Reiki now occurs in a more communal setting, invalid DOS paths are resolved, and board games supporting large numbers of people are tried out.


Today is when Reiki was being held at the community centre. While I personally find no benefit from it myself other than what you would gain from lying down to relax for half an hour, others enjoy it and so we provide a place for it on a regular basis.

The last time it was held here though was quite the debacle what with people waiting on the street and unable to easily to make a drink, because the usual place where it was held in the office is no longer suitable due to the large amount of second-hand goods being stored in there. This time the common room was set up so that the Reiki and the seating for others was in the same room, which ended up being a lot more successful, and is something that we may continue to do in the future.

Invalid paths

A problem that John was having with his program when an invalid path was used has been fixed up today, which helps me to realise just how lucky we are when developing now for Windows. DataTech is a DOS program which doesn’t have much in the way of safety features. If you try to access an invalid path, for example, the program just crashes with a DOS ERROR 3 error message, which isn’t all that helpful. What it means though is that the path doesn’t exist, so I’ve been making some updates today to check that it exists first before going ahead with what it was doing.

The only trouble now is that while it does compile with the windows-compatible Harbour compiler, it doesn’t compile with the Clipper compiler because the dirchange() function is from Clipper 5.3 and it seems that John instead of using what he thought was 5.3, is currently using version 5.2 instead – so it looks like an update on his part needs to be done shortly.

Board games

Tonights board games were being held at Lisa and Peter’s place up in Casebrook, and was rather packed with 18 people in the small kitchen/lounge area – so I’m going to see if I might be able to help out the board gaming community by providing a more central location for events at the community centre, and also help out the office manager by taking in donations for the venue. Enquiries will begin on Monday and we’ll see how things pan out.

Tonight though one group got started with Battlestar Galactica which is an enjoyably complex game, but because I had already had a good turn at that last week, I chose to let a few new people enjoy it while I with a larger group tried out several games that support at least 7 players.

We started off with the dice-bluffing game Perudo to help break the ice, then moved on to some games with a similar mechanic, Say Anything and Apples to Apples.

Say Anything

With Say Anything, a player chooses a card that has several different ideas to pick from, and asks the group something like “In my opinion, what is the scariest movie” or “In my opinion, what famous celebrity would I want to have dinner with”. The other players write down their guess on an erasable card, and the player asking the question then uses a dial to secretly select his favourite. The other players then with two betting tokens, place a marker on the guesses that they think that has been picked, and when the secret answer is revealed, points are awarded to that person and to those who placed betting tokens there.

It’s a game that is easy to play, and helps you to better get to know other people.

Apples to Apples

Apples to Apples has a similar mechanic as Say Anything, but Apples to Apples is played with cards instead where there are two decks of cards, one of Things and the other of Descriptions. A player shows description card from the deck, and all the other players who have 7 Things in their hand try to match one of them to that description card and plays it face down to the table. The guesses are mixed up to help prevent favoritism and the player who played the description reads out each of the played things and picks his favourite. The person who played the favourite one keeps the description card, and another thing card is drawn by players from the deck. The winner is whoever get to win 5 description cards.


Resistance is a deduction game where spies have infiltrated some of our ranks and it’s our job to pick people so that missions can successfully occur. If there are too many failures, the spies win.

Due to a mistake by a new player where he mistook his secret identity to be a spy due to the auburn coloring of his players hair, the spies in the group all misunderstood what was happening with each one thinking that a different group of 3 players (from the 7 of us playing) were spies. Fortunately due to some skilled deduction, 4 members of a team resulted in 3 failures for that mission, allowing the rest of us to deduce who the spies were.

When the remaining loyal team was picked for the last round, the player who had misunderstood his secret identity ended up causing that mission to fail too, but fortunately after things were explained, it was found that loyal resistance members are actually not allowed to fail a mission, so things ended up being a win for the resistance – by a technicality!

Shadow Hunters

Shadow Hunters was the next game to be enjoyed, which is another deduction game where a players secret identity may be a shadow, a hunter, or a neutral player. The hunters win when all the shadow are dead, the shadow win when all the hunters or all the neutral players are dead, and the neutral players have their own separate win conditions, such as to still be alive by the end of the game, or to get the first kill. It’s a good board game and even though it starts off without much action because people are trying to figure out who their team-mates are while not letting others know, tensions enjoyably ramp up as the game nears its end.


The last game we played was the tile-laying game set in Southern France, Carcassonne, which was well enjoyed by players there – especially by two French people who were experts at playing it. It was interesting to see how changes to the scoring rules improve the game, so I’ll get those improvements printed out at some stage as an amendment to the existing set of rules.