Trade Wars 2002 Assistant
by Albin Gersich
(C) Copyright 1992 - Sasquatch Software
Table of Contents
1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
1.1 Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
1.2 Disclaimer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1.3 Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1.4 Trademarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1.5 Compatibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.6 Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
1.7 Support and Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.8 Licensing and Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2 Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3 (M)odify database menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.1 (E)xtract data from a capture file . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.2 (A)voids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.3 (B)usted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.4 (F)ighters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.5 (M)ines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.6 (P)orts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.7 (W)arps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.8 (N)otes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.9 (G)ame information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.10 (S)hip information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.11 Merge another (T)rader's database . . . 18
4 (D)atabase summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
5 (N)otes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
5.1 (V)iew notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
5.2 (E)dit notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
5.3 (S)earch notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
6 (P)ort Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
6.1 (P)aired ports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
6.2 (N)earest ports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
6.3 (U)known status ports . . . . . . . . . 22
6.4 (B)usted ports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
6.5 (0) Closest place to buy class 0 items . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Table of Contents (contd)
7 (S)ector Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
7.1 (F)ull report on a sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
7.2 (N)earest sectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
7.3 (U)nexplored sectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
7.4 Une(x)plored clusters . . . . . . . . . 25
7.5 Un(k)nown sectors . . . . . . . . . . . 26
7.6 (W)ithout warps . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
7.7 (D)end end sector analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
7.8 (C)luster dead end analysis . . . . . . 27
8 (R)oute Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
8.1 (N)ormal route . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
8.2 (T)ranswarp route . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
8.3 (S)pace lanes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
9 (C)ustom Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
9.1 (C)opy a report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
9.2 (D)isplay a report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
9.3 (E)xecute a report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
9.4 (M)odify a report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
9.5 (R)ead reports from another file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
10 (G)raphic Displays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
10.1 Display around a (S)ector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
10.2 Display along a (R)oute . . . . . . . . 32
11 ($) Registration and configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
11.1 Registration (N)ame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
11.2 Registration (C)ode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
11.3 (D)ESQview lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
11.4 (H)ot keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
11.5 (S)creen writes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
11.6 (V)ideo driver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
12 Multitasking Environments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
12.1 DESQview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
13 Future plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Section 1 Introduction
Every good trader needs an assistant. The assistant keeps records and
provides information so the trader can make better decisions. Trade Wars
2002 (TW2002) is a bulletin board door game by Martech Software, Inc. The
game has a lot of different aspects and keeping track of all the details by
hand can be quite tough. I looked at utilities to help me with the game
but could not find one that met my needs or the needs of my friends, so I
decided to build one from scratch. Trade Wars 2002 Assistant (TWASSIST)
was born. After nine months of continuous work (with only a few sanity
breaks) version 1.0 was ready and released on October 12th, 1992.
Hopefully you will find TWASSIST user friendly and intuitive to use. This
document will explain how to get started and what each of the functions do.
Included in some areas are tips on how the information can be used to help
you play the game.
As with all off-line utilities of this type, they can only tell you about
the universe as you know it. Examples are routes and distances which can
only be plotted through sectors you have warp information for, as opposed to
the Federation Navigation System in the game that knows the entire universe
and can plot courses through any sector. As a result, distances and routes
with the utility may be longer than those reported in the game. They will
never be shorter. The more of the universe you have information on, the
better the utility will match the game and the more information it can
provide in the various reports.
An intuitive menu structure is used to access various functions.
The doc provides information on how to use a number of the reports in
Create your own custom reports.
Reports will use the entire screen if running in 43 or 50 line mode.
Data is easily read from a capture file plus the capability to make
Easy to merge data from playing partners. Your known data is
distinguished from merged data.
Error and warning messages are in English, with any DOS message (if
applicable) added on.
Backup data files are automatically provided.
DESQview aware. CPU time is given up while waiting for input.
Supports hot keys. User selectable.
The TWASSIST package is provided AS IS. Sasquatch Software makes no
warranty, either expressed or implied, with respect to the software or
documentation, including but not limited to their quality, performance,
merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will
Sasquatch Software or the author be liable for direct, indirect, special,
incidental, or consequential damages arising out of the use, misuse, or
inability to use the software or documentation, even if advised of the
possibility of such damages.
I would like to give thanks to Gary and Mary Ann Martin of Martech
Software, Inc. for the excellent game, Trade Wars 2002. It has provided
me with hours upon hours of entertainment and excitement.
I would also like to acknowledge my beta testers, Dan Roseen and Casey
Stemp, for providing invaluable help with this program by discussing ideas
and working out the bugs. They have also contributed the communications
Dan Roseen deserves special recognition. He is a good friend and got me
interested in TW2002. He convinced me of the need to develop TWASSIST and
inspired me to keep going when my morale was low. He also offered his
bulletin board for a distribution point and setup a special message area
for TWASSIST support.
DESQview is a trademark of Quarterdeck Office Systems.
IBM is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
MS-DOS is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
QEMM-386 is a trademark of Quarterdeck Office Systems.
Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
Trade Wars 2002:
This program has been tested for compatibility with TW2002 v1.03(d).
Compatibility with other versions or modified games is not guaranteed.
TWASSIST runs on an IBM or 100% compatible PC or AT running DOS. It
has been tested under MS-DOS version 5.0. Compatibility with other
versions or operating systems is not guaranteed.
TWASSIST can be run in a window under DESQview. It has been tested
under v2.26 on a 80286 PC and v2.42 on a 80386 PC. It has also been
tested with QEMM-386 version 6.02. For more information see the
section Multitasking Environments near the end of this document.
TWASSIST allocates memory for some things as it is needed. As a result
your memory requirements may be different than someone else's. The
minimum memory required (no notes, no merging) is 280k bytes. With some
notes and while merging another traders database about 340k bytes of RAM
will be required. Large numbers of notes and the merging of another
database which also has a large number of notes can significantly increase
the amount of memory required, up to a maximum of 555k bytes.
A hard disk is recommended, especially if you have multiple games. It
is possible to run from a floppy based system. Refer to the section on
files for information on file sizes.
The graphic displays require VGA 640x480 or EGA/VGA 640x350. All other
parts of the program display standard text. TWASSIST detects the number
of lines and will use all lines when displaying reports. Testing has
been done using color monitors. Compatibility with monochrome monitors
The TWASSIST version 1.0 package (TWAST10.ZIP) contains the following
TWASSIST.DOC 87759 10-12-92 1:00a This document
TWASSIST.EXE 237436 10-12-92 1:00a The executable program
TWASSIST.HIS 447 10-12-92 1:00a History information
TWASSIST.REG 4801 10-12-92 1:00a Registration request form
TWASTMAC.DOC 11168 10-12-92 1:00a Com. program macros document
TWASTMAC.ZIP 4732 10-12-92 1:00a Com. program macros
Files created by the program:
TWASSIST.CFG Configuration file. This file is created in the same
directory the program is located in. Size is 256 bytes.
TWASSIST.CFK Backup of the configuration file.
game.DAT The database file of game information. Each game will
have a separate database file. The 'game' part of the
name is chosen by the user. Minimum size is 40k, typical
size is 50k, maximum size is 160k (lots of long notes).
game.BAK Backup of the database file.
game.CUS Custom reports file. Size is 604 bytes.
game.CUK Backup of the custom reports file.
game.RPT The default name used for the report file. The actual
name is chosen during runtime. It can be anything,
except for some reserved extensions shown in this list.
More than one report file can be used by providing
different names. Sizes will vary.
1.7 Support and Distribution
Updates and/or new releases of TWASSIST can be downloaded or file-
requested from Dan Roseen's BBS, The Night Owl, as shown below. If you are
logging in, you will have to fill out a new user questionnaire. Once you
have done this you will have enough access to download TWASSIST without
complete user verification.
Dan has setup a special message area for supporting TWASSIST. This
message area has a special menu (which looks like the TWASSIST menus) that
provides an easy way to download the latest version, check out the latest
news, and send messages to the author, Albin Gersich. By using this menu
you will get the latest version without having to enter a file name as you
would from the files menu. The sysop is not responsible for support of
TWASSIST, do not bother him with messages or chats. Use the special
message area to send mail to the author. This area has file attach
capability, allowing you to attach files of interest to your message.
If you are experiencing problems, call The Night Owl BBS or write and
include the following information:
A detailed explanation of the problem.
The game files: game.DAT and, if you have one, game.CUS
Configuration file: TWASSIST.CFG (from the program directory)
Mail can be sent to:
P.O. Box 4331
Kent, WA 98032
Support and Distribution:
Sysop: Dan Roseen (not the author)
BBS: The Night Owl
Login: (206)631-4949 24 Hrs. Kent, WA - USA
Mail/FREQ: (206)631-1752 1:343/102 (this number is NOT for login)
USRobotics DS HST/V.32bis/V.42bis
Comment: For downloading latest version: Download TWAST*.ZIP
For file-requesting: Use the magic name "TWASSIST"
or request TWAST*.ZIP
1.8 Licensing and Registration
The software and documentation is copyrighted and is protected by United
States copyright laws and international treaty provisions. All rights
are reserved by Sasquatch Software. The software is owned by Sasquatch
Software and title remains in Sasquatch Software. You may distribute
unregistered versions of the program as long as the entire package (as
described in the section titled Files) is distributed together and no fee
is charged for the software (a nominal distribution or shipping fee is ok).
Distribution of registration codes, methods of defeating the registration
mechanism, or modified files is illegal. You may not decompile,
disassemble, modify, merge, or reverse engineer the software in any way.
A registration fee is required to use all the features of TWASSIST.
There are a lot of unregistered features so you can get a feel for the
program before you decide to register. If you purchase a registration code
you will be granted a license to use all the features of TWASSIST. If you
decide not to register you are granted a license to continue to use the
unregistered features of TWASSIST. The registered only menu items will
have the text "" on the right. You will not be able to
select these menu items. If the program is registered the registered only
text will be removed from the menu.
Registration is a one time fee. Once you register it will be good for
all future versions of this program. One registration may be used by all
members of a household but it may be used on only one computer at a time.
If it is to be used by multiple people on multiple computers a registration
is required for each. Registrations are not transferable.
Registration is at an introductory price of US$12 for requests postmarked
by December 31, 1992. As of January 1, 1993 the price will be US$15. Sales
tax for residents of Washington state will be paid by Sasquatch Software.
For my good friends to the north, I will accept C$15 for the introductory
price or C$18 as of January 1, 1993. Prices are subject to change after
April 1, 1993.
Those who do not want to register, but wish to provide incentive for the
development of utilities, may contribute in any amount they desire. Records
will be kept of contributions should you decide to register at a later date.
Print out the registration order form, follow its instructions, and fill in
the blank for the amount of the contribution.
Please send a check or money order in U.S. (or Canadian) funds. If
payment is made by personal check, the registration code will not be sent
until the check clears. Do not send cash. Please allow up to four weeks
for delivery of your registration code. Print the registration order form,
TWASSIST.REG, fill it out, and follow the instructions on the form.
Section 2 Getting Started
TWASSIST keeps game information in a database. The database can have
any valid file name but must have a .DAT extension (it will automatically
be added if you do not provide it). It is recommended that you use a name
that identifies the BBS or the game it is for (e.g. NIGHTOWL). This name,
with different extensions, will be used to identify the various files for
this game. You can specify the database name as an argument on the command
line or you will be prompted for it. If the file does not exist you will
be asked to verify you want to create a new database. You may use directory
pathnames for the file if it is not in your current directory. For example:
If you are creating a new database the program will automatically go to
the (M)odify Database Menu. The first thing to do is extract information
from a capture file. See the section on the (M)odify Database Menu.
TWASSIST uses a menu hierarchy with related functions grouped together in
a menu. Each menu item has a highlighted letter within parenthesis. To
execute a particular item enter the highlighted letter and press return (a
return will not be required if hot keys are enabled). Some of the reports
allow output to be sent to a file. They will have an asterisk (*) on the
left of the menu item. To send the output to the file, enter an asterisk
first and then the highlighted letter for the menu item (e.g. *D). You
will be prompted for the file name. The report will still be displayed on
the screen if it is being sent to the file. If you stop the screen output
(by saying no when asked for more), the output to the file will also be
stopped. To get a printed report you can either send the report to a file
and print the file or specify your printer device (e.g. LPT1) as the
filename for the report.
WARNING: If there is a problem in writing to the file (or printer) you
will see the DOS abort, retry, or fail message. You should
select fail (it may be required to do this more than once). If
you select abort, DOS will abort the entire program. TWASSIST
will have no control over what is happening and all modifications
in memory that have not been saved to disk will be lost.
Throughout the program there are places where you are asked to provide a
response. Default values are shown in brackets. If multiple choices are
in brackets they will be separated by a slash (/) with the default shown in
caps (and highlighted) and the other options in lower case.
2 Getting Started (contd)
Each report is displayed in screens with a prompt asking if you want to
see more. The responses are Y for yes, N for no, and C for continuous. If
you select continuous, the report will continue without prompting until the
end is reached. At the end of the report the program will pause. This is
useful if you want to get to the final screen of the report or you want to
send the entire report to a file and review it later.
A number of the reports show a set of flags for each of the displayed
sectors. See (S)ector Reports for a description of these flags.
If a distance can not be computed, either due to an avoid or not having
warp enough warp information, the distance will be shown as three question
Section 3 (M)odify database menu
Most of the modifications will be handled automatically by extracting
information from a capture file. Functions are also provided to allow you
to make individual changes to the database. When making individual changes
the defaults will be the current values in the database. If you make a
mistake and don't want to make changes, you can just accept the defaults.
If the new values differ from the old values, you will be shown both values
and prompted if you want modify the database. This gives you another chance
to verify your data before the changes are applied. The default response is
no so you don't accidently make changes you don't want. This is to preserve
what is in the database unless you specifically request it to be changed.
When you quit the (M)odify Database Menu the program will check to see if
some tables need to be updated. The computations for determining dead ends
will take a while if they need to be recomputed and a status bar will show
the progress. After the tables are done a flag will be checked to see if
any changes have been made to the database that have not been saved to the
file on disk. You will be prompted if you want to save the changes to the
file. If you are making minor changes real time while on-line or are
experimenting, you may not want to save it right away. The first save of
the session will cause the old data file to be renamed as a backup. If you
do not save the database the flag will not be reset so each time you quit
the modify menu you will again be prompted to save the database to the file,
even if no additional changes were made. The changes are kept in memory so
the reports will use the changes even if they are not saved to the file.
As an extra precaution you will be prompted again when you exit the program.
3.1 (E)xtract data from a capture file
The (E)xtract data from a capture file function in the modify database
menu will read various reports from a TW2002 session captured to a file.
TWASSIST will extract information from the reports and update the database
accordingly, reporting status to the screen as it progresses. The
following reports from TW2002 can be read:
From the main menu:
(V) View Game Status
(G) Show Deployed Fighters
(K) Show Deployed Mines
From the computer menu:
(X) List Current Avoids
(Also the avoid sectors list displayed when you enter the game.)
From computer interrogation mode (CIM - see below):
(I) Sector report
(R) Port report
3.1 (E)xtract data from a capture file (contd)
WARNING: There is a bug in v1.03(d) of TW2002 that if you do a CIM R
report before getting status on a port you will be kicked out
of the game and back to the BBS. To prevent this, either port
at a port or use the computer to get the status of a port.
It can be any port except a class 0 port.
NOTE: The location of the class 0 ports are not shown in any of the above
reports. You will have to modify the database manually to declare
their locations (sector 1 is predefined by TWASSIST to be a class 0
port so you don't need to enter that one). If the location of the
stardock is not shown in the View Game Status it will also have to
be done manually. Gary Martin has been asked to provide another
CIM output showing the locations of the class 0 ports and stardock
in sectors you have explored.
CIM is a computer mode in TW2002. It allows you to interrogate the
computer for information about sector warps and port information of
your known universe. To enter CIM you need to go to the computer
command prompt in the game and enter ASCII characters 200 thru 205.
To enter one of these characters hold down the ALT key, type the number
of the character (e.g. 200) using the keys on the number pad (not the
upper row!), and then release the ALT key. To enter CIM you would do:
ALT down, num pad 200, ALT up
ALT down, num pad 201, ALT up
ALT down, num pad 202, ALT up
ALT down, num pad 203, ALT up
ALT down, num pad 204, ALT up
ALT down, num pad 205, ALT up
Once in CIM you will see a colon prompt. CIM will respond to it's
own set of commands. Enter an I character to get a report on sector
warps, an R character to get a report on port information, an F
character to plot a course similar to using the regular computer
command, and a Q character to quit CIM.
You can make a capture file of just the above reports or you can capture
the entire TW2002 session. The program will find the parts it can use. It
is not necessary to separate them into different files. The extract routine
will look for certain key phrases or prompts to determine what information
is in the capture file. If you just capture the above reports it is a good
idea to get the prompts before and after just to make sure you didn't miss
anything. A number of macros for communications program are provided to
help capture this information. Refer to the file TWASTMAC.DOC which came
with this program for more information.
3.1 (E)xtract data from a capture file (contd)
When you extract information from a capture file, you will be prompted
for the pathname of the capture file. The file can be any name. As the
file is read, the line number of the capture file and a status message will
be displayed indicating what is being extracted. At times, messages will
also be displayed providing information on some of the changes found.
Warning messages will be displayed if the data is inconsistent with the
database. Error messages will be displayed if there are problems reading
the data from the capture file. Make a note of the line number and error
message. Use a text editor to view the file at that line, make any changes
necessary, and try again to extract data from the capture file.
The (A)voids function in the modify database menu will allow you to add
or remove sectors from the avoids list. When you select this function, a
list of the avoids will be displayed. You will be prompted for a sector
number and then asked to verify you want this sector added to or removed
from the avoids.
The (B)usted function in the modify database menu will allow you to enter
or change the busted date for a port. You will be prompted for a sector
number. You will not be allowed to enter a busted date if the sector does
not have a port defined. If the sector already has a busted date it will
be shown and you will be asked if you want to delete or change it. The
date the last time port records were cleared of busted names (see (B)usted
ports in (P)ort Reports) will be shown. If the last clear date has not
been set in the database, you will be shown the date 14 days before the
current date. Which ever date is shown, you will not be allowed to enter
any busted date prior to it since those port records would have already
been cleared. You will be prompted for the date busted. Initially the
default will be the current date. If you enter a different date, that date
will be kept as the default for the session until you enter another date.
This was done because you may be entering a series of busted ports written
down on scratch paper from an earlier days game play. After you enter the
busted date you will be shown the old and new dates and asked if the
database is to be modified.
The (F)ighters function in the modify database menu will allow you to
change the number of deployed fighters in a sector and the fighter mode.
You will be prompted for a sector number and then be shown the current
number of fighters there and their mode. Next you are prompted to enter
the new number of fighters and the new mode. After entering the new values,
you will be shown the old and new values and asked if the database is to be
The (M)ines function in the modify database menu will allow you to change
the number of deployed mines in a sector. You will be prompted for a sector
number and then shown the current number of mines there. Next you are
prompted to enter the new number of mines. After entering the new value you
will be shown the old and new values and asked if the database is to be
The (P)orts function in the modify database menu will allow you to add a
port to a sector, change the port class, or remove a port from a sector.
You will be prompted for a sector number. The current port class (if any)
for the sector will be displayed. A list of port classes and the buys and
sells for the products will be shown. There is a limit of on Stardock and
3 class 0 ports. If the database already has the maximum number for one of
these port classes, a note will be shown next to that class and that class
will be disabled for entry. You will be prompted for the new port class.
After entering a new port class you will be shown the old and the new
classes and asked if the database is to be modified.
Since you can not get reports of port status if someone has a fighter
deployed in the sector (see (U)nknown status ports in (P)ort Reports), you
will have to manually enter these ports if you come across them. For
example, if you see a large density and do a holoscan you may see enemy
fighters deployed in the sector and a port. If you do not take out the
fighters you will not get the port information in the CIM report so extract
will not know a port is there. You will have to manually enter the port
class based on what you saw with the holoscan.
NOTE: Any port whose class is entered or changed manually will be flagged
as having unknown status. The status will be changed to known if
the information appears in a CIM report. The only exceptions to
this is changing from a class 8 to a class 9 Stardock port or
vice-versa. The CIM report for a class 8 and class 9 are the same
so the information is still valid.
The (W)arps function in the modify database menu will allow you to enter
or change the warps of a sector. You will be prompted for a sector number
and shown the current warps (if any). Enter the new warps on a single line
separating them with spaces. Entering the number 0 (as the first and only
warp) will cause all warps to be deleted. After entering the warps you will
be shown the old and new warps. If the sector is explored a message will be
displayed saying that if you save the warp changes the sector will be marked
as unexplored. Only warp information read in a CIM report while extracting
from a capture file will mark a sector as explored. You will then be asked
if the database is to be modified.
The (N)otes function in the modify database menu will allow you to enter,
delete, or change a note for a sector. You can have one note for each
sector (more notes take more memory and more disk space). Each note can
have up to 120 characters. The first 6 of these characters are taken up by
a date which is automatically inserted. The date is of the form "mm/dd "
and is the date read from the system clock at the time you enter the note.
You will be prompted for a sector number. If there is no note for the
sector you will be asked if you want to create one. If there is a note it
will be displayed and you will be asked if you want to delete or change it.
After entering the note you will be shown the old note and the new note and
asked if the database is to be modified.
There are several note features that are included for your convenience.
These include being able to backspace over the date if it is not wanted or
more space is desired, backspacing up to the previous line, automatic word
wrap when a note is viewed, and more.
3.9 (G)ame information
The (G)ame information function in the modify database menu will allow
you to change the game version, game registration status, the number of
planets, and the number of citadels. The game version and registration
status are used to determine if the shipyards are open in the Stardock.
The number of planets and citadels is for your information only. They are
not used in this version of TWASSIST. The status date shown in the game
information section of the database summary is also for your information
only. It can not be changed manually but if you modify any of the game
information parameters it will be changed to say "Manually modified on
MM/DD". This is to indicate the game information in the summary was not
extracted from a configuration status report in a capture file.
When you first select game information, you will be given a list of the
things you can modify and their current values. Select the one you wish to
If you select (V)ersion, you will be prompted for the new version. You
will not be able to enter a number 2.0 or higher. Do not append any letters
to the game version (enter 1.03 not 1.03d). After entering the new version
you will be shown the old and new values and asked if you want to modify
If you select (R)egistered, it will automatically toggle to the opposite
value (since there is only one other choice for a YES/NO value). You will
be shown the old and new values and asked if the database is to be modified.
3.9 (G)ame information (contd)
If you select (P)lanets, you will be asked for the new number. Since
Terra must always exist the minimum value is 1. When you change the number
of planets, the citadel percentage will be recalculated so the number of
citadels remains the same. If you lower the number of planets so that the
number of citadels exceeds the maximum allowed, the number of citadels will
be lowered to the maximum and the percentage calculated accordingly. After
entering the new value you will be shown the old and new values along with
the changes to the citadel numbers. You will then be asked the database is
to be modified.
If you select (C)itadels, you will be asked for the new percentage. The
maximum number of citadels is one less than the number of planets (since
Terra can not have a citadel) and the maximum percentage will be calculated
based on this number. You will not be able to enter a percentage that is
impossible based on the number of planets. For example, with 5 planets you
can not have 50% citadels. If the value is impossible, two possible values
just above and just below the value you entered will be shown and you will
be prompted to reenter the new percentage. After entering the new percentage
you will be shown the old and new values and asked if the database is to be
3.10 (S)hip information
The (S)hip information function in the modify database menu allows you to
change the ship flags shown in the database summary. The Trans(w)arp flag
is registered only and is used by some of the reports to determine if
transwarp information should be computed and displayed. This flag has no
affect on the (T)ranswarp route to a sector in (R)oute Reports, which can
always be used. Two of the port reports, (P)aired ports and (0) Closest
place to buy class 0 items, and the custom reports will use the flag. The
transwarp information in these reports is an extra, all the other informa-
tion in these reports will still be available. The transwarp computations
can be lengthy. If your ship does not have transwarp, or if you have a
slower computer and don't want this information all the time, set the
transwarp flag to no.
The Twarp to toll (f)ighter flag is used to determine if a toll fighter
can be used as a destination for transwarping. People who leave toll
fighters around and don't mind transwarping to one can set this flag to
yes. Others that don't like the idea of someone paying the toll and
leaving 99 mines behind for them to transwarp into may prefer to set this
to no. This depends on the kind of competition in your game and your
personal preferences. The default value is no. Offensive and defensive
fighters will automatically be used for transwarping.
Both of these flags are just yes/no values. When you select either one
it will automatically toggle to the opposite value. You will be shown the
old and new values and asked if the database is to be modified.
3.11 Merge another (T)rader's database
The Merge another (T)rader's database function in the modify database
menu will read in another TWASSIST database and merge the information into
yours. Traders in a corporation or even individual traders working together
can share their knowledge of the universe. TWASSIST relies heavily on warp
information. The more sectors in the universe you have warps for, the more
information TWASSIST can provide and the more accurate it can be. Merging
provides a very easy way to fill in the information on the universe.
Only sector warps, port classes, and notes are merged. Other information
like deployed fighters, deployed mines, and game information may not be
relevant to you and you can easily get this information from the reports in
the game. The idea is to get information on unexplored sectors to fill in
the gaps in your information and to check their notes to see if there is
something of value in them. When warps for a sector are copied, the sector
will still be marked unexplored to agree with the game. It will be
considered unexplored with warps (see (S)ector Reports). Ports copied will
be marked as unknown status (see (U)known status ports in (P)ort Reports).
You will know the class of the port but not the product quantities. The
paired ports will not be able to compute a factor on it and the custom
reports will not be able to do any comparisons on the quantities. If you
explore the sector and the port shows up in a CIM, it will then be marked
as known status.
When you merge databases you will be prompted for the filename of the
database to read. TWASSIST will load the database into memory and then
start the merge. During the merge, sector warp information and port
classes will be read from both databases. If the information exists in
the other database but not in yours it will be copied into yours. If the
information exists in both databases it will be compared. If both
databases compare nothing happens. If there is a difference you will see
a warning message telling what type of difference was found and the action
taken. After going through all the sectors the notes will be merged. If
the same note exists in both databases (maybe from a previous merge)
nothing happens. If the other database has a note for a sector and your
database does not or the notes are different, the notes will be displayed
and you will be asked whether or not you want to copy their note. After
the merge is complete, status information will be displayed telling you
how many sectors with warps, ports, and notes were copied from the other
Section 4 (D)atabase summary
This report provides a one screen summary of the database. At a glance
you can see how much you know of the universe, what info the database
contains, and how the database flags are set.
If you have manually entered warp information on a sector or merged
another trader's database, you may see a number next to the unexplored
sector count indicating how many have warps (see (S)ector Reports). If you
add up this number with warps and the explored sector count, the total is
the number of sectors you have warp information on. These are the sectors
that routes and distances can be plotted through.
Section 5 (N)otes
5.1 (V)iew notes
The (V)iew notes report will display all notes in the database. The
sector number and the note will be displayed.
5.2 (E)dit notes
The (E)dit notes functions is the same as the (N)otes function in the
Modify Database menu. Refer to that section for information.
5.3 (S)earch notes
The (S)earch notes report allows you to specify a string of text, and all
notes containing that string will be displayed. You will be prompted for a
search string. The search is case insensitive (so 'a' matches 'a' or 'A').
After entering the string, the database will be searched for notes that
contain the string. The sector numbers and notes will be displayed, with
the matching string highlighted so you can see where the match was made.
Section 6 (P)ort Reports
Some of the port reports will show flag settings for the sectors. See
(S)ector Reports for more information.
6.1 (P)aired ports
The (P)aired ports report will determine where adjacent ports exist that
have complimentary buys and sells of products. These are good locations
for trading since you can move back and forth between these ports with a
minimum of turns and therefore can do more trades. Ports with higher
quantities to buy/sell give better prices and you can spend more turns
there trading and less turns moving to a new pair.
The pairs are divided into types of products they will trade. Equipment
gives the highest amount of profit, organics is second, and fuel is third.
You can select from three categories of trades you want displayed. The
number of pairs found that match each category will be shown. Select the
type of pairs you want displayed. The default is trading equipment and
organics since this is the most profitable. If you have not explored much
of the universe and only a few of these pairs are found you may want to
select another category so you have more pairs to choose from. Also, if
there are lots of trader's draining the ports (they take a while to
regenerate) all the equipment and organics pairs may not have much for
quantities. Selecting another category may provide a few good places to
You will be prompted for a sector number to calculate distances from.
The pairs will be shown with the sector numbers and distance to the pair.
If the program is registered and the ship transwarp flag is set (see (S)hip
information in the (M)odify Database Menu), transwarp calculations will be
made to determine the closest fighter to each paired port. If there is a
benefit to transwarping, information will be displayed showing the number
of turns to the pair, the number of hops to the fighter, and the location
of the fighter. A factor that is a relative guide to the credit making
potential of trading at the pair is calculated. It can be used to compare
the different pairs. The factor times 100 is roughly the amount of profit
that can be made at the pair (e.g. factor of 965 means a profit potential
of roughly 96,500 credits). Due to variations within the game an exact
number can not be calculated. If any of the ports in the pair have unknown
product status (see (U)known status ports in (P)ort Reports) the factor will
be zero. Quantities of the products at each of the ports is also shown.
The output is sorted by distance to the pair. If transwarp calculations are
made and the transwarp turns is less than the distance, it will be used for
the sort. In this case you may see pairs with a higher distance mixed in
with pairs of lower distance because of the lower number of transwarp turns.
6.2 (N)earest ports
The (N)earest ports report will show the locations of all ports, sorted by
distance from the reference sector. The report will be like the (N)earest
sectors report in (S)ector Reports except only sectors with ports will be
6.3 (U)known status ports
Unknown status ports are ports where you do not have updated information
on the amount of the products available from the CIM port report. This can
be caused by three things:
(1) You have not explored the sector. You may have manually entered
the port class based on information from another trader or it was
merged in from another traders database. You will see the
unexplored sector flag for these ports.
(2) There are deployed fighters in the sector, either the Ferrengi or
another player. You can get port status through your own personal
or corporate fighters but not through other fighters.
(3) The port has been destroyed. In this case you should remove the
port from the database.
The output of this report will look like the (N)earest ports report except
only ports with unknown status will be shown.
6.4 (B)usted ports
The (B)usted ports report will display the ports that have busted dates
set. If the maintenance cycle is known (from information extract from a
View Game Status report) the dates port records were last cleared of busted
names and the date they will be cleared next will be displayed. A list of
sector numbers, port types, and the dated busted will be shown.
Each time you enter the program the date will be checked to see if it is
after the next clear date. If it is, all busted port dates up to but not
including the clear date will be cleared from the database and the database
modified flag will be set. The program plays it safe with regard to clearing
the busted dates. They are not cleared on the actual clear date because you
may be playing before the game's maintenance is run. When they are cleared
on the next day the busted dates on the last clear date on not cleared
because you may have played after maintenance. It is better to be on the
safe side than to go to a port you were busted at. If you play after
maintenance on the clear date you can always ignore the busted flags. If
you play before maintenance on the clear date, you can always delete those
busted dates manually. You can tell when maintenance is run by examining
the daily log in the game. The line that says the "Ferrengi moved at" is
when the maintenance was run.
6.5 (0) Closest place to buy class 0 items
This report will give a tabular display of the class 0 ports and their
distances. The stardock will also be included if the information in the
game status (TW2002 version and registration status) indicate the shipyards
are open. If the program is registered and the ship transwarp flag set,
additional columns will show the nearest fighter, turns, and hops to
transwarp to each of these ports.
Section 7 (S)ector Reports
A number of the reports display flags of information about the sectors.
The flags are:
U A B M Fx DEn SD
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
SD = Sector is Stardock.
SL = Sector is in space lane.
DEn = Sector is a dead end of depth 'n'
BD = Sector has a back door. There is one or
more one way warps into the sector.
Fx = Deployed fighters where 'x' is the mode,
O = Offensive, D = Defensive, T = Toll.
M = Deployed mines.
B = Port has busted date.
A = Sector is an avoid.
U = Sector is unexplored.
TWASSIST categorizes sectors a number of ways. Like TW2002, there are
explored and unexplored sectors. TWASSIST further divides the unexplored
sectors into other categories. Some of the following descriptions for the
sector reports will use the diagram below for an example to aid in
explaining the different categories.
100 <> 200 <> 300 <> 400 <> 500
player 1 player 2
Player 1 has explored sector 100 but not the others.
Player 2 has explored sector 500 but not the others.
7.1 (F)ull report on a sector
The (F)ull report on a sector gives a detailed display of all the
information known about a sector. Included will be the warps, back doors,
flag settings, various parameters, port information, and any note.
7.2 (N)earest sectors
The (N)earest sectors report will show each sector, sorted by distance
from the current sector. The report will show the sector number, the
distance to the sector, and the flags for that sector. If the sector has a
port it will also show the port type and the product status. Any note for
the sector will also be shown.
7.3 (U)nexplored sectors
The (U)nexplored sectors report is the same as the (N)earest sectors
report except it only shows those sectors that are unexplored. This can be
used to find a close sector to explore. Maybe you have a few extra turns
left after trading.
If you merge databases with another trader, this is the last report to
use to find sectors to explore. Once you have information on the entire
universe there will be no need to continue to merge databases but you may
have some sectors you have not personally explored and can not get port
information on. To get the most use out of an ether probe, send it to a
dead end sector some distance away. Choose the dead ends closer to the end
of the report. By sending the probe some distance away you have a greater
chance of going through more unexplored sectors. You also want to explore
the entire tunnel with one probe instead of stopping part way in and needing
another probe later to get the rest. After getting the dead ends, work on
the rest of the sectors.
7.4 Une(x)plored clusters
The Une(x)plored clusters report can tell you where you have groups of
unexplored sectors. The report will show each sector number that has
adjacent unexplored sectors and the number of unexplored sectors. It will
also show the number of those unexplored sectors that have no warp informa-
tion (see (W)ithout warps in Sector Reports). The report is sorted by the
number of adjacent unexplored sectors in descending order. The sector with
the most adjacent unknown information is at the top.
These unexplored clusters are a good place to do a holoscan since one turn
with the holoscanner can explore a number of sectors. This is especially
useful if the sector has a good port that could be part of a trade pair. If
a sector has a port that is buying organics and selling equipment or vice
versa, and has a number of unexplored sectors adjacent, there is a good
chance you may find a matching port.
7.5 Un(k)nown sectors
The Un(k)nown sector report is not the same as the unexplored sector
report from the computer in the game. This unknown sector report will show
sectors which have no location information in the database. They have no
known warps and no other sector has a warp to them. In the above diagram,
player 1 would show sectors 300, 400, and 500 as unknown. Sector 200 is not
considered unknown because sector 100 has a warp to it. For player 2, the
unknown sectors are 100, 200, and 300. If the two players merged their
databases, both players would have warp information for sectors 100 and 500,
and sectors 200 and 400 have warps to them. The only unknown sector is 300.
This is useful for sending ether probes. If you used the unexplored sector
report from the game computer you could pick sectors that are adjacent to
explored sectors, especially after you have explored a good portion of the
universe. By using this unknown sector report you know the probe has to go
through at least one other unexplored sector to get to it. You are more
likely to get multiple unexplored sectors in the path so the ether probe
provides more information. Use the computer on-line in the game to go plot
paths (F command) to these unknown sectors and pick ones that have more
unexplored sectors in the paths as the ether probe target.
If you are merging databases with another trader you can use this report
to maximize your explorations/probes. These sectors are unknown to both
traders so you can get the most benefit from exploring these sectors.
NOTE: Since there is no CIM output for determining the location of the
class 0 ports you should be on the lookout for their locations in
the probe outputs. Make use of your scroll back buffer or capture
the entire session and review it later off-line.
7.6 (W)ithout warps
The (W)ithout warps reports is similar to the (U)nexplored sectors report
except it shows only those sectors that have no warp information. For those
who have never modified the database to add warps for a sector and never
merged databases from another trader, then this report will be just like the
unexplored sector report.
In the above example diagram, player 1 has four unexplored sectors. If
player 1 merged databases from player 2 then sector 500 would have warp
information even though it is unexplored. The (W)ithout warps report will
only report sectors 200, 300, and 400.
This is useful when merging databases and you are getting towards the end
of exploring the universe. Once you have explored the universe to eliminate
the unknown sectors, you may still have sectors where you do not have warp
information. In the above diagram, let's say player 1 wants to explore
unknown sector 300, so a probe is sent from 100 through 200 to 300. With
the data for sector 500 from player 2, that leaves only sector 400 without
warp information. This is a sector that is unexplored by both players.
7.7 (D)ead end sector analysis
The (D)ead end sectors analysis shows the tunnels out of a dead end
sector. A dead end sector is one that has only one sector that leads to it
and it's only way out is to that same sector. This report shows the depths
of the tunnels of dead ends in the universe and how many at each depth.
You may then select a desired depth for more information on those sectors.
The report will display the sector number and port type (if any) for each
dead end of this depth. Each sector in the tunnel will be shown in the
same way until the entrance/exit of the tunnel is reached.
You can not go through a dead end sector on the way to somewhere. You can
only get to it by setting it as the destination. If the sector has multiple
ways out or a way out that is not the same as the only way in, then it is
possible to pass through the sector while going some place else and is
therefore not classified as a dead end. As a result, dead end sectors are
not as easily explored. This is usually a good place for building planets
and hiding when you don't have a cloak. A deeper tunnel is less likely to
get explored and provides more room for defenses. It also gives your
opponents more room for blocking you in and takes more turns to get in and
out each time unless you have a transwarp.
7.8 (C)luster dead end analysis
The (C)luster dead end analysis will look for a sector that has no back
doors and all but one warp leads to a dead end. The one warp is the
entrance/exit to the cluster. To find these groups it is necessary to
explore all those DE1s that most people do not worry about. For example,
consider the following layout of sectors (all two way warps):
100 200 300 400 entrance/exit
If sector 500 or 600 is unexplored you can not tell if this is a dead end
cluster. After exploring 40% or more of the universe, use the unexplored
clusters report and holoscan. You will find a number of them are dead ends
one deep and may be part of a dead end cluster. In the above example with
all the sectors explored, sector 300 will be detected as being a dead end
cluster. You may even find a sector that has 4 DE1s with a single way in
Dead end clusters may be a good place to build. This will depend on your
competition and how they search for other players planets (and whether or
not they are using a utility like this one). You may have the benefit of a
number of close ports and still have a defendable location. You will also
find dead ends that are a lot deeper than anyone may think they are. I have
seen a dead end cluster with a dead end 3 deep and the entrance/exit to the
cluster was also 3 deep. That means the dead end was really 6 sectors from
a through way.
Section 8 (R)oute Reports
8.1 (N)ormal route
The (N)ormal route report will determine the distance to a destination
and the sectors travelled through. The first sector listed will be the
starting location and the last sector listed will be the destination. Each
sector will be shown in the order they are travelled through to reach the
destination. The output format will be like the (N)earest sectors report
in the Sector Reports menu. At the end of the list the distance will be
given. You will then be prompted on whether or not you want to display the
8.2 (T)ranswarp route
The (T)ranswarp route report is similar to the normal route report except
it will look at fighter locations and determine if fewer turns could be used
by transwarping. If transwarping takes fewer turns it will display the
route with the first sector the starting location, the second sector the
fighter to transwarp to, followed by the sectors travelled through from the
fighter, and the last sector will be the destination. At the end of the
list the turns, hops, and fighter location will be given. If there is no
benefit to transwarping a message will say so and a route using normal
movement will be shown.
8.3 (S)pace lanes
The (S)pace lanes report will determine the routes for each of the eight
space lanes. These are the routes the Feds will clear all fighters and
mines from during maintenance. The following diagram shows what the space
Sol Stargate Alpha
Class 0 Stardock
Alpha Centauri Rylos
Class 0 Class 0
The (S)pace lanes report has output in two parts. First are the actual
routes. On the left of the screen is the starting location of each of the
routes, and on the right is the final location. In between, the sectors on
the route are listed. The second part of the output is a listing of the
sectors in all the space lanes listed in numerical order. The provides an
easy method of determining if a sector is in a space lane.
TWASSIST can only calculate the space lanes based on the information you
have about the universe. If you do not have the actual paths explored, the
routes calculated will not be the same as in the game. Use the computer in
the game to show each route (without any avoids but save them so you can
reenter them) and see if you have explored every sector necessary for
TWASSIST to show you the true space lanes.
Section 9 (C)ustom Reports
The entire custom reports menu is registered only.
The (C)ustom reports provides a flexible way of defining your own reports.
You can select the type of report: paired ports, single ports, or any
sector. For each report you can specify various parameters that must be met
for the pair/port/sector to be matched and shown in the report. You can
also specify various ways of sorting the output. Up to 6 reports can be
defined, with a title for each. The custom reports are stored in a file
with the same name as the datafile but with a .CUS extension. This allows
you to create different reports for each game for the style of play you are
using for that game. Here are some things custom reports have been used
* Finding the competition's transwarped planet.
* Checking for deployed fighters and mines in space lanes.
* Finding a good and unique home sector.
* Finding pairs of ports with good trading potential.
* Finding good ports for stealing products or robbing credits.
When you enter the custom reports you will be shown a list of your
reports. You will also see a menu of selections for working with the
reports. If no reports are defined, only the menu items that would define
a report will be shown. If at least one report is defined, additional menu
selections will be shown. When you quit the custom reports menu the
program will check to see if there are modifications to the reports that
have not been saved to the file. You will be prompted if you want to save
the reports to the file. If you say no you will be asked again when you
exit the program just to make sure.
9.1 (C)opy a report
The (C)opy a report function provides a way of quickly copying the report
parameters from one to another. This is useful if you want to test out
some changes without disturbing the original report or if you want to create
a similar report with a few parameter changes. You will be shown a list of
the reports and asked to specify the report number of the source to be
copied and then the report number of the destination. If the destination
report has been defined, a message will be displayed asking you to verify
you want to replace it. All the report parameters including the title will
be copied. The title can be changed by modifying the report.
9.2 (D)isplay a report
The (D)isplay a report function will provide a screen of information
showing all the parameters for a report. You will be shown a list of the
reports and asked to select the report number to display.
9.3 (E)xecute a report
Once you have reports defined, the (E)xecute a report function will
perform the report and display the output. Various TWASSIST functions will
be called to search the database for pairs/ports/sectors that match the
parameters of a report. You will be shown a list of reports and asked to
select the report number to execute.
If the ship transwarp flag is set to yes and the report specifies to
consider transwarp in maximum turns, transwarp calculations will be made
for all matches. Transwarp information will then be included in the report
9.4 (M)odify a report
The (M)odify a report function will allow you to define parameters for a
new report or change parameters in a defined report. You will be shown a
list of the reports and asked to select the report number to modify. When
modifying a report, defaults for the parameters will be the same as
currently defined in the report. You can select the defaults and just
change the items you want to. This makes it easy to vary just a parameter
or two to see the affects or to fine tune the report.
First you will be asked to specify the type of report. A paired port
report will be like the report in the port reports menu, a single port
report will be like the nearests ports report, and a sector report will be
like the nearest sectors report. Once the type of report is selected, you
will be asked to specify the parameters of the report. Some of them are
common to all the reports and some are for only one type of report. You
will be asked for only the parameters that apply to the type of report
selected. Prompts for the parameters describe what the parameter does and
some parameters have information that provides more detail about it. After
specifying all the parameters you will be asked for a title for the report.
This is the title that will show up in the listing of the reports and in
the report file if the output of a report is sent to a file.
9.5 (R)ead reports from another file
The (R)ead reports from another file function is a way to merge reports
in separate files. You can use it to read reports you have developed for
another game or you can use it to read reports from another trader. You
will be prompted for the filename of the custom report file to read.
After reading the file you will be shown a list of the reports from the
file. Select the report you are interested in. The report parameters will
be displayed so you can review the report. You will be asked if you want
to copy this report. If you decide to copy the report, you will be shown
the title of the report and a list of your current reports. You will be
asked to select a destination report number. If the report number is
currently defined you will be asked to very if you want to replace it. All
report parameters including the title will be copied.
Section 10 (G)raphic Displays
The (G)raphic Displays menu provides selections for viewing the layout of
space in graphics. Symbols are used to show various characteristics of the
sectors. See the (?) Graphic symbols subsection below. While viewing space
in graphics, you can use the question mark (?) to switch to the symbols
display. When you end the symbols display the graphic display of space will
The program will automatically detect the type of graphics interface in
your computer. Refer to the compatibility sector for supported types.
Refer to the (V)ideo driver section under ($) Registration and Configuration
if the program is having problems detecting your graphics interface.
To be able to print the graphics screens on the printer you must have the
DOS graphics command loaded into memory. It allows you to print a graphics
display using . Typically it is loaded during boot up
by the autoexec.bat file. Refer to your DOS manual for information on the
graphics command and configuring it for your system.
10.1 Display around a (S)ector
Display around a (S)ector will provide a graphical representation of
sector positions relative to a sector. You will be prompted for the
reference sector to display the space around. The program will automati-
cally determine the maximum distance that can be reasonably displayed and
will display those sectors. The distance displayed will be shown in the
title text at the top of the screen. The reference sector will be in the
middle of the screen and will be highlighted.
10.2 Display along a (R)oute
Display along a (R)oute will provide a graphical representation of the
route to a sector and the scenery (adjacent sectors) passed along the way.
You will be prompted for a start sector and a destination sector. Sectors
on the route will be arranged in a line that zig-zags across the screen.
The starting sector will be in the upper left. Sectors adjacent to the
route will be shown above and below the route line. Sectors on the route
will be highlighted.
Section 11 ($) Registration and configuration
Registration and configuration information is stored in the configuration
file. Only one file is used. The file is named TWASSIST.CFG and is located
in the same location as the program executable. This allows the use of
multiple directories for storing game information without the need to copy
the executable or the configuration file. The configuration file will be
created by the program. When you quit the registration and configuration
menu, the program will check to see if you made changes that have not been
saved to the file. You will then be prompted if you want to save the
changes to the file. If you say no, you will be asked again when you exit
11.1 Registration (N)ame
Enter the registration name exactly as it appears in your registration
letter, including punctuation and capitalization. If the registration name
and code are valid, the "" text at the top of the menu screen
will change to "Registered to" and the registration name.
11.2 Registration (C)ode
Enter the registration code exactly as it appears in your registration
letter, including punctuation and capitalization. If the registration name
and code are valid, the "" text at the top of the menu screen
will change to "Registered to" and the registration name.
11.3 (D)ESQview lines
The program will detect the maximum height set for the window. If you
use TWASSIST without the window at maximum zoom, or if it appears the
program is having a problem correctly detecting the number of lines while
under DESQview, you can set the number of lines to use with this menu item.
This value has no effect if DESQview is not detected. If set to auto
detect, the number of lines detected will be shown in parenthesis on the
When you select (D)ESQview lines you will be shown the current setting and
asked to enter the number of lines to use. The default will be the current
11.4 (H)ot keys
Hot keys allow you to make selections for many of the prompts without the
need to press 'Enter' to end the input. For example, when selecting a menu
item, with hot keys enabled the function will be immediately executed when
the menu character is pressed. With hot keys disabled the program will wait
for 'Enter' to end the input before the function is executed. With hot keys
enabled, fewer key strokes are required to use the program so you can move
through it faster. With hot keys disabled, you have a chance to backspace
and change your input. When prompting for a number (like a sector number),
or a string of text (like a note), you will still have to use 'Enter' to end
the input independent of the hot keys setting. Use the setting you are most
When you select (H)ot keys you will be asked if you want to change the
setting to the opposite value.
11.5 (S)creen writes
By default screen writes are done using BIOS calls. You may set screen
to go directly to video memory. Direct screen are faster but may not be
compatible with all video hardware. BIOS screen writes will work on all
IBM BIOS compatible computers. BIOS screen writes will always be used when
running under DESQview independent of the screen writes setting.
When you select (S)creen writes you will be asked if you want to change
the setting to the other value.
11.6 (V)ideo driver
By default the program will detect the type of graphics interface and use
the proper driver. If you have problems displaying the graphic displays and
the program does not appear to be detecting the graphics interface properly
you can use this configuration menu item to select a driver to use. Refer
to the section on compatibility for the interfaces supported. When set to
Auto, the interface detected will be shown in the menu.
When you select (V)ideo driver you will be shown a menu of supported
drivers, the interface detected (if its a supported one), and the current
setting. You will be asked to choose the driver to use.
Section 12 Multitasking Environments
TWASSIST may be run in multitasking environments. It has been tested
under DESQview and Windows as noted in the section title Compatibility.
TWASSIST is DESQview aware and will give up unused CPU time while waiting
for input. The program will detect the maximum number of lines for the
window. Reports will pause between screens when this number of lines has
been displayed. If it appears the program is not detecting the right number
of lines, you may set the number of lines to use in the ($) Registration and
Below are sample Change a Program screens from DESQview. Refer to the
section titled Compatibility for memory requirements. If you have lots of
memory, give TWASSIST a generous portion so you don't have to worry about
situations that might cause the program to run out of memory. Since the
program can detect the maximum window size, not the actual zoomed size, it
is recommended you set the starting height and width the same as the maximum
height and width. Some of the reports will display all their information in
a single 25 line screen. The menus were also developed to fit in a 25 line
screen. If you set the number of lines too small, lines at the top will
scroll off the screen.
NOTE: In the sample Change a Program screens, the maximum height is set to
23 lines and the window is located at the top of the screen. If the
window for the communications program is set for 25 lines and located
at the bottom of a 50 line screen, there will be one line of overlap
(because of the extra lines DV uses for the border). In this situation
the overlapped line would be the prompt line (e.g. More?) so all the
report information is visible even when the communications window is
on top. Currently all the screens of TWASSIST will fit in a 23 line
window. There is no guarantee this will be true in future versions.
Future versions will always fit in a 25 line window.
Change a Program
Program Name............: TWASSIST
Keys to Use on Open Menu: TA Memory Size (in K): 300
Writes text directly to screen.......: [N]
Displays graphics information........: [Y]
Virtualize text/graphics (Y,N,T).....: [Y]
Uses serial ports (Y,N,1,2)..........: [N]
Requires floppy diskette.............: [N]
12.1 DESQview (contd)
Change a Program Advanced Options
System Memory (in K).......: 0 Maximum Program Memory Size (in K)..:
Script Buffer Size.......: 0 Maximum Expanded Memory Size (in K): 0
Text Pages: 1 Graphics Pages: 0 Initial Mode: Interrupts: 00 to FF
Maximum Height: 23 Starting Height: 23 Starting Row...: 1
Maximum Width.: 80 Starting Width.: 80 Starting Column: 1
Close on exit (Y,N,blank)......: [N] Uses its own colors..............: [Y]
Allow Close Window command.....: [Y] Runs in background (Y,N,blank)...: [ ]
Uses math coprocessor..........: [N] Keyboard conflict (0-F)..........: 
Share CPU when foreground......: [Y] Share EGA when foreground/zoomed.: [Y]
Can be swapped out (Y,N,blank).: [ ] Protection level (0-3)...........: 
Section 13 Future plans
Work has already started on a version to support TW2002 v2.0. Ideas for
enhancements and new features are already being developed for future
versions. Any significant new features will most likely be for registered
users only unless non-registered contributions tell me otherwise.
Comments and suggestions can be sent through the Fidonet Trade Wars echo
to Albin Gersich. To report a problem, send a detailed letter to the
address shown for registration or send a message on The Night Owl BBS as
shown in the Support and Distribution section.
Martech Software, Inc. has announced plans for developing Trade Wars 2112
(TW2112) which will be along the lines of TW2002 but very different. The
need for utilities to support TW2112 will be evaluated after it is released.
It is not known if Sasquatch Software will develop any utility for TW2112.
If such a utility is developed, registered users of TWASSIST will get a
discounted price on the new utility.
Some enhancements under consideration for future versions:
* Secluded area analysis.
* Improvements to the user interface.
* Additional capability in the custom reports.
* Extracting more information from a capture file.
* Much, much more.