Throwback Thursday: Solitaire for two

Sometimes it’s all just fun and games.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

This IT manager pilot fish is amused/not amused whenever he hears a user who sits near his office complain about how busy and underappreciated she is at work. That’s because he a has a pretty good view of her screen through his office window. Says fish: “It was true that she was quite busy all day — playing Solitaire. Her gaming skills probably did go unappreciated.”

When fish gets a new remote-access application, he knows just how to test it in stealth mode: He joins this user’s Solitaire session, moving some cards into play, undoing the user’s moves and taking cards for a trip around her screen.

From his vantage point, fish can see the user struggling to take back control of her mouse. And later that day, when fish walks past her desk, she asks him if anything weird is going on with the computers — just as he had hoped she would.

“What do you mean by weird?” fish asks innocently.

“Oh, I don’t know, the mouse moving on its own or something,” user says.

Fish replies, “The only thing I heard of lately was the Solitaire virus. It takes control of your computer and eventually reformats your hard drive while you play Solitaire. But we're too busy here to play games, so we shouldn’t see the problem.”

After that, fish notices that the user stays off Solitaire for the next few days.

By now fish is having way more fun than she is, and he isn’t done. He reports that the user stayed off Solitaire completely when he created a little custom dialog box called Solitaire.exe. “When a user tries to call up Solitaire, a dialog box pops up and says, ‘Shouldn’t you be working instead? Click Yes.’

“I omitted the ‘No’ button, of course.”

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