Contents of the STOCKS.DOC file
By Kevin Menningen
W277 S4455 Elk Valley Court
Waukesha, WI 53188-6437
____|__ | (tm)
--| | |-------------------
| ____|__ | Association of
| | |_| Shareware
|__| o | Professionals
-----| | |---------------------
January 2, 1989
Does anyone ever read these? Well, if you do happen to take
notice of this notice, please be advised of several things.
1. Treat this software like a book. You are free to browse through
it, try it out, etc. If you like it, buy it. This is not
freeware. It costs only $10 (send to the above address), and you
will be supplied with all update information.
2. This game has come from a long history of updates, (no one reads
those, either) and this version is probably the last save any major
bugs (an unlikely situation), but I will inform all registered users
of any such improvements to this software.
3. A registerd user also has a clear concience, since he/she has fought
the high price of software by supporting the Shareware concept, and
hasn't taken advantage of any trusting software authors!
4. This program is the result of over two years of programming. I'm
not giving this away, I'm trusting you to pay for it if you like
it. Have I said it enough?
5. Feel free to distribute this. Just be sure not to leave anything
out or change anything.
FILES ON DISK
SSCOLOR EXE ; The color configuration program
SSCOLOR SCR ; Contains the screen for SSCOLOR.EXE
STOCKS CNF ; Contains the color configuration
STOCKS EXG ; Contains the stock exchange
STOCKS EXE ; Loader file
STOCKS OVR ; Main program
STOCKS SCR ; Contains the screens for STOCKS.EXE
STOCKS TMP ; Crunched screens for SSCOLOR.EXE
STOCKS ONL ; Indexed online help file
STOCKS DOC ; This file
ATT BGI ; These are the Borland Graphics Interface (BGI)
CGA BGI ; files. You may delete the ones you don't need
EGAVGA BGI ; however it won't work on any other video system
HERC BGI ; if you do that. Your best bet is to leave these
IBM8514 BGI ; alone, since they take up negligible disk space
PC3270 BGI ;
SSLOGI DEF ; Logitech mouse menu definition file
SSMSFT DEF ; Microsoft mouse menu definition file
Stock Shock requires an 8086 or an 80x86 based machine with at least 256k
RAM to run. It works on virtually any monitor or video system. It is not
copy protected, so if you have a hard drive, installation is as simple as
this: (The words in brackets means press that key)
C>md\stocks ; makes a subdirectory for Stock Shock. Replace "stocks"
with any other valid path that suits you.
C>c ; changes to that directory.
C>copy a:*.* ; copies everything from the disk
If you received Stock Shock through the modem, you will need a de-
archiving program like PKXARC. Follow the directions with your utility.
STOCK MARKET FUNDAMENTALS
A stock is a share in the capital of a company. Corporations sell
stocks to raise money, and people buy stocks to make money. The price of a
stock usually varies with how well the company is doing financially
overall. Your purpose in life as a stock market investor is to buy a stock
while the price is low and sell the stock when the price is high. If you
happen to own stock in a company that has gone chapter 11, you cannot sell
that stock, since no one in their right mind will ever buy it. Your only
hope is that the company pulls itself out of the hole. Otherwise, it will
go bankrupt and you lose big time. If you happen to own a stock that
splits, that means that the price of the stock has gone over a certain
limit, and the price is therefore halved, and the number of shares you own
is doubled. This is a good thing, since more shares means more money.
This program is a mock simulation, designed for those of you who think
making money is fun. Stock Shock varies from real life in several ways.
First, to allow 30 stocks to be displayed on the screen at once, I did away
with the fraction prices, and simply used integers. Secondly, you can buy
and sell as much of a stock as you want. In real life, you are limited by
the number of shares available, etc. Finally, when a large number of
shares of a company are bought in real life, the company tends to do better
financially since it got the extra cash. Nothing doing in Stock Shock.
This is not supposed to be a close simulation of the real market.
Why? Realism is boring. Stock Shock has action, suspense and fun, not
drab tickers and dull forecasts.
STOCK SHOCK FUNDAMENTALS
Stock Shock works on virtually any computer and virtually any monitor.
Its colors are fully configurable, and it uses the Borland Graphics
Interface to work with Hercules, CGA, MCGA, EGA, VGA, ATT 400 line, IBM
3270 PC, and IBM 8514 (sorta: it works as a VGA, from what I can extract
from the manual) graphics standards. Screen I/O is done by the Qwik
machine language routines written by Jim LeMay. They are compatible with
all of the above systems and probably a few more. Stock Shock was written
to be fast on an 8088 PC (yes, I'm still running at 4.77), so it will be
plenty fast on virtually any system.
This game is extremely fun in groups. Especially if one of the people
is a stock market expert and he/she ends up losing!
Pretty much everything in Stock Shock is mouse compatible, since it
can be driven by cursor keys and the key. A sample menu program
for the Logitech mouse is included.
Basically, a real generous uncle has given you $5000 to invest in the
stock market. Your mission, should you decide to take it, is to make more
money than anyone else, or just plain make money if you're playing alone.
The opening screen is self explanatory, it is just the title screen. The
first screen of significance comes next. It will ask you how many days you
want to go. You can tell it any number up to 65536, but I wouldn't recommend
anything over 3500 days. Stock Shock only remembers the last 180 days, but
your total money assets only go up to 1.10E+4932, and if your smart and
extremely lucky, you could conceivably go above that in a very long time. If
you do go above that, the program will most likely crash, and it will be a bad
day for you. . . (then again, if you got that far, it was probably a good day)
After that, you are asked to enter in the names of up to 12 players.
Yes, I could have made this section mouse driven, but I figure you will be
typing at that point and a mouse isn't really necessary. If you make a
mistake, it lets you go back and change the mistake after you have typed in
all the names.
Then comes the main screen. The top three panels contain the stock
name, price and net change since the previous day. A '*' before a name
means that stock has gone chapter 11. It will either come back or go
bankrupt, at which point it will be removed from the list. A 's' before a
name means the stock has split in the past, which means it has done pretty
The middle line contains your player number (used as a reference for
graphing), your player name, amount of cash on hand (you start with $5000),
your rank with respect to the other players, the current day number, and
the current index number, which tells you how well the market is doing as a
whole. A negative index means the market could use some help. A positive
index means the market is relatively healthy.
The bottom left three panels give info on the stocks you have bought:
the stock number, the price you bought it at (averaged if you bought it
several times), and the number of shares you bought.
The bottom right panel gives the current menu options. There is a
highlight bar that highlights the current option. If the bar is above the
menu, that means the current option is to go to the next player. The bar
can be moved with the cursor keys or a mouse, and the key selects
the highlighted option.
At any time during the game you can press F1 to get online help. It might
even be context sensitive help, but I don't have a real good grip on the
meaning of that term to begin with. Each help screen has one or more pages,
and at the bottom of the window there is a little "PgDn" if there are more
pages to read, and a little "PgUp" if there are pages before the current one.
Each windowful may or may not have some key words in it. If there are key
words available, they are in a different color (the color used for them is
called "Help Window emphasized" in the color configuration program). The
first key word in the window is highlighted, and you may use the cursor keys
or the mouse to move from key word to key word. Pressing on a
highlighed key word will cause the information related to that key word to
come up. It is a lot easier to use than to explain. . . Pressing ESC, SPACE,
or any key that doesn't mean anything will cause the window to disappear.
There are numerous occasions in Stock Shock to enter information. At any
of these times, the following keys are available for editing:
Backspace : Deletes character to the left of the cursor and moves the cursor
Del : Deletes the character under the cursor.
Ins : Toggles insert mode. The cursor is an underline in overwrite mode and
a larger shape in insert mode.
Home, PgUp, etc. : goes to the beginning of the line.
End, PgDn, etc. : goes to the end of the line.
Left/Right cursor : moves the cursor one column.
Ctrl-Left/Right cursor : moves to previous/next word in line.
Enter : selects the current text.
ESC : exits the current function.
Ctrl-Y : deletes everything.
There probably are a few more, but you would never need them. Editing is
pretty intuitive, and you should have few problems.
MENUS AND KEYS
I refuse to go through the menus because it would be a waste of time,
really. Discover them for yourself. The following keys aren't so obvious:
'X' or Backspace: Go back to the previous player. This never goes back to
a previous day, but if a player makes a mistake, and the group lets
him/her, the player can go back and change their mistake. This is
useful if some bum hits twice and skips the next guy.
'P' or F9. Panic. This brings up a SuperCalc 3 (tm) spreadsheet screen,
having something to do with real estate. If the boss comes by,
pretend you are concentrating on it. If the boss is still suspicious,
show him/her that the menus actually work by hitting the '/' key. To
get out of this, hit '/qt'. That gets you back to Stock Shock. If
you really panic, hit '/qy' and that will get you back to DOS. Using
this option loses all, however, and you can't get back to the game.
Hitting '/qn' kills time and keeps you in the Panic screen. Enough.
If you still don't understand any of this, hit F9 and try it out for
F1: Online help. Described before.
F2: Function key list.
F3: Sound toggle. If you are annoyed, shut it up or turn it on.
F4: News toggle. See the section on the Daily News.
F5: Graph Stock. See graphs section.
F6: Graph Market. See graphs section.
F7: Graph Player. I hate being redundant.
F8: Configure colors. Calls SSCOLOR.EXE from the main program. This is the
only key not available anywhere: you must press it from the main menu.
F9: Panic. Described above.
F10: Shell to DOS. Another out if the boss comes. Allows you to mess
with DOS as long as you like. Type 'EXIT' to return to your game.
To use your mouse, you must make a menu definition file for your mouse.
Two example definition files are included, one for Logitech mice and one for
Microsoft mice. You compile and install these menus by following the
instructions included with your mouse. You can, of course, change these files
to suit your particular mouse or your tastes. The definition files as they
are simply emulate the cursor keys. The left button simulates the
key. The right button simulates the key, and both buttons at once on
the Microsoft mouse or the middle button on the Logitech mouse simulates
hitting the key for online help. The Logitech menu definition file works
for sure, I have not tested the Microsoft menu since I don't own one, but I
received the commands from another piece of software, so it should work also.
PLAYING THE GAME
You have several options in this game. Here they are.
Buy - Allows you to purchase stocks. Point and shoot (i.e. move the cursor
keys to highlight desired item and hit ) or type in the desired
stock number directly. Then enter the number of shares you wish to
purchase. Typing 'all' in upper or lower case will automatically purchase
as many shares as you can currently afford. The program will let you know
if you did a no-no.
Sell - allows you to sell stocks you own. Again, point and shoot or hit
the appropriate stock number listed in the Owned section (lower left 3
panels). Typing 'all' works here, too. Again, you will know if you made a
Invest - allows you to make a desperation move to free up your investment
in a company that is chapter 11. Unfortunately, it will cost you most of
what you have to get the company just above 0. You can then sell your
shares, most likely at a bad loss, but it is better to get a few dollars
back than to lose it all.
Options - allows you to go to the next menu.
Graphs - Allows you to graphically display the following:
Player assets. See how well you are doing. Select a name
from the list by point and shoot or typing direct. The
graph is then displayed, and you can then press any key
to return to the market.
Stock price. See how well a stock is doing. Again, point
and shoot or type direct.
Market. See how well the market as a whole is doing. Needs
Save game - Allows you to preserve the current game forever. You are asked
for a file name, and the current path is provided for you. If
you hit an up or down arrow key, a directory window comes up
from which you can select a file name to overwrite. Subdirectory
names come up with a "\" postceding the name. Selecting a
subdirectory name will change to that directory and display
the names in there. You are asked for a file name mask at the
outset, and that mask is used for all subdirectories you choose.
Load game - Allows you to get back a previously saved game. The directory
window is available as before.
Quit - Exits the market and displays a final listing.
THE DAILY NEWS
The stock market is constantly changing. A stock that is doing quite
well will sometimes reverse and do quite poorly. The circumstances around
that reversal may or may not be interesting. The interesting stuff is
reported in the (almost) Daily News. These tidbits of info come up almost
every other day, but sometimes you can go a week without the info. The
News will tell you which company is having problems and which are doing
pretty well. The news may or may not be true. A stock that is reported to
have good times ahead may go down. The winds of change are quite fickle.
The Daily News can be turned off, but not reading the news does not mean
the news never happened. Thus an informed investor would read it.
COLOR CONFIGURATION PROGRAM
This program sets the colors of Stock Shock. The lower right hand window
contains the section and title of the current color being set. The lower left
hand window has a window containing all the standard text colors, along with a
pointer showing the current color. You can move the pointer to the desired
color and press . F5 and F6 scroll forwards and backwards in the
color list, and F3 toggles on and off blink mode. F4 toggles snow detection,
which is only a problem for cheap CGA cards. An indicator under the colors
window shows the current status of snow detection. F2 sets the current border
color, and F1 brings up online help.
I could, of course, detail every little feature of the game, but that
is as boring as a real time stock market simulation.
If you find any bugs (not too likely at this point, but its a big
program. . .), or if you have a suggestion, or if you finally decide to
register (thank you in advance), please write to me at:
W277 S4455 Elk Valley Court
Waukesha, WI 53188-6437
I am a member of the worlds largest BBS, Exec-PC of Shorewood, Wisconsin.
It is a pay system (well worth the dough) available at (414) 964-5160, as well
as a few other numbers. It is accessible through Telenet, and supports all
baud rates up to 9600 (these are on a separate line). It is the best. At
this point, I think it supports 50 or so users, but that should be going up to
75 soon, and will most likely never stop growing. If you aren't a member,
there are still some features available to you free of charge, so give it a