Lasse Nyholm

 

Holmen, Copenhagen, April 30th 2004

 

To all my fellow minesweepers

 

First thing I remember of minesweeper is 8 years ago in the computerlab at school in 9th grade – a younger kid asked me if I started my games in the corners as him, and I answered that I just clicked wildly all over the board (same technique as today).

Second memory, one year later again in a computerlab – now in 10th grade or 1.g on Svendborg Gymnasium – southern part of Fyn – middle Island of Denmark – lower part of Scandinavia, I remember breaking my expert record from 81 to 77 and was euphoric.

Third memory – after graduating from the gymnasium in 1999, moving away from my parents to get a little apartment in Odense, sitting on the floor late at night getting my first sub-60 – a 59 – and since I had gotten my own internet-connection went online to look for minesweeper world records. I Found a couple of sites and started signing guestbooks.

In May 2000 my expert record was down to 55, int 19, beg 3, Damien had set up his site a couple months earlier and mailed me about getting on his updated WR-lists. I replied, and since then I’ve been stuck at the same spot on the expert ranking, though my score has dropped another 14secs since then – it’s a fine spot though.

I remember a rather intense fight with David Barry for a long time, where I somehow always managed to stay at least one second ahead.

I remember assuring a guy I studied music with at the University of Copenhagen, that one second was a huge distance when being in the low 50s. However it wasn’t bigger than I broke my record by one second to to 51 just one or two weeks before David broke his record to 52.

After that I focused more energy on sweeping than studying, since I knew that I wanted to start on the school of architecture the following summer. That became the winter when I first hit 50 around Christmas and then the incredible 47 on the 14th of January 2001. Up until now I’m talking about times where only few people used Camtasia for every game, so the 47-record was only recorded as a screenshot, but a beautiful one – filled with red 3s and 765-pattern in the left side of the board. My post from Damien’s guestbook, the one I wrote after a 5K bikeride in the middle of the night in the middle of the winter, can be found in David’s profile – it was truly a splendid night for me.

It was a time when the guestbook was flooding with congratulating messages, not just for me – it was actually the main-theme if the guestbook. In hindsight it seems like there was somebody somewhere everyday who broke his or her record, and every congrats-message had to be directed to several people. It was before Justin diFebo, Joao Livramento and Daniela Weingut and the rest of that crowd – I guess some of you remember too.

Well we’re back in 2001, January, and I had just broken the 50sec-barrier as the first and had 500 sub60s. Later that year I got down to 44 in June, and got my first (only until now) visit from a fellow sweeper – Owen Fox, who was here to see a football match, but payed me a visit for a couple of hours. Another big topic those days – how funny it would be to meet some of the other guys, but none of us was/is wealthy enough to travel around the world to visit one another, yet – I guess. You’re all welcome of course if you should get to Copenhagen sometime.

After the 44 it took me some 18 months to break my record as I recall, but then it went down one second at the time to 41 in December 2002, so I guess it’s about time I break that record. I now have around 15000 sub60s and of them almost 1500 sub50s – it’s surely time for a first sub40.

Of other fond memories I can tell about my trip to Durham in northern England to visit Paul Kerry, to play some minesweeper, and above that the guitar – plus listen to folk music at the Wayfarer – a couple of evenings I carry with me in my heart – music has seldom sounded so real and authentic. Besides that it was just a wonderful trip to a wonderful place and probably the most relaxing time I’ve had anywhere.

Since then my focus has been exclusively on architecture and my school. I got a crazy arrogant inhuman American and wonderful teacher, in the semester after the Durham-trip, who taught me for a year to think like an architect. So now that’s what’s on my mind all the time, besides of course,  my wonderful girlfriend through three years whom I’ve lived with since last summer, after two years of long distance.

My mouse-skills aren’t helping much at school though I’ve been quite into 3D-programs and rendering-machines since last November. I think it will help our generation to understand spaces better through computer-renderings, so a link I can recommend is www.3dcafe.com and to follow some links from there.

So these days most of my time in front of my wonderful HP tablet TC1000 goes with Auto-CAD and 3D-studio and less and less time with minesweeper. I now have few intense periods of playing rather than a daily hour long session.

I think I’ve gotten everything I could wish for from this game – a lot of confidence when I was a young shy teenager, few but good personal experiences, loads of fan-mail and the ability to keep pushing hard to achieve what no one has done before and always stay ahead and keep working – an ability that I can now use at school. I’m very satisfied that I’ve found my right shelf and thereby something to take focus away from minesweeper, so it doesn’t evolve to a bad habit, but rather stays a nice game to relax to. And an everchanging experience everytime I sit down to play – a good time, a fun, relaxing thoughtfull time, where my mind can wander free. That’s why I’m not too deeply involved in all sorts of heated discussions that the guestbooks contain these days. I guess I would just like it to be like in the old days – I guess I’m stuck – my sweeping style hasn’t changed much since then, either – still inefficient, still flawed and over-flagged and still fast. And fun.

However you all involve yourself in the community and the game I hope you enjoy it – I have for 8-9 years and will continue to do so, if possible.

 

Remember Lance’s words – “Happy sweeping” – that’s an order.

 

                                                                                                            Lasse Nyholm Jensen (Lanyjé)