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Care and Feeding of
PITT REAL TIME STAR TREK
Daniel R. Strick
PItt REal Time Star trek (PIRETS) is a game or
demonstration program (depending on you morality) designed
to run on a KI-10 CPU under the standard TOPS-10 monitor
version not earlier than 5.5. PIRETS is written in MACRO-10
and organized so that the saved core image is a single
sharable (high) segment and runs in 2+5K of core.
This dectape contains 10 files that you need to bring
PIRETS up on your system:
PIRETS.DOC - documentation for the PIRETS supporter,
STRTRK.DOC - documentation for the PIRETS player,
STRTRK.SHR - a runnable PIRETS core image,
PIRETS.MAC - the PIRETS main program,
INEPTA.MAC - miscellaneous numeric routines,
IORUTS.MAC - miscellaneous I/O routines,
FILSET.MAC - file specification ungarbaging routine,
FILMSG.MAC - error messages for FILSET,
ACCESS.MAC - limits access to PIRETS,
UNGARB.FOR - ungarbages a PIRETS score report.
Whenever a game is terminated, PIRETS tries to append an
8 word score record onto a file identified in the parameter
section of the main program (see below under MODIFICATIONS).
The score file device, file name, extension, and PPN are the
values of the symbols SCRDEV, SCRFIL, SCREXT, and SCRPPN.
PIRETS gives no indication of an unsuccessful attempt to
write the score. Therefore the score recording facility can
be turned off by using a bad file specification. PIRETS is
provided with a specification for the file
The score recording routine is designed to write onto a
disk like device. Note that PIRETS cannot create the file,
it can only append to an existing file. Note also that the
file must have a protection that permits append mode I/O.
Assuming that the score file is to be called
"DSK:PIRETS.DAT[123,456]" and that you are user [123,456],
you can create the initial copy with the monitor command
UNGARB (a FORTRAN-10 program) can be used to print the
information from a score file. The first part of the
program just lists the data read from the score file. In
order to fit one score record onto one line of the listing,
the field widths were minimized and the titles of the
columns were abbreviated. The following explanations should
prove helpful. "CREATION" is the moment at which the player
requested that a new galaxy be created. "TERMINATION" is
when the score record is written. "I-K&R" is the initial
(creation) number of enemies with Klingons listed before
Romulans. "R-K&R" and "I-K&R" are the numbers of enemies at
the last game restoration and termination. "GS" is the
galaxy size. "RS" is a two letter code for the reason for
CS - collision with star,
OT - out of time,
OE - out of energy,
OC - out of crew,
VI - victory,
DX - destruction of the Excalibur with phasers,
CX - collision with the Excalibur,
^C - surrender,
SG - game save,
RG - game restoration.
"I-TIM", "R-TIM", and "T-TIM" are the initial, restoration,
and termination time limits in stardates. "PRTG" and
"TNTRG" are the ratings that PIRETS generates for the player
when the game terminates. "PRTG" is the "TOTAL EFFORT".
"TNTRG" is the "PROFICIENCY". "EK/SD" is the average number
of enemies killed per stardate since the last restoration.
"VERSN" is the major version and edit number of the PIRETS
core image used. "RC" is the count of the number of times
that the game has been saved and restored. The second phase
of the UNGARB program lists accumulated statistics that have
been sorted and organized during the first phase. This part
of the output should be self explanatory. UNGARB output is
written to FORTRAN channel number 6.
If you want to write your own score ungarbaging program,
you can find the format of a score file record on page 41
(subroutine SCORE) of the PIRETS main program.
VARIABLE STARTUP MESSAGE
When PIRETS is started, it looks for a file called
NOTICE.TXT. First it looks under the device and PPN from
which the program was run and then (if not found) it looks
under the device and PPN of the score recorder. If it finds
a notice file, it types it after the initial startup message
and before the request for the desired galaxy size. The
notice file must be ASCII text with no internal null
characters. PIRETS will type only up to the first null in
the file (i.e. do NOT line block it). If the file contains
more than about 1900 characters, the remainder will be
ignored. PIRETS gives no indication of an error when
attempting to access the notice file; if PIRETS cannot find
it or cannot read it, PIRETS will simply not type it.
PIRETS is perhaps most "useful" as a demonstration
program. It is certainly most useful as a game. In the
absence of an effective control (e.g. work ethic), it is
capable of tying up any concievable number of terminals.
Our experience is that students have an unbelievable
capacity for the stuff. For example, on October 15, the
score report shows 44 games played during the lunch hour.
For this reason, the PIRETS supporter is advised to hide his
source files and limit access to his core image file. As an
alternative, a facility is provided for control by the
PIRETS program itself.
At some point in the initialization phase of the PIRETS
program, a call is made to the subroutine ACCESS. If this
subroutine decides not to permit play, it simply does not
return. The rules for the ACCESS program are few:
1) The starting point must be labelled with the
global symbol ACCESS,
2) Accumulator 17 must be saved,
3) PIRETS must be resumed with the instruction
The supplied ACCESS program is just a return instruction and
will permit anybody to run PIRETS at any time.
You are supplied with the PIRETS source files so that you
can change it if you desire. My experience is that everyone
thinks he has a better idea. The main program has some
parameters on the top of page 2 and the bottom of page 4
that you can modify even if you are not familiar with
MACRO-10. After you have modified the source programs from
the dectape, the following two monitor commands can be used
to create a new PIRETS core image (this assumes the modified
files are on disk).