Hello everyone! I am 23 years old, I live in Rouen, France (100 km west from Paris), and I am a 5th year medical student. In France it is at the end of the 6th year that you have a contest: your rank determines the specialty you'll do in your life. You become then an "interne", and have the roles of a real doctor without having its title. For my concern, I would like to specialize in surgery; unfortunately it is a “popular” specialty, and it will require intensive work from me! At the moment I alternate with the morning at the hospital, and the courses the afternoon, and I have many exams... So it's not always easy!
Besides Minesweeper, I am a big football fan (soccer, I mean), and especially of Paris Saint-Germain; I follow the games of championship on TV as well as the Champions League matches... where you'll see us next year ! I also play tennis and squash.
I know Minesweeper for a long time now; I played the first time on the PC of my brother, with Windows 3.1 – it was about 1996. He had some time which seemed to me completely inaccessible: he had 86 at the expert, which was exactly the time that I made for intermediate... The mouse was rather crappy, and that did not give me desire to play Minesweeper at this time.
I really started to play when I bought my own PC, in 2000; since then, I played initially by simple curiosity, then by interest, interest which grew more, especially as I saw the contempt of the others with respect to this play... I quickly reached steps: the sub150 in particular. As I remember, I made 143 > 137 > 136 > 127 seconds. I believed that I was the world champion (like any player of Minesweeper I think) with my 37 seconds at intermediate and this superb 127 seconds on expert. I did not know anybody who beat me at this time :)
But it took me a long time before searching on the Internet for other Minesweeper fans. When I searched on Internet, and when I found these websites, it was a great slap on my head; I first discovered Matt McGinley's
website, then I went on Damien's. I firstly thought there were bloody cheaters all around this planet (daring to beat me!). But I quickly noticed that I was very far from the higher realms of Minesweeper. I put myself at the job, by reading a little everywhere the advices, by looking at the videos others players etc. I then came to 3-24-91.
That was at this time that I had the idea to make an Internet page about Minesweeper, since there was no "real" French site which spoke about it. At the beginning, it was a simple page which treated with humor my favorite hobby. And from a page it became a real site ("demineur" means "minesweeper"
in French); I've added headings and pages, more and more, to become what it is currently, i.e. the site of the French-speaking community of Minesweepers. I wish that in the future this site become the reference for the French minesweepers, a privileged place to exchange advises, defy each other. I am helped with my site by my little brother who deals with the technical stuff of the site, especially PHP programming. (Unfortunately, the English version of the site is currently down for a while).
I then continued to play until reaching times which are for the moment my
records: 2-20-72. I try also to play in non-flagging, to improve my skill, but I don't think that I'll be a very good player for this type of playing.
My records are 2-20-86, which is not that impressive. I noticed something that is characteristic to my way of playing: each time I beat a record, I systematically already have tied the previous record several times. I HATE such a thing!! When I raise my nose to see the time I just made and I see that I just tied my record, I cannot play any more, that annoys me too much.
Like Stephan, I am fond of statistics, and since Rodrigo's clone has been released, I am very happy with all that you can know about your statistics with Minesweeper… I wait for him to improve this feature to have all kinds of curves showing the player's sweeping evolution. I am sure that that will come one day.
For now, I try playing everyday, often only 15 minutes, sometime more and I still hope to improve myself, because I am not very proud of my records, eminently perfectible... I already took out my freezer the champagne when I passed under 100 seconds on the whole times, and I will remake that when I'll pass under 20 seconds at intermediate, which I despair to do one day!!
I play on Athlon 2200+ with a Microsoft WheelMouse Optical; I had bought a Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Optical, which is an Anti-records mouse… I quickly repaired my error! I've seen on a poll in the Yahoo Group that I was the only one (in the group) to play in >1280*1024… I play in 1600*1200, which makes a small grid; I think that's harder to play with such a resolution, because the distances between 2 boxes are really small. But it is out of question that I change resolution each time I play Minesweeper.
The thing that I regret the most, it's to not have known the “great time of Minesweeper”, when the community was restricted, where the members knew each others and trusted each other. On the other hand, I arrived after all the debate on the discovery in the way that the boards are generated, and of course the too famous Dreamboard; and I never met it :D. I heard some people speaking with nostalgia when they evoke all that; I understand them, but even now it's really fun to measure yourself with the others. Fortunately some “old” sweepers remain and still play Minesweeper!
Happy sweeping all!!