Impressions of TYA

I booted into Vista on my new PC to check out the Aug19 build, and here are my impressions:

Ooh, pretty! While Vista is indeed a dork, the note in the Getting-started document about changing color mode didn't apply here.

Typing in the new-user box was kind of laggy, like ssh over a slow link. I guess that won't matter if your target audience isn't made up of 65wpm typists.

My email ran off the email form boxes. Meh.

Maybe this is another touch typist thing, but whenever the scary red frame disappeared/moved to the next box, I got confused and thought I had accidentally pressed Tab or it had changed the focus. Maybe wait for a few seconds of idleness before updating the red boxes?

I'm not in class, so I started with Missions to get some direction.

Hmm, I couldn't tell that the Challenge! button wouldn't do anything until I clicked one of the options. No big deal, away we go. I would have liked to bump up the difficulty to start with, but I guess I'll start with the first one.

Hooray, I entered 4, and pressed Check. Whoops, that didn't do what I want, click "Simplest form". Good for me, I can negate -4. I was looking for "I'm Done" though.

Now how do I get to the next problem? Oh, the >> button, or Page Down. I would expect to automatically jump to the next problem.

Okay, I sped through the rest, though reaching for the mouse every time I finished to click "Simplest form" really broke my stride. Next mission: "Real Numbers Multiplying".

Hey, I can move the little mission window around!

On one problem here, the "Simplest form" button wouldn't work on the first couple presses. So I popped open the Lisp console, then clicked the X button to close, and that was that for the whole program. (obviously not a problem in production)

Restarting…I had pinned the exe to my Start Menu, and it refused to proceed past the splash screen. Making a shortcut (with startup dir set correctly) and pinning that worked.

Okay, I've figured it out: if I don't move the mouse between problems, the click won't register. So click Simplest form, page down to go to next problem, enter the answer, press RET, reach to mouse and click click click (I don't have to move it as the button is predictably positioned); nothing.

When this coach came up, I wanted to change immediately.

Hmm, time for "Exponents Raised to Another Power". I wasn't sure whether n^xx or n^(x^2) was right, but I tried the latter successfully. By the way, it was nice how natural it was to enter the final form; the cursor moved right where I wanted it.

Turning the coach off; scary.

Heh, I entered x81 for (x9)2, and was chided by Spock. At once I was disappointed in myself for such a silly mistake, and charmed by the source of derision.

I turned the coach back on, and it just said "Sorry, no." Wouldn't a coach just arriving be like "what the heck?" rather than knowing what's happening?

I got the 9*2 problem twice more. Was this intentional?

Man I made some dumb mistakes in Real Numbers Exponents. Time to slow down.

Totally confused that b20(cd)12 is less simple than b20c12d12. Ah well. I should say that although I wish I could keyboard everything, I've got the flow down by now.

I am pressing right-arrow to get out of an exponent; is there an easier way to do this? I would prefer to press down-arrow, actually.

I'm going to almost literally bikeshed now, but isn't yellow a "warning" color?

Exponents Distributed Over Division: It's interesting that when I type c^3/, I am still in the exponent, but not when I type c3/.

When I click on another button to jump problems, it leaves the one unfinished. But when I press page down, it assumes I'm done and marks the problem as finished. Hooray for no reaching for the mouse, but less hooray for no further feedback. I got feedback when paging down after entering a correct, but not yet fully simplified step, in the form of a report of incorrectness:

Dammit, I accidentally hit pgdown twice and got penalized. Restart.

After locking my Vista screen and unlocking it, I pressed whatever 5 is with numlock off (bad Vista bad!), and

I sent Kenny the dribble file separately. However, I can't reproduce it.

Hmm, the sounds came back; I would have thought that preference would persist.

It is really neat how when you type the balancing symbol in equations that they line up with the problem.

I didn't even notice the dissociation between images and names until:

Dammit, stop jumping out of the fraction!

Expanding the challenge window to show the medal does a naughty thing with layout:

In the constant simplifications, it felt silly saying I was done when I only had an integer left. If I fail the problem for entering a non-equivalent expression, what other option could I possibly have? It is not like there is any question: no further simplification for an integer.

Hey, I just noticed the color fade across the completed missions board. Neat.

I have to say, playing with TYA was lots of fun and sucked away time I should have spent doing productive work in Weblocks. Hope all this helps.