Lessons for computer owners

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 15, 2008

By John Randall / Guest Columnist

Hi everybody!

While our townhouse has three bedrooms, in reality we have one master bedroom and two offices; the owner’s office (Linda) and the employee’s office (me).

We each have our own laptop; Linda’s has the computer we use for running and scoring the games, and I keep the one for correspondence, educational classes and, oh yes … the web page.

This week I thought I’d take my computer to the tournament so that I could report on bridge hands played, upload pictures and the like.

If you’ll notice in the picture I took of Linda at the registration desks, on the table in the foreground there is a cup of water and next to a laptop, with Linda’s laptop on the far table.

Now picture one of our bridge players accidentally bumping into my table hard and water from the cup spilling across the table.

Yes, the motherboard on my computer was fried. Toast. As of this writing, I’m not sure if the hard drive is OK or not. I’ll know next week.

Fortunately, I had the foresight to offload my web page to an external hard drive, so I’m able to plug the drive into another computer and manage the site.

However, (ugh) all of the educational course material I’ve designed in the last two years plus all of our club correspondence and the Bridge Composer program that allows me to create Hands of the Week is on the hard drive on the fried computer.

So, no Hand of the Week this week. There are lessons here for anyone who owns a computer. If you don’t have a backup drive, get one. “Thumb” drives and external “pocket” hard drives are incredibly inexpensive given what they do for you.

The tournament? What nice people!

I switched from meatloaf to a spicy casserole on Thursday. On Thursday morning I got a call from one of our regulars, Judy Funk, who wanted to know if we needed help putting lunch out.


Today another friend of the club, Jerrie Friar is managing our lunch; tomorrow Maylene resident Aileen Hill is cooking a Mexican lunch for us!

We have received the double-portion of blessing.

I surprised our morning players by making prepared hands on Thursday and Friday, the same hands that were played in the Detroit national tournament last month that Linda and I attended.

After the games, I provided detailed hand records of all 36 boards played.

During our Friday lunch noted bridge expert and columnist Frank Stewart gave a wonderful presentation on one of the most difficult things to do correctly in bridge: what card to select on the opening lead on defense.

The correct lead depends on 1.) Your holdings, 2.) Your opponent’s bidding, and 3.) What your partner has contributed to the auction.

This may sound simplistic but if your opponents are in 3NT and you hold 13 points, how many points does partner have?

No more than 3.

If you don’t have a natural lead — the top of a sequence — then a passive lead from a non-productive suit is in order.

Don’t give your opponents the contract on your opening lead.

More news on the hard drive and our tournament next week.

John Randall and his wife, Linda, sponsor the Shelby County Bridge Club. For more information, call 451-5997