the time I'm writing ...but Daniele is just a second back and in the last months I've never played much, seeing my times raise from the ones I used to score in the happiest days.

Speaking about my other interests, one of the hobbies that has always taken me a lot of time is music. I started attending some basic lessons at the age of 5-6, then started playing piano until the mid-school (at the age of 11) where I started taking cello lessons. Playing cello took me through a 5-years period in the Young European Musicians Orchestra, which made me travel around
Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia. We also went to the 1995's European Youth Music Festival in Budapest. When I started attending the secondary school I had less time to travel around and suddenly left the orchestra and stopped playing cello. I wanted than to concentrate on something else... so I started singing in the church's choir (I took a course of Gregorian singing 2 years before) and took a drums course and some keyboards lessons. The church choir became something more than a church choir and after we settled in a music school, we started singing more seriously, first Gospels, then a Beatles' tribute musical show, a jazz musical show and some concerts around Padova and some other cities.
Other than playing keyboards and singing i like a lot trekking and skiing, even though I'm not really a "sporty" guy.
Another thing which takes me some time is the Padova Medoacense (http://leomedoacense.altervista.org), part of the International Association of Lions Clubs.

After secondary school I decided to enter University and chose Information Engineering here in Padova. I'm now doing the stage-period in a company and will hopefully take the first level graduation early next summer. After that I hope I'll be able to enter the second level and then, who knows......................................

I'm taking care of some sites on the Internet, one dealing with university and some friends (http://pippobombi.altervista.org), the one about my Leo Club http://leomedoacense.altervista.org and one where I keep some of my best pictures http://xf.has.it taken around the world.

If, after visiting these sites, you're wondering why this page is so white and style-less, the answer is that the stage I'm attending is taking me the whole day and the other activities and my friends take most of the remaining time, thus this page was made at late night (it's now 1.55 am) stealing some hours which were supposed to be dedicated to sleeping... an activity I (sadly) don't seem to like much in these last weeks...

Well, I just hope I haven't bored you fellas sweepers... Good night (for me and whoever reads this bits instead of resting his/her mind) and good sweeping!

Francesco ;-)