Microsoft Treasure Hunt strategy guide

The Guide is not a tutorial on the game, or a walk-through of the levels except for one sample. (For a walk-through, or details on achievements, try here.) To learn how to play, install the game and view the tutorial. This article assumes you already know how to play. It is a compilation of strategies to help you to play better. The guide is being updated as new strategies are developed. This is how far I have gotten, to level 105. I have also completed all of the Awards. FYI, nothing special happens when you gain the 20th and final award.

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Microsoft Treasure Hunt Strategy Guide

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Hey Cortana, fry me an egg

Siri, Cortana and I just don’t get along. Today, I said “Hey Cortana, fry me an egg” and Cortana dutifully gave me a Bing search for “runyon nude.”

I tried preceding a pronouncement with the word “run” to get an application to execute. I said,  “Hey Cortana, run Word” and Cortana did a Bing search for “wrong word.” “Start” is the right way run an app, although when I said “Hey Cortana, start Microsoft Word” I got a Bing search result with a tutorial on how to start Microsoft Word. “Start Word” actually started the app.

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Installing Broderbund’s “Totally MAD” under Windows 10

“Totally MAD” is a collection of the issues of MAD Magazine from the start until 1998 published by Broderbund. The software was designed for Windows 95/98 or NT 4.0 (remember Windows NT?). I’ve successfully installed it under Windows 7, and it kept working when I upgraded to Windows 10; however, when I tried to install it on a new 64-bit Windows 10 machine, the installation program just didn’t do anything.

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I installed the program manually. Reply OK when asked for permission to copy the files in the following steps:

  1. For 32-bit Windows: create a folder called “Totally MAD”  under c:\program files
  2. For 64-bit Windows: create a folder called “Totally MAD” under c:\program files (x86)
  3. From the CD, copy all files from the WIN32 folder on the CD into the “Totally MAD” folder you created. Copy the files individually, not the directory itself.
  4. Copy the following directories from the CD into the “Totally MAD” directory you created: ANIM, BIN, BTNSND, FAVORITE, MSREG, NMS, PLS. Copy the directory itself, not just the files.
  5. Right-click on the file TOTMAD.EXE file in your “Totally MAD” directory, and select “Create shortcut” from the context menu. It will ask you to put the shortcut on the desktop. Say yes.

You’re done. Just double-click the new icon on the desktop to run Totally MAD.

There’s one other thing you might want to do to complete the installation. Totally MAD wants to save its settings in the Program Files directory, which is a no-no under Windows 10. You can copy the PREFS.INI file from Program Files to some other directory where you can edit it, and make a couple of changes. The first is:

[Registration]
NumTimes=1

That turns off the annoying registration prompt. The second turns off the prompt when you try to exit the program.

[Confirm]
ConfirmExit=off

Now copy it back, responding OK to the Overwrite and Permissions prompts.

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Thriving in the Microsoft ecosystem

I’ve used most of my computer hobby time since the release of Windows 10 fighting to keep the things I had working, rather than actually using and enjoying my computers. Now with the release of Windows 10 Build 10586, most things seem to work, and although some of the new bundled apps seem far from finished products, the basics work. What follows are what I see as the building blocks for thriving in the Microsoft ecosystem:

Microsoft Account

I log into my local system with my Microsoft Account. This simplifies access to the pieces of the Microsoft Ecosystem. It makes it simpler for me to manage multiple systems with a single sign-on. It simplifies product licensing and purchases from the Microsoft store. It ties the ecosystem together.

OneDrive

OneDrive may be the most-used new feature of the Microsoft ecosystem for me. It has basically become my storage location of choice between all of my systems. I have an Office 365 subscription that gives me 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage, which is plenty for everything I want to share across systems. It also allows me to access all of my music from a device without enough storage to fit it all in. I take my Microsoft Surface with me to meetings and now when a document is called for, they look to me because chances are I have a copy on the OneDrive. The OneDrive synchronization model allows me access to most files without an Internet connection, but I’m finding that I have Internet just about everywhere I need it, and when don’t, I use a mobile hotspot from my phone.

Music

I like music; I have a good deal of Music ripped from CDs; I don’t listen to music very often, and that is partly because it’s not where I need it so be. The files total around 36 GB, more than I have free on my mobile devices. Now I can upload the music to OneDrive, and then with Groove Music search and listen to it as long as I have an Internet connection. What’s extra nice about this is that there are iOS and Android apps too. I can also download music to the device and play it with Groove Music for situations like a car trip. I also like not having to install iTunes on all my devices.

The theme here is that now I have things when and where I need them without much extra effort and planning.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth isn’t Microsoft, or new, but I recently put something together that I enjoyed. I downloaded a karaoke video from YouTube onto my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and then “connected” Bluetooth speakers. I played the video with Microsoft Media Player. The result was a hand-held karaoke machine that I took to a party, getting rave reviews on the result. I also have some Bluetooth headphones that get a lot of use.

Books

I have a Kindle Fire HD, but I haven’t turned it on in ages. It’s been completely replaced by the Kindle app on my Windows tablet. I have other book reader apps and Adobe Reader DC that allow me to have my books with me anytime. Amazon serves its own content, and the rest goes on the OneDrive. I rarely buy paper books anymore. Some people prefer paper books, but I have one word for them, “search.”

Office 365

Office 365 Home is a great deal for me since I have 5 systems that need Office and the $100 annual fee gets me all the Office apps (including Access and Publisher) for $20 per device per year. I updated to Office 2016 without an upgrade fee, and I get 1 TB of OneDrive storage with the deal. I shared the subscription with my wife, and now she gets 1 TB of storage for herself. I also use the included mobile license for my Dell tablet and my iPhone. I could put it on my Android tablet too, but I hardly ever use that. Just today I needed a phone number that wasn’t in my address book, but someone had send me a list of phone numbers in a Word document that I had saved on the OneDrive. I accessed the OneDrive on my iPhone and opened it with Word Mobile.

Skype / Phone

Microsoft has released its Phone app that connects to Skype users. What’s confusing for now is that Office 365 gives me 60 minutes of Skype to phone time per month, but the Phone app can’t call phones, at least not so far. The Skype desktop app still works though. I’ll file this one under “unfinished,” but promising.

Surface Pro 3

Lots of companies make hardware, but I chose the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 for my tablet and it is a sweet machine. It is fast, and powerful. I can plug in standard USB devices, run BlueTooth, and connect with WiFi. The Type keyboard is very usable. All in all, it replaces a laptop handily.

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Microsoft Office 365 Sway

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