Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Franklin, My Dear, I Don't Give a Damn

I have a Franklin. WOW, most Scrabble players would say - awesome! Anagramming at your fingertips, fun word games, ability to play the games at various skill levels - so cool! A Franklin is a hand-held computerized device which is supposed to let you (among other things) type a rack into it and press enter and have it give you all the anagrams of the letters in that rack. Instant bingo-finder, right?! Should save you a lot of time and mental anguish thinking about just what was in that tricky rack last game. I have this to say about the device:

Devil, thy name is Franklin.

More likely, the proper conclusion is: Hello, my name is Heather, and I am completely inept at technology of any kind.

But really - this thing is giving me fits. It's built off the wrong dictionary (the OSPD instead of TWL), so I know it won't have all the possible words in it. But I should be able to get most of them, right?! And my Franklin has four keys - BUILD, PATTERN, GAMES, and SKILL. How hard can four keys be to figure out?!

I want the anagramming function. That is all I would really ever require a Franklin to do, when push comes to shove - just anagram things for me if I can't be right by a computer to type in the racks. For this purpose, the BUILD key seems most likely to give me what I want. Press BUILD, type in the rack - and I get a bunch of random words, of varying length. Some have 7 letters, some don't - but it seems like this is trying to act like a spellcheck, because for a rack of DENTUV? it gives me things like UNDOES. "Here," it says, "this word has a few of your letters! I have deemed it necessary to tell you there are no more words besides this! Be complaint-free, and know that I am FRANKLIN!!!"

Thanks, Franklin. You get the seat of honor right on the floor somewhere-or-other while I turn to my trusty computer to solve all my anagramming woes. And the computer knows just what I need, after a fascinating day at club in Rocky River. I not only played three fascinating games, I also got a bye to roam around during one game and watch everyone else play - oh the racks I saw! oh the interestingness! oh the bingos! The computer tells me within a few seconds about some of my greater curiosities that day:



And by the way....not only can you be disgruntled, you can be DEGLNRT? ---> GRUNTLED. (I am so...gruntled...to find out there's a word in there!???!!?? What the heck?)

Oh darn....this would have been good, especially in a game against Michael (which it was): AJNRST? ---> JURANTS.

And with regard to a rack Michael and I were toying with - ANRRST? - RANTERS as well as ERRANTS are both good.

I had been looking at this rack forever....DEIINST - INDITES (saw that!!!! didn't think it could be spelled like that!!!) and TINEIDS are both good.

And a random one I saw someone miss at club as I was walking around: BDEILNS ----> BINDLES.

That is nine - count 'em, nine - bingos the computer did quickly while the Franklin did not seem inclined to do them at all. Franklin, the COMPUTER'S being friends with me.......

Well, finally the Franklin (like other beings that go randomly, confusingly, and dramatically antipathetic on innocent people for no good reason) decided it thought it might like me again. It just has rules for our interactions that it didn't want to tell me about, but it got angry when I didn't know about and follow these rules.

So apparently, if I type in the rack and THEN press BUILD, it will give me the anagrams I desire. CLEAR will get me to a screen to type in a new rack, and the random square at the lower right of the keyboard is the blank. Maybe I'm not so bad at technology after all?!?! Or at least - the Franklin has decided to be my friend again. Let's see how long this lasts!

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