Monthly Archives: November 2012

Mensa Academy App Review

Mensa Academy app review for iPhone, iPa, iPod and Android.  Mensa Academy is currently $4.99 in the App store.  The Mensa Academy App is created by Square Enix games, who also made the famous Final Fantasy series.

Is the Mensa Academy App worth it?  it is very expensive for a game.  Mensa Academy has previously been available for the Nintendo 3DS and other platforms.  It’s not a new game, just converted from the other versions available.  It claims in the description to have more than 1000 questions and I will write a Mensa Academy guide here on Nerdr if I have time later this week.

Graphics.  The graphics in Mensa Academy are nice and cartoony.  Not too childish, but not as serious as other games.

Sound.  Sound in Mensa Academy is nice.  Good music and sound effects throughout the game.  There is voice sound effects from the lady on the menu.  It’s a nice touch and adds to the quality of the Mensa app.

Puzzles.  A new question type is introduced nearly every level.  With 100 levels (20 in each of 5 categories).  I estimate Mensa Academy has 100 question types.  In the Mensa Academy game description on the App store it says it has 1000’s of questions.  Many of these are just randomly generated.  In truth, their are about 100 question types.  Maybe less ,but the puzzles are challenging.

I have seen and taken official Mensa tests (I am a member).  The puzzles here in Mensa Academy are not of the type you will find in an official Mensa test exactly.  They are more cartoony and randomly generated than the real thing.  They do however cover the same categories as real Mensa tests.

Gameplay.  Some of the puzzles and questions in Mensa Academy are average.  Some questions are repeated too often.  The review claims Mensa Academy app contains over 1000 questions.  The early questions are basically a reaction test, with questions like “Hit all the numbers that are a multiple of 11”.  I hope it gets better!

From the Mensa Academy main menu you get three options once you hit start.  Play, Coach and Test brain training options.  In these you then see:

  • Language puzzles.
  • Numeracy Puzzles.
  • Logic Puzzles.
  • Visual Puzzles.
  • Memory Puzzles.
Each of these options contains 20 “levels” of quizzes.  I have not yet completed the game (just purchased Mensa Academy 1 hour ago).  So far the puzzles are not challenging.  I hope the game gets better, and will update this review once I play more.

Value.  Mensa Academy costs $4.99.  This is a very expensive app compared to the free and $0.99 apps that are out there.  If you really like question and quiz games then I would suggest you buy it, but because of the price I can only half recommend it.  3/5.  Do not buy Mensa Academy if you have an older iPad 1 or older iDevice because there are many reports of crashing in the comments section on the App store.

Conclusion.  If you don’t mind spending $4.99 on a puzzle app then I would recommend buying this.  It’s good, but not amazingly great.  It might be worth waiting for a price drop sale later.  3/5 from me at the expensive price, 5/5 if you find Mensa Academy for $0.99!

What do you think?  Leave a comment below for others to see your view.

Update after 1 hour of play of the Mensa Academy App.  I have now completed about 5 challenges on each of the 5 categories of Mensa Academy.  It is definitely overpriced at $4.99!  It does have some polish in graphics and style, so I say $0.99 would be too cheap, but the most I would pay for Mensa Academy is $2.99.

The puzzle types in Mensa Academy do get hard, so it’s good if you like a challenge.  Mensa Academy is not suitable for small children because of the difficult of puzzles.  At level 2 (out of 20 levels) on the Numeracy they need to know 3/11 is the same as 12/44 for example.  Mensa Academy gets hard quickly and requires a reasonable level of education.  Still there are puzzles in the app that children will like, like the animal ordering puzzle.  The graphics in Mensa Academy are also made to appeal to children.

Letterpress App Cheats and Hacks Guide

Letterpress App Guide on how to win in Letterpress every time without cheats and hacks.  This Letterpress cheats and hacks guide will cover legitimate ways to win the game using tactics and other ways to win using generators.  I prefer to play Letterpress by using tactics, please don’t cheat!

Letterpress using cheats and cheating on Letterpress.

Here are some Letterpress cheat programs you can use.  These are Letterpress word generators and a words dictionary system.  Please don’t use them and keep the game of letterpress hack free.  I wish there was a way to have cheaters in a separate area of Letterpress.

  • HAYTCttp://words-solverDOTcom/letterpress-words-solver/
  • HAYTCttp://letterwordsDOTco
  • HAYTCttp://wwwDOTanagrammerDOTcom/letterpress-cheat/
If you are interested in more serious Letterpress cheating you can use the guide here: HAYTCttp://finiteDOTstateDOTio/blog/2012/11/09/HAYTCacking-letterpress/

For all the above links just replace HAYTC with h and DOT with a period.

To identify a Letterpress cheater.

The easiest way to identify if the other player is cheating in your Letterpress app game is to see if they are making many big (>6) letter words.  If they repeatedly do this, without common endings like “s” or “ing” or “er” then they are Letterpress cheating.

If you are playing against a letterpress cheat you will most likely lose.  So I suggest you just quit that game to save time, or maybe only play Letterpress with friends.  There is no way to block someone who is cheating on Letterpress.


Letterpress Tactics and Strategy

If you find good players to play the Letterpress app with you can use the following tactics to help you game.  If you know any good Letterpress tactics or Letterpress strategies to add leave a comment below!

The vowels are very important in Letterpress.  Make sure you lock these down as quickly as possible.

Place one of your colored squares near all vowels as quickly as possible.  This prevents the block above.

Block the Letterpress grid corners as quickly as possible.  It takes just 3 letters to block a corner on the Letterpress App grid.  Once you have a corner you will nearly always keep the corner until the end of the Letterpress game.

A strategy I use on Letterpress is to get the corners.  Then expand and join the corners together using the sides.  Then slowly move in to the middle of the Letterpress grid.

Memorize some standard words that use rare letters.  Like ZIP and ZAP and VOLT.  This will help you in the end game to quickly win your Letterpress game.  Always be ready to get the final letters if you sense a win is possible.

If you have more tips you would like to add to the guide just leave a comment below and I’ll add them so everyone can see.


Letterpress Review

The game of Letterpress becomes boring quickly.  There is no log of points you gain and nothing really to show you are a winner once a game is over.  I deleted it after 2 days.  5/5 for the first hour, then 2/5, maybe even 1/5 after 2 days once you see a few cheaters who spoil the Letterpress game.  I did purchase the upgrade to the Letterpress app for $0.99.  Letterpress was free but the upgrade was not really worth it long term because I stopped playing Letterpress after only 2 days.

How to make a bootable Mountain Lion USB install drive

Make a bootable USB drive Install of Macbook Pro OS Mountain Lion.

This is the process I used to make a bootable USB drive of the Mountain Lion Operating System on my Macbook Pro. My Macbook was the Macbook Pro 13″ inch 2012 model. This process for making a boot drive can work for other Macbook types too.  Difficulty rating 2/10, maybe even 1/10, super easy!

This is the process I used to create a bootable USB drive of Mountain Lion OS X for my Macbook pro.

Why Make A Bootable USB Install Drive for Mac Mountain Lion OS?

The main reason to make the bootable USB drive is to not have to download the 4GB file every time you want to do a reinstall of the Mountain Lion operating system.

The second reason to make a bootable USB OS drive is it makes reinstalling the operating system faster.  Using a USB drive method without the downloading makes a full reset take 30 minutes.  Without the USB drive it will take hours.

Tools you will need:

  • Macbook Pro. I have not tested this with other Macs, it should work 9/10.
  • Internet Connection to download the 4GB Mountain Lion install file from Apple.
  • OS DOWNLOAD USB DRIVE. 12GB or more USB Flash Drive. I used a 32GB USB drive, 12GB is the minimum amount of Geebees you need. More is okay, like 32GB is fine.
  • OS BOOT USB DRIVE. Optional 8GB or more Flash drive for a permanent USB drive, or you can reuse the OS DOWNLOAD DRIVE. This is optional because you can copy the files onto your hard drive and then on to the OS DOWNLOAD USB flash drive again whenever you need it. I used a separate 8GB USB Flash drive for my OS BOOT DRIVE to keep a permanent solution. I got my 8GB USB drive from Ebay for $6.

No extra Mac software is required to make or use the USB boot drive method.

Preparing the USB drive

Turn the Macbook pro ON. Insert the OS DOWNLOAD USB Flash Drive into the Macbook Pro.

Open the Disk Utility Program. (Hold the CMD key and press space bar -> Type “disk utility” without the quotes -> select disk utility from the list that is shown).

Now we will partition the OS DOWNLOAD USB drive and make it bootable. In disk utility, select your OS DOWNLOAD drive on the left panel by clicking on it. Make sure you click on the part of it that is most to the left on the left panel. Not the sub heading of it, the main heading. The main part that might say something like “28.36 GB NAMEOFCOMPANY”.

Now in the big panel on the right choose partition at the top, it should be the middle tab, between Erase and RAID. If you do not see the option to partition you did not click the correct drive on the left or clicked the sub heading. Make sure you clicked the main entry for the Flash drive.

In the partition area first click on the “choose” above the big box (in the “volume scheme” area) and change it to “1 partition”. Then click options just below this box and select the GUID partition table option, then click OK.

Now on the right of this area enter a name for your drive, like “OS X Installer” and change the format to “Mac OS Extended (Journaled). When you’re happy choose Apply and agree to the question that asks if you are happy to erase the Flash drive. Check to make sure it is the correct drive before agreeing! I am not responsible for your mistakes here!

Once it is complete you will have a clean USB drive ready for the Lion Operating system download.

End of formatting and partitioning the OS DOWNLOAD USB drive procedure.

Downloading the OS Install Files From Apple

Now with the formatted and partitioned OS DOWNLOAD USB DRIVE inserted shut down the macbook pro. Once the Macbook pro is off hold the CMD and r keys. Now turn on the Macbook pro while keeping hold of the CMD and r key. This will activate the Macbook Pro restore feature.  Every Macbook Pro has this feature to reinstall the operating system at anytime.

Once it has loaded, release the CMD+r keys and choose the second option – “Reinstall Mac OS X”, and hit continue. Now it will ask for verification through your internet connection. Agree to this and select YOUR USB FLASH DRIVE AS THE LOCATION to install. This is important because we want to download the files from Apple onto our USB drive.  Once you agree, it will start the download.


Once the download is complete you must pull out the USB Flash drive as soon as the black screen shows. If the screen is black, pull out the flash drive! Don’t wait, just pull it out. If you wait it will start the installation and delete the files from the USB and you’ll have to do it all again. You need these installation files to create a bootable USB Lion drive.  So, once the timer is close to 0 BE READY.  A few seconds after the timer goes to zero seconds remaining the the screen will turn black.  Remove the USB at the black screen!  Not before, and not after.


You pulled out? great. Now you have a USB Flash drive with OS Mountain Lion! That was the hard part completed, now the easy stuff.

Keeping the OS DOWNLOAD USB drive OUT of the Macbook pro and start the Macbook. It will load as normal. Press CMD+SPACEBAR and type “disk utility”, then select disk utility from the list. Now insert your USB drive with the operating system on it. Copy all the files from it to any location on your hard drive. I copied them into the Download folder, but you can put them anywhere you like.

Now open the folder you copied onto your hard drive. Look inside and you will find a big 4GB file ending in .dmg. This is the main file you need.

Insert your OS BOOT USB DRIVE. You should have already partitioned this drive, with a GUID and with “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”. Use the usb guide above to do this.  If you are reusing your OS DOWNLOAD DRIVE partition and format it again using the above procedure once you have copied the operating system folder to your hard drive (we just did this in the last paragraph!).

Click on this big .dmg file to open and it will mount the .dmg file. Now go back to disk utility. You should have your OS BOOT USB DRIVE attached to your Macbook Pro and you will see the “InstallESD.dmg” file shows as mounted at the bottom of the left panel of disk utility.

Click on the InstallESD.dmg file on the left. At the top of the right pane choose “restore”. It shows two area you need to enter. Source and Destination. Source should already be filled with InstallESD.dmg. If it is not, then enter that now by browsing to the big file and inserting it into the Source box.

For the destination we want our BOOT USB DRIVE. So drag and drop that from the left panel to the Destination part.

When you are happy click the restore button to start the restore process. This takes around 30 minutes. Once complete you have your complete USB BOOT DRIVE!


To use the USB boot drive on your Macbook Pro, first insert the drive into the Macbook. Then shut down, or restart the computer. As it is turning on hold down the ALT key. This will show a special screen allowing you to select a startup disk drive. Select the USB drive (it is usually orange). The Macbook will shut down and restart using the USB drive as the Boss.

There was a problem installing Mac OS X, try reinstalling. If you get this error you will need to zap PRAM.  This sounds bad, but it’s nothing really.  Simple instructions for zapping P RAM below.

To zap PRAM shut down the Macbook Pro. Now hold down CMD+OPTION+p+r and turn on the Macbook Pro. OPTION is the “Left ALT” key and has a small bird symbol. It is near the CMD key on the left of a Macbook Pro keyboard.

When you turn on the Macbook Pro with the above keys held it will quickly reset and the screen will go to full brightness. This is the indicator that the PRAM has been cleaned. The PRAM holds simple hardware variables, like brightness level and it’s a safe procedure recommended on the Apple website. I take no responsibility if any of the advice here or on this website damages anything! I have completed every step here myself and have no fear doing it again, it is safe as far as I am concerned.

After zapping the PRAM insert the Installer USB Flash Drive into the Macbook Pro and turn off. Then turn on again while holding the ALT key on the left of the keyboard. Yes, just the ALT key and nothing else. The ALT key is near the Cmd key which is on the left of the space bar. Just hold this ALT key and start the Macbook Pro.

When it starts it will show you some hard drive options. Choose the orange Hard drive that represents your USB drive. Click it and it will take you to the install Lion screen. Now just follow the simple instructions to complete the installation of Lion! It takes about 8 minutes to prepare installation and 35 minutes to complete the installation process itself. You Macbook Pro will restart when the process is complete.

Congratulations! You have used a Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Mountain Lion OS X. You can now repeat this process at any time to reinstall OS X on your Macbook Pro without needing an internet connection.  This process can work for other Macbook Pro versions too.

Leave a comment below if you found this guide useful or want to clear anything I missed, thanks :)

This is the end of the guide on how to make a bootable Mountain Lion USB Install Drive.