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Autoclock?
Answer
8/26/07 10:15 PM
I don't pay much attention to times in any context here, but I keep reading about how people use average solving times to determine the difficulty of puzzles. Because of this, I try to use the pause feature to keep it closer to the truth, though I often leave a puzzle open for awhile without working on it. Last night, I left one open during a nice, long restorative sleep.

Hence, idea: Is there some way to have the clock automatically pause if the puzzle window isn't active? Both if it isn't visible (minimized or covered up) and if it's visible but hasn't had the mouse move for something like 5 minutes? (Even when I sit and stare at a hard puzzle for a long time I move the pointer--I don't know if most people do.)

This might be too hard to be worth it, and there might not be enough clutter in the numbers to require it, but I feel so guilty about that fourteen hour puzzle emoticon
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Re: Autoclock?
Answer
8/27/07 5:28 AM as a reply to JC.
I believe that this is why they show the mid time rather than the average time. It takes into account that sometimes puzzles are just left idling.

ie If there are 3 solvers of 2 minutes, 3 minutes and 10 hours, then the mid time would be 3 minutes (the time of the middle solver if they are all ranked in order of time solved) instead of 3.5 hours approx. average. emoticon
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Re: Autoclock?
Answer
8/27/07 9:35 PM as a reply to JC.
"bjwalke":
I believe that this is why they show the mid time rather than the average time. It takes into account that sometimes puzzles are just left idling.

ie If there are 3 solvers of 2 minutes, 3 minutes and 10 hours, then the mid time would be 3 minutes (the time of the middle solver if they are all ranked in order of time solved) instead of 3.5 hours approx. average. emoticon


Yeah, I wasn't thinking so much of the situation you were talking about but one more like if the average solving time (omniscience given) were 1.5 hours. There are 10 solvers whose actual times are recorded as:

1. 2.3 hrs.
2. 1.9 hrs.
3. 0.8 hrs.
4. 4.0 hrs.
5. 3.7 hrs.
6. 7.2 hrs.
7. 2.75 hrs.
8. 17.825 hrs.
9. 3.75 hrs.
10. 5.32 hrs.

So the clock average of 4.85 hours is bettered by the clocked solve time median of 3.725 hours, but doesn't get near to the deity's eye view of the given average of real time spent solving.

Of course, as the n gets higher and if most people are good about pausing the median will settle down at a more realistic norm.

But it's probably also true that this is only really a concern with the puzzles that take hours to solve, and those of us who prefer these probably aren't the ones looking at the solve times anyway... (I actually find the points more useful, though in a non-linear and inexact way.)
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