TradeWars 2002 Assistant Help Text

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! Table of Contents  !

1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

1.1 Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1.2 Disclaimer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.3 Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.4 Trademarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.5 Compatibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
1.6 Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.7 Support and Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.8 Licensing and Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

2 Command Arguments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

3 Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

3.1 Creating a database . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.2 Using the menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.3 Saving/printing reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.4 Prompts and defaults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.5 Misc. info . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

4 Report Flags . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

5 (M)odify database menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

5.1 (E)xtract data from a capture file . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
5.2 (A)voids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
5.3 (B)usted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
5.4 (F)ighters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
5.5 (M)ines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
5.6 (L)impets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
5.7 (P)orts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
5.8 (W)arps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
5.9 (N)otes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
5.10 (G)ame information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
5.11 (S)hip information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
5.12 Merge another (T)rader's database . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
5.13 Strip database for (O)ther trader . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

6 (D)atabase summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Page 2

Table of Contents (contd)

7 (N)otes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

7.1 (V)iew notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
7.2 (E)dit notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
7.3 (S)earch notes <Registered only> . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

8 (A)sset Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

8.1 (F)ighter deployments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
8.2 (M)ine deployments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
8.3 (L)impet deployments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
8.4 (A)ctive Limpets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

9 (P)ort Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

9.1 (P)aired ports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
9.2 (N)earest ports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
9.3 (U)known status ports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
9.4 (B)usted ports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
9.5 (0) Closest place to buy class 0 items . . . . . . . . . . . 28
9.6 (L)ikely major port locations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

10 (S)ector Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

10.1 (F)ull report on a sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
10.2 (N)earest sectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
10.3 (U)nexplored sectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
10.4 Une(x)plored clusters <Registered only> . . . . . . . . . 31
10.5 Un(k)nown sectors <Registered only> . . . . . . . . . . . 31
10.6 (W)ithout warps <Registered only> . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
10.7 A(v)oids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
10.8 (D)end end sector analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
10.9 DE distances to (M)ajor ports <Registered only> . . . . . . 33
10.10 (C)luster dead end analysis <Registered only> . . . . . . 33
10.11 (S)ecluded area analysis <Registered only> . . . . . . . . 34

11 (R)oute Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

11.1 (N)ormal route . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
11.2 (T)ranswarp route . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
11.3 (S)pace lanes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
11.4 (M)ap universe routes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
11.5 (A)nalyze warps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Page 3

Table of Contents (contd)

12 (C)ustom Reports <Registered only> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

12.1 (C)opy a report <Registered only> . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
12.2 (D)isplay a report <Registered only> . . . . . . . . . . . 39
12.3 (E)xecute a report <Registered only> . . . . . . . . . . . 40
12.4 (M)odify a report <Registered only> . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
12.5 (R)ead reports from another file <Registered only> . . . . 40

13 (G)raphic Displays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

13.1 Display around a (S)ector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
13.2 Display along a (R)oute <Registered only> . . . . . . . . 41

14 ($) Registration and configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

14.1 Registration (N)ame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
14.2 Registration (C)ode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
14.3 (D)ESQview lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
14.4 (H)ot keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
14.5 (S)creen writes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
14.6 (V)ideo driver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
14.7 (L)og file mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

15 Multitasking Environments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

15.1 DESQview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

16 Automode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

16.1 Important notes about automode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
16.2 Automode commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
16.3 Automode examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Page 4

! 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. Version
2.3 was released on December 2, 1995.

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.

XXXX 1.1 XXXX Features

NOTE: Some features are available only to registered users.

An intuitive menu structure is used to access various functions.

The doc provides information on how to use a number of the reports in
the game.

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
manual modifications.

Easy to merge data from playing partners. Your known data is
distinguished from merged data.

An efficient no turn universe mapper to gather the warps for the entire
universe without exploring it.

Automode provides a way of accessing TWASSIST from macros for your
communications program.

Page 5

1.1 Features (contd)

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.

XXXX 1.2 XXXX Disclaimer

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.

XXXX 1.3 XXXX Acknowledgements

I would like to give thanks to Gary and Mary Ann Martin of Martech
Software, Inc. for the 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 in the initial release of this program
by discussing ideas and working out the bugs.

Thanks to the many macro writers for their past or present contributions
of scripts to be distributed with TWASSIST: Casey Stemp, Dan Roseen,
Jason Jiggens, Stephen Whitis, and Mark Cothran.

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 and provides continuing

XXXX 1.4 XXXX Trademarks

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.

Page 6

XXXX 1.5 XXXX Compatibility

Trade Wars 2002:

This program has been tested for compatibility with TW2002 door versions
v1.03(d) and v2 beta 8, and the Major BBS version 2. Compatibility with
other versions or modified games is not guaranteed.

Operating system:

TWASSIST runs on an IBM or 100% compatible PC or AT running DOS. It
has been tested under MS-DOS versions 5.0 and 6.2. 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. It will
also vary according to universe size. The minimum memory required for a
1000 sector universe is around 250k bytes. For a 5000 sector universe it
is around 500k bytes. Notes will increase the amount of memory required.

If expanded memory is available TWASSIST will load the overlay part of
the program into EMS. EMS is not required but is recommended. Less than
100k of EMS would be used.


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.

NOTE: Starting with version 2.1 TWASSIST uses overlays for part of the
program. If you don't have enough Expanded memory (EMS) the
overlays will be loaded from disk as needed. If you are running
from floppy you should not remove the disk with the TWASSIST
program while it is running.


The graphic displays require VGA 640x480 or EGA/VGA 640x350 graphics.
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 is unknown.

Page 7

XXXX 1.6 XXXX Files

The original TWASSIST version 2.2 package distributed from Sasquatch
Software was compressed using PKZIP with authenticity verification. When
the archive is uncompressed each file should have a "-AV" flag and a
message at the end indicating authentic files were verified that looks like

Authentic files Verified! # CHE892
Sasquatch Software

If you do not see the -AV and the message it is not the original archive.
It has been rearchived by someone and may or may not be a good package.

The TWASSIST version 2.3 package (TWAST23.ZIP) contains the following

FILE_ID .DIZ 540 12-02-95 2:30a File Id/description
TWASSIST.DOC 124,784 12-02-95 2:30a This document
TWASSIST.EXE 259,232 12-02-95 2:30a The executable program
TWASSIST.HIS 21,031 12-02-95 2:30a History information
TWASSIST.REG 4,602 12-02-95 2:30a Registration request form
TWASTMAC.DOC 39,016 12-02-95 2:30a Com. program macros document
TWASTMAC.ZIP 24,431 12-02-95 2:30a 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. File size will depend on the
size of the universe and the number of notes. For a 1000
sector universe the size can vary from 40k to 160k
depending on the amount of notes. A 5000 sector universe
will start at 200k and can go much higher with notes
(limited by the amount of conventional memory in your

game.BAK Backup of the database file.

game.CIM File of route commands to be sent to the game while using
the universe mapper.

game.CUS Custom reports file. Size is 604 bytes.

game.CUK Backup of the custom reports file.

game.LOG A log file of the messages while extracting from a capture
file or merging another traders database. This is useful
if you want to go back and check on some errors or other

Page 8

1.6 Files (contd)

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.

XXXX 1.7 XXXX Support and Distribution

Updates and/or new releases of TWASSIST can be downloaded or file
requested from the support BBS identified 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. Enter messages in the Private E-mail conference or
send a Comment to Sysop.

If you are experiencing problems, call the BBS or write and include the
following information:

þ A detailed explanation of the problem.
þ The game files: game.DAT and, if you have one, game.CUS
þ Configuration file: TWASSIST.CFG (from the program directory)

Mail can be sent to:

Sasquatch Software
P.O. Box 4331
Kent, WA 98032-9331

Support and Distribution:

Sysop: Albin Gersich

BBS: The Harry Beast

Login: (206)859-6157 Kent, WA - USA
23 hrs (Mail hour 1-2AM PST or 2-3AM PDT)
14.4k V.32bis/V.42bis

Fidonet: 1:343/102

Comment: For downloading latest version: Download TWAST*.ZIP
For file-requesting: Use the magic name "TWASSIST"
or request TWAST*.ZIP

Page 9

XXXX 1.8 XXXX 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. Distribute the package as it was
released. Do not add, delete, or modify files. 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 "<Registered only>" 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.

The registration price is 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 Canadian dollars or they may pay in U.S. dollars. The price
in Canadian dollars is C$19. Residents outside the United States and
Canada must pay in U.S. dollars.

Those who do not want to register, but wish to provide incentive for the
development of utilities, may contribute in any amount they desire. 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. Personal checks will only be accepted if they are
drawn on U.S. or Canadian banks. Residents outside the U.S. and Canada may
pay using a bank check with funds drawn on a U.S. bank or using an
international money order denominated in U.S. funds. Cash is discouraged.
The sender takes all responsibility for the payment reaching Sasquatch
Software. Print the registration order form, TWASSIST.REG, fill it out and
follow the instructions on the form. Please allow up to four weeks (longer
outside the U.S. and Canada) for delivery of your registration code.

Page 10

! Section 2 Command Arguments  !

TWASSIST will accept various parameters and options on the command line.
You do not have to provide any. If you run TWASSIST without any arguments
it will prompt for the database (game) name.


[] Brackets represent an optional item.

UPPER Upper case letters must be typed exactly (although you may
use upper or lower case letters).

lower Lower case letters represent a parameter you provide a value

... Ellipsis mean the previous item may be repeated. You can
provide multiple values by separating each with a space.


TWASSIST [database[.DAT] [/A[,cmd_file | automode_commands...]]


The name of the database to be used to store game data. The
file must have a .DAT extension although you don't need to
provide the .DAT extension on the command line. If the
database name is not provided on the command line the program
will prompt you for it. You may include directory paths (e.g.
C:\TW\NIGHTOWL). If the file does not exist you will be asked
to verify if you want to create a new database.


The /A option specifies TWASSIST to run in automode. Automode
is a way of providing commands for TWASSIST to execute without
bringing up the interactive menu. This is very useful for
macros while on-line like the universe mapper. Everything
following the /A is interpreted as automode commands. You can
specify automode commands two ways. One is to provide a file
of automode commands, the cmd_file, or you can specify the
automode commands directly on the command line separating them
with spaces. See the section on Automode for more information.

Page 11

! Section 3 Getting Started  !

XXXX 3.1 XXXX Creating a database

If you are creating a new database the program will display a special
Initialization menu. Before you can enter any data or do any of the reports
the size of the universe must be set. You can do this manually using the
(S)et universe size menu item or let the program do it by reading the View
Game Status report by (E)xtracting data from a capture file. After the
universe size has been set the (M)odify Database Menu will be displayed.
Once the size is set it can not be changed. TWASSIST supports a universe
size of up to 5000 sectors.

XXXX 3.2 XXXX Using the 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).

XXXX 3.3 XXXX Saving/printing reports

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 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, PRN) as the filename for the

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.

To print one of the graphics displays you need to have a TSR or some
program running that can capture the display and format it for a printer.
Refer to the section on Graphics Displays for more information.

Page 12

XXXX 3.4 XXXX Prompts and defaults

Throughout the program there are places where you are asked to provide a
response. If the prompt is for a number the default value will be shown in
brackets (e.g. [30]). Multiple choices in brackets will be separated by a
slash (/) with the default shown in caps (and highlighted) and the other
options in lower case (e.g. [y/N]). To use the default simply press Enter.
Single letter defaults may also be used by pressing the space bar.

When prompted for a sector number you will be shown the location of the
Stardock for easy reference. The sector number you enter will be remembered
and used as the default the next time you are prompted for a sector number.
Destination sector numbers will be remembered separate from starting or
reference sector numbers. By remembering the sector number you can easily
get a number of reports using the same sector without having to remember or
retype the number.

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.

XXXX 3.5 XXXX Misc. info

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

Page 13

! Section 4 Report Flags  !

A number of the reports display flags of information about the sectors.
If a sector does not have a particular flag a period will be shown in place
of that flag. The flags are:

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
 !  ! ! !  !  ! `----- SD = Sector is Stardock.
 !  ! ! !  !  ! SL = Sector is in space lane.
 !  ! ! !  !  ! C0 = Sector has class 0 port.
 !  ! ! !  !  !
 !  ! ! !  ! `--------- 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.
 !  ! ! !  ! DET = Sector is in a tunnel to a dead end.
 !  ! ! !  ! DEC = Sector is a dead end cluster <Registered
 !  ! ! !  ! only>.
 !  ! ! !  ! DCT = Sector is in a tunnel to a dead end cluster
 !  ! ! !  ! <Registered only>.
 !  ! ! !  !
 !  ! ! ! `------------ Fx = Deployed fighters where 'x' is the mode,
 !  ! ! ! O = Offensive, D = Defensive, T = Toll.
 !  ! ! !
 !  ! ! `---------------- M = Deployed mines.
 !  ! ! L = Deployed Limpets.
 !  ! ! A = Active Limpets.
 !  ! !
 !  ! `------------------ B = Port has busted date.
 !  !
 ! `-------------------- A = Sector is an avoid.
`----------------------- UX = Sector is unexplored and has no warps.
UP = Sector is unexplored and has partial warps
built from course plots. All warps may
not be known.
UW = Sector is unexplored and has warps either
from merging databases or from manual

Page 14

! Section 5 (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 to 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

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.

XXXX 5.1 XXXX (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. How you make
this capture file will depend on the communications program you are using.
Refer to its documentation. Generaly you press a special key and it prompts
for a file name. Once turned on everything that is displayed on the screen
is also being captured to the file. After you get all the information you
want in the file you generally press a special key, sometimes the same one,
to turn off the capture. The following reports from TW2002 can be read:

From the main menu:

(V) View Game Status
(G) Show Deployed Fighters
(K) Show Deployed Mines
(The Armid mine scan for TW2002 v1.03(d) and the Armid and both
Limpet scans for TW2002 v2.)

Page 15

5.1 (E)xtract data from a capture file (contd)

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

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.

Entering CIM:

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

Some communications programs, particularly Windows versions, use the
ALT key (e.g. to activate menus) or do not allow the transmission of
high ASCII characters. I don't know ways to get around the limitations
of every program. One possibility is to use a DOS editor to create a
text file containing these characters and do an ASCII upload of this
file. If you need help you need to find someone who is knowledgeable
about your communications program.

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.

Page 16

5.1 (E)xtract data from a capture file (contd)

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 and the beginning and ending of the reports. Usually
it is the title of the report. For CIM it needs the colon prompt as well as
the ": ENDINTERROG" message. If you do a complete capture of your session
this should not be a problem. If you turn the capture on and off to get
just the reports get the prompts before and after the reports, including the
CIM prompts and end message, to be sure TWASSIST can properly find and
process the data. 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.

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. If there are errors while extracting data,
use a text editor to view the capture file at the line indicated, make any
changes necessary, and try again to extract data from the capture file.

The messages during an extract or merge will be copied to a log file.
The log file has the same name as the database but with a .LOG extension.
This makes it easy to investigate errors or other information. Setting
the configuration section for setting append or overwrite for each session.

XXXX 5.2 XXXX (A)voids

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 if the sector should be avoided.

Page 17

XXXX 5.3 XXXX (B)usted

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 day's 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.

XXXX 5.4 XXXX (F)ighters

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, a units modifier, 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 modified.

XXXX 5.5 XXXX (M)ines

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

XXXX 5.6 XXXX (L)impets

The (L)impets function in the modify database menu will allow you to
change the number of deployed and activated Limpets in a sector. You will
be prompted for a sector number and then shown the current number of
deployed and activated Limpets. Next you are prompted for new values.
After entering the new values you will be shown the old and new values and
asked if the database is to be modified.

Page 18

XXXX 5.7 XXXX (P)orts

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 one 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.

XXXX 5.8 XXXX (W)arps

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.

Page 19

XXXX 5.9 XXXX (N)otes

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.

XXXX 5.10 XXXX (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. Do not
append any letters to the game version. After entering the new version
you will be shown the old and new values and asked if you want to modify
the database.

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.

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

Page 20

5.10 Game information (contd)

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

If you select (D)ays, you will be asked for the number of days the game
has been running and the corresponding month and day. You will then be
shown the old game days and the new information and asked if the database
is to be modified. It is not recommended you change the game days. This
information is used for determining the port busts clearing cycle. Once
the cycle is known TWASSIST will automatically keep it up to date and it
will be verified every time a View Game Status is read from a capture file.
Modify the (D)ays only if you want to the cycle to be calculated, because
you have not had a View Game Status in a capture file, or if you think the
cycle may have changed and don't have a new View Game Status.

XXXX 5.11 XXXX (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. These flags are
yes/no values. 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.


Registered only. It 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 information 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.

Twarp to toll (f)ighter

This 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

Page 21

5.11 Ship information (contd)

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.

Twarp to Fed. (s)pace

This flag is used by the transwarp routines. In TW2002 v2 games a
commisioned officer can transwarp directly to Federation Space. If this
flag is set to yes, the transwarp routines will consider the Federation
sectors as possible transwarp locations in addition to your fighters.

XXXX 5.12 XXXX 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

Page 22

5.12 Merge another Trader's database (contd)

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

The messages during an extract or merge will be copied to a log file.
The log file has the same name as the database but with a .LOG extension.
This makes it easy to investigate errors or other information. Setting
the configuration section for setting append or overwrite for each session.

XXXX 5.13 XXXX Strip database for (O)ther trader

This function creates a special database with some data from the current
database but not all of it. It is useful if you want to trade databases
with a partner that is not in your corporation. You don't necessarily want
to give another player your fighter and mine locations and all your notes.

A stripped database will include information from the View Game Status
except for the Stats Date, you may not want them to know when you were
on-line. All sector warps will be included along with explored/unexplored
flags as they are necessary for TWASSIST to determine how to merge the
data. The only port information included is the port class. The busted
dates may be optionally included in case you are trading busted locations.
For notes you can specify to include all notes, none of the notes, or
individually specify each note.

After specifying the optional information to be included, select (C)reate
stripped database. You will be prompted for the filename. At this time
the information will be prepared as specified and you will be prompted for
the notes if you wanted to specify each note individually. The stripped
database will then be saved to the file.

Page 23

! Section 6 (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, merged
another trader's database, or gathered warp information by processing
routes, 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.

Page 24

! Section 7 (N)otes  !

XXXX 7.1 XXXX (V)iew notes

The (V)iew notes report will display all notes in the database. The
sector number and the note will be displayed.

XXXX 7.2 XXXX (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.

XXXX 7.3 XXXX (S)earch notes <Registered only>

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.

Page 25

! Section 8 (A)sset Reports  !

XXXX 8.1 XXXX (F)ighter deployments

The (F)ighter deployments report will show a list of sectors where you
have deployed fighters. The number of fighters and their mode will be
shown along with the sector flags and port type (if any).

XXXX 8.2 XXXX (M)ine deployments

The (M)ine deployments report will show a list of sectors where you have
deployed mines. The number of mines will be shown along with the sector
flags and port type (if any).

XXXX 8.3 XXXX (L)impet deployments

The (L)impet deployments report will show a list of sectors where you
have deployed Limpet mines. The number of Limpets will be shown along with
the sector flags and port type (if any).

XXXX 8.4 XXXX (A)ctive Limpets

The (A)ctive Limpets report will show a list of sectors where you have
Limpets that have been activated. The number of activated Limpets will be
shown along with the sector flags and port type (if any).

Each activated Limpet is attached to a ship. The active Limpet report
in the game simply shows a sector number for each activated Limpet. The
numbers may be in any order depending on the order the game is scanning
the ship records. Here you can easily see how many are in each sector.

Page 26

! Section 9 (P)ort Reports  !

XXXX 9.1 XXXX (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 four categories of trades plus an option for both ports
buying equipment. This latter item is not for paired port trading. Evil
players use equipment buying ports for a sell/steal cycle. 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 trade.

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.

XXXX 9.2 XXXX (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

Page 27

XXXX 9.3 XXXX (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.

XXXX 9.4 XXXX (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.

XXXX 9.5 XXXX (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.

Page 28

XXXX 9.6 XXXX (L)ikely major port locations

NOTE: TW2002 v1.03(d) and v2 have different characteristics for the
sectors the major ports are located in. TWAssist will use the
game version to determine which set of characteristics to look
for. Check the Database Summary screen to verify the game
version is properly indicated in the database.

This report will show the sectors that are likely locations for the
Stardock and class 0 ports. The sectors for these major ports are
characterized by having lots of warps, typically all 6, with a number of
them being one ways. This is a good companion to the (M)ap universe
routes (see Route Reports). After using the routes to gather information
on the warps of the universe then use this report to find the likely
locations for the Stardock and class 0 ports. You will need to map enough
of the universe to get most of the warps to get good candidates for major
port locations. If you don't map enough you will have a long list since
the information is not accurate enough.

Page 29

! Section 10 (S)ector Reports  !

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.

XXXX 10.1 XXXX (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 with one
ways out identified, back doors, flag settings, various parameters, port
information, and any note.

XXXX 10.2 XXXX (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.

XXXX 10.3 XXXX (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.

Page 30

XXXX 10.4 XXXX Une(x)plored clusters <Registered only>

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.

XXXX 10.5 XXXX Un(k)nown sectors <Registered only>

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.

Page 31

XXXX 10.6 XXXX (W)ithout warps <Registered only>

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.

XXXX 10.7 XXXX (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.

XXXX 10.8 XXXX DE distances to (M)ajor ports <Registered only>

The DE distances to (M)ajor ports will show a table of distances to and
from each of the major ports (Sol/Terra, Stardock, and the other two class
0 ports). The table will be sorted with the deepest dead ends first and
then sorted by distance to Sol/Terra.

Page 32

XXXX 10.9 XXXX A(v)oids

The A(v)oids report comes in two formats. One is the standard report
showing the avoided sectors with their flags, port info, etc. The
other report is just a list of sector numbers with one avoided sector
per line.

The list of sectors is useful for integration with communications
program macros using TWASSIST Automode. After capturing the avoided
sectors information from the game (possibly along with other report) and
having TWASSIST extract the information from the capture you can have
TWASSIST create a file using Automode that lists the avoided sectors.
The comm. program macro could then clear out the avoids in the game.
One purpose would be to plot routes like the no-turn universe mapper.
At the end of the macro it could again use the list of avoids to
restore them in the game.

XXXX 10.10 XXXX (C)luster dead end analysis <Registered only>

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
and out.

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.

Page 33

XXXX 10.11 XXXX (S)ecluded area analysis <Registered only>

The (S)ecluded area analysis will search for areas that are secluded from
the main routes in the universe. These areas are like large dead ends with
a single sector as the entrance and exit for the entire area. Areas that
are already reported as dead ends or dead end clusters will not be included.
It can report areas that include multiple dead end clusters, a number of
dead ends not picked up as clusters, loops of sectors, etc. There is a lot
of analysis to do and it can take a long time to run.

Each secluded area will have its own uniqueness for building planets.
They can tell you that dead end or dead end cluster inside is more secluded
than the others, and loops of non-dead end secluded sectors won't show up
on the typical dead end reports most players use.

Page 34

! Section 11 (R)oute Reports  !

NOTE: TW2002 v1.03(d) and v2 use slightly different route algorithms. If
multiple routes of the same number of warps are found the two
versions may report different routes. TWAssist takes the game
version into consideration when determining the route. Check the
Database Summary screen to verify the game version is properly
indicated in the database.

XXXX 11.1 XXXX (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
return path.

XXXX 11.2 XXXX (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.

XXXX 11.3 XXXX (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
lanes are:

 ! 1  ! .----------------.
 ! Sol  !--------! Stargate Alpha !-------------------.
 ! Class 0 !--------! Stardock  !----------------.  !
`---------' `----------------'  !  !
 !  !  !  !
 !  !  !  !
.----------------. .----------------.
 ! Alpha Centauri !----------! Rylos  !
 ! Class 0  !----------! Class 0  !
`----------------' `----------------'

Page 35

11.3 (S)pace lanes (cont'd)

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 may 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 capture those routes. TWASSIST can read those routes and
update the warp info so it can calculate the same space lanes the game does.

XXXX 11.4 XXXX (M)ap universe routes

NOTE: This routine saves information about the internal calculations in
the database. This allows the program to take advantage of some
previously calculated data from previous runs. Using this feature
will set the database modified flag and you will be prompted to
save the database when you exit the program or use one of the
menus that normally modifies the database.

(M)ap universe routes will analyze the warp information in the database
and determine sectors for doing course plots which can be extracted from
the capture file to build warp information for the sectors. A file named
game.CIM (where game is the database name) will be created with commands to
be sent to TW2002 at the CIM prompt for plotting the routes. A macro for
your communications program or some other method of pacing the commands to
the game's prompts is required. The game will lose characters that are
sent while it is processing something. Although you can get some course
plots if you ASCII upload the game.CIM file you will get a lot of errors
about an invalid interrogation mode command. If you don't have a macro
and know a little bit about writing them take a look at the macros provided
and see if you can develop one for your own communications program. If all
else fails you can manually enter the routes yourself. It will take longer,
and you will probably spread it out over more than one day, it is better
than nothing.

You can specify the approximate number of routes to be prepared. The
actual number will vary. As TWASSIST enters each level of analysis it will
make a decision on whether or not to continue based on how many routes are
already in the file, the number specified, and the type of analysis to be
done next. The number specified is a trade off between the number of times
going in and out of TWASSIST and the amount of time spent on-line plotting
the courses in TW2002. If the number is too small you spend a lot of time
cycling in and out of TWASSIST for just a little more information. If the
number is too big you spend a lot of on-line time before TWASSIST has a
chance to analyze the new information. For a 1000 sector universe numbers
in the 200 range seem to be the most efficient, at 2400 baud or 14.4k baud.
Lower speed callers will want to tend to the lower end (e.g. 200, 225) while

Page 36

11.4 (M)ap universe routes (cont'd)

higher speed callers may want to use slightly larger numbers. Speed tests
have not yet been conducted in larger universes. Lower speed callers may
want to increase the number slightly but not too much or the on-line time
for each cycle will get too large. High speed callers have more
flexibility in using larger numbers without the on-line time getting too

To complete the mapping of the universe the cycle must be repeated. The
(A)nalyze warps routine (see the section below) can be used to help
determine how much information you have gathered and how close you are to
completing the mapping. A few numbers of interest are the number of new
route warps from last extract and the number of likely locations for major
ports. After a cycle in a new universe the number of new route warps will
usually be in the hundreds. After each cycle the number will drop rapidly.
When the number gets below a hundred you have most of the warp information

and continuing beyond this may not provide much information (although you
may want to until the number is less than 10 if you have the time). The
likely locations for major ports is another key number. In a typical
TW2002 v1.03(d) universe the number can get down to 3 or 4. Part way
through the mapping this number will be very large since TWASSIST does not
have enough information to narrow down the possibilities. You want to
continue mapping until this number is small so you have few places to check
to find these ports.

This mapping method is not 100% accurate. The only way to get 100% would
take a lot of time. The method used by TWASSIST was developed to gather as
much information as possible in a reasonable amount of time (and appears to
be more efficient than the variations on level diagrams used by other
utils). Most of the warps are picked up in the early cycles with the later
cycles picking up less. How much time you want to spend gathering warps
depends on you and your time allowed in the game. You can do a little
mapping each day. Each time TWASSIST will figure out how to integrate the
new data with the existing data in the database.

Once you know the warps of the universe TWASSIST can calculate routes
through unexplored sectors just like in the game. You can also figure out
where all the dead ends and other structures of interest are located. No
need to spend time trying to find a good dead end or whatever to build
planets, or even where your competition may be building! <g> You can also
easily locate the Stardock, if not in the View Game Status, and the class 0
ports. This information can put you days ahead of your competition if they
are not using some mapper. You can also make your Etherprobing more
efficient. You know where the dead ends are so you can send the probe all
the way in instead of just guessing and having the probe end up in the
tunnel only to have to send more later to get the rest. This mapping method
does not actually explore all the sectors and you will not have port
information. You will still have to explore to find the ports but once you
get started you can use Etherprobes to find them and that is better than
using your turns for this purpose.

Page 37

XXXX 11.5 XXXX (A)nalyze warps

The (A)nalyze warps report will give you summary information about the
known warps in the universe. It is a very useful companion to the (M)ap
universe routes feature above. The total number of warps is a count of
all warps in all the sectors. This number is also divided by the number of
sectors in the universe to get the average number of warps per sector. In
TW2002 v1.03(d) games the average is around 2.41. The number of duplicate
warps is a count of warps when a sector has the same warp more than once.
Each repeated warp is counted as a duplicate warp. The number if
inaccessible sectors is a count of the number of sectors that do not have
any warps in. Once you have mapped the universe this is the number of
orphans in the universe. Prior to complete mapping it will indicate the
number of warps TWASSIST can not plot routes to. The number of inaccessible
warps is the count of the warps the inaccessible sectors have. Orphans
typically have warps out, which may have been picked up by the mapper, but
no warps in. The next two items are very useful for determining how close
you are to completing the mapping of the universe. The new route warps from
last extract is a count of the number of new warps added to the database
that were extracted from course plots the last time an extract from a
capture file was done. The likely locations for major ports is the count of
the number of sectors the (L)ikely locations for major ports report in the
port reports menu would show.

Page 38

! Section 12 (C)ustom Reports <Registered only>  !

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.

XXXX 12.1 XXXX (C)opy a report <Registered only>

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.

XXXX 12.2 XXXX (D)isplay a report <Registered only>

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.

Page 39

XXXX 12.3 XXXX (E)xecute a report <Registered only>

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

XXXX 12.4 XXXX (M)odify a report <Registered only>

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.

XXXX 12.5 XXXX (R)ead reports from another file <Registered only>

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.

Page 40

! Section 13 (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
be restored.

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 <SHIFT><Print Scrn>. 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.

XXXX 13.1 XXXX 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.

XXXX 13.2 XXXX Display along a (R)oute <Registered only>

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.

Page 41

! Section 14 ($) 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
the program.

XXXX 14.1 XXXX 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 "Free Version" text at the top of the menu screen
will change to "Registered to" and the registration name.

XXXX 14.2 XXXX 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 "Free Version" text at the top of the menu screen
will change to "Registered to" and the registration name.

XXXX 14.3 XXXX (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
menu line.

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

Page 42

XXXX 14.4 XXXX (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
comfortable with.

When you select (H)ot keys you will be asked if you want to change the
setting to the opposite value.

XXXX 14.5 XXXX (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.

XXXX 14.6 XXXX (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.

Page 43

XXXX 14.7 XXXX (L)og file mode

Messages while extracting data from a capture file or merging another
trader's database will be displayed on the screen and copied to a log file.
The first extract or merge of a TWASSIST session can either overwrite the
file or append to it. All later extracts or merges during a session will
append to the file. This way you will always have all the messages from
the session when you exit TWASSIST and can use it to review the messages or
investigate problems. If the mode is set to overwrite (the default) the
the first extract or merge will overwrite the existing file so the file
will have messages from just the last session. If the mode is set to append
the first extract or merge will add to the existing file. This allows you
to get a history of messages from previous session but at a cost of disk
space as the file will continue to grow.

When you select (L)og file mode you will be shown the current setting and
asked if you want to change it to the other setting. The default will be
not to change it.

Page 44

! Section 15 Multitasking Environments  !

TWASSIST may be run in multitasking environments. It has been tested
under DESQview as noted in the section titled 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
Configuration menu.

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): 550
Program...: c:\tw\twassist.exe
Directory.: c:\tw
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]

Page 45

15.1 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): 100
Text Pages: 1 Graphics Pages: 0 Initial Mode: Interrupts: 00 to FF
Window Position:
Maximum Height: 23 Starting Height: 23 Starting Row...: 1
Maximum Width.: 80 Starting Width.: 80 Starting Column: 1
Shared Program
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)..........: [0]
Share CPU when foreground......: [Y] Share EGA when foreground/zoomed.: [Y]
Can be swapped out (Y,N,blank).: [ ] Protection level (0-3)...........: [0]

Page 46

! Section 16 Automode  !

Automode is a way of passing commands directly to TWASSIST and bypassing
the interactive menu. Automode is specified by using the /A option on the
command line. There are two ways to use automode. You can either provide
the automode commands on the command line or in a file. For a few short
commands it may be easier to use the command line (e.g. in a macro for
mapping the universe using routes). For long commands (e.g. notes) or lots
of commands that may go beyond the DOS command line limit you can use the
file. The file would also work good for entering information while playing
TW2002 on-line. You can then run automode with the command file when it is
convenient rather than doing it every time.

When using automode you must provide the database name on the command
line. You will not be prompted for it. The two ways of using automode

TWASSIST database /A automode_commands...

Automode will read commands from the command line. Each argument after
the /A will be interpreted as a separate automode command.

TWASSIST database /A,cmdfile

Automode will read commands from a file. The cmdfile parameter is the
pathname to the file. Each line in the file will be interpreted as a
separate automode command. Blank lines will be ignored. Lines with the
first character a '#' will be ignored as comment lines.

XXXX 16.1 XXXX Important notes about automode

Automode is made to be completely automatic. Responses to prompts will
be read from the command instead of from the keyboard. Responses are
separated by commas. Every comma shown for a command is required. If you
do not provide enough parameters in the command then input for the remaining
prompts will be redirected to the user and TWASSIST will wait for input in
the normal interactive way. After that command is completed automode will
return to reading the next command in the normal way. Extra commas at the
end of a command will be ignored.

It is VERY important to pass VALID parameters for every required parameter
in an automode command. If a parameter is missing or invalid it may be
discarded and attempt to read the next parameter in its place. The
parameters would then be read out of sequence and would likely run short of

Separate each parameter with a comma. If there is a default you can use
the comma separator with no value to use the default (e.g. one,,three,four).
Do not use spaces in a command. Trailing commas are required if shown. Do
not omit them.

The maximum length of any automode command is 128 characters.

Page 47

16.1 Important notes about automode (cont'd)

All messages on the screen will zip by. There will be no pausing when one
screen of info is completed. Reports will continue until the end. You must
rely on the log, report, and other files for output.

XXXX 16.2 XXXX Automode commands

There are a few parameters used by many of the automode commands. They

rpt_file The report file to send output to. All reports that allow
output to a file will always need this since that is the
only meaningful way to get output in automode. Specify
the pathname to the report file or use the default.

rm The mode to write to the report file. A single letter
A=append, O=overwrite.

sector A sector number.

A/B/C Letters or numbers separated by a slash are single
character choices as shown in the prompts in TWASSIST.
Enter just the single character for your desired selection.

Automode commands are either a keyword recognized by automode or a key
combination corresonding to the menus needed to access the feature. Not
all menu items are currently implemented in automode. More are in work.
Commands recognized by automode are:


Exits automode and goes to the menu. There is no way to go back to
automode. Any remaining automode commands are ignored.


Save the database. If it has not been modified nothing will happen.
If the database has been modified it will be saved to disk. You
must use this command if you want the database saved. There is no
automatic save.


Extract data from a capture file. cap_file is the pathname to the
capture file to read. The capture file will not be deleted after
it is processed. If you want to delete the capture file, do it in
the script or batch file that is running TWAssist in Automode.


Modify avoid. Specify Y to avoid sector or N to not avoid sector.

Page 48

16.2 Automode commands (cont'd)


Modify busts. Specify SET to set the busted date to today or CLEAR
to clear the busted date.


Modify note. Create or replace the note for the sector. The note
may include commas. All text to the end of the command will be
included in the note upto the maximum number of characters for a
note. The date will be automatically entered at the beginning of
the note. There is no way to remove the date.


<Registered only>
Search notes for those containing the string.


View all notes.


Asset report of fighter deployments.


Asset report of mine deployments.


Asset report of Limpet deployments.


Asset report of active Limpets.


Busted ports report.


Likely locations of major ports report.


Ports nearest to sector.

Page 49

16.2 Automode commands (cont'd)


Paired ports. Specify the type of pair to report:

1 = Trade anything.
2 = Trade Equipment with anything.
3 = Trade Equipment with Organics.
T = Trade all three products.
E = Both buy Equipment.


Unknown status ports nearest to sector.


Mapping universe routes. num is the approximate number of route
commands to put in the file.

NOTE: The universe mapper saves some data calculations in the
database. The automode command sequence needs to include
a SAVE_DB after the universe mapper so this data is saved
and can be used in subsequent runs.


Normal route. sector1 is the starting sector and sector2 is the
destination sector. Both the route there and the return route
will be reported.


Transwarp route. sector1 is the starting sector and sector2 is
the destination sector.


Space lane routes.


Analyze warps report.


Sectors nearest to sector.


Unexplored sectors nearest to sector.


Unknown sectors.

Page 50

XXXX 16.3 XXXX Automode examples

In the examples that follow two methods of using Automode will be shown,
arguments on the command line and using the command file. Commands lines
may be shown on multiple lines here for clarity on the screen but they
should be typed in as one long command at the DOS prompt. The lines for
the command file may be shown indented here for clarity but it is important
that the first character of each line start in column 1 in the file.

For these examples the following file names will be used:

CAPTURE.TXT This is the pathname to your capture file.
GAME This is the name of your datafile for this game.
GAME.RPT This is one of the report files used.

For the first example let's say at the beginning of the session in the
game you capture the various reports TWASSIST can read. You want to
update your database with this information, save the database, and update
a report file with information on the unknown sectors and where your
activated limpets are located. This can be done using a command line like:


Or using the command:


with the file UPDATEDB.CMD having the contents:

# Extract information from the capture file
# Save the database
# Get the unknown sectors report. We want to overwrite the
# existing report file with the new information.
# Get the activated limpet report. We want to append this
# to the file that has the unknown sectors report.

Because notes usually contain spaces and can be very long they don't
work very well on the command line. When modifying notes it is best to
use the Automode command file. One thing you could do is keep a text
file handy that you update (by shelling to DOS or using an editor some
communications programs have) with information as you play the days
session. Or maybe you have some scripts that run all the time while you
play and watch for things and write the info to the command file. Or
maybe you have your own program that reads the capture file looking for
things of interest and creates notes or other commands for the TWASSIST
Automode command file. You could end up with an UPDATEDB.CMD file that
looks like this:

Page 51

16.3 Automode examples (cont'd)

# Have TWASSIST read the capture file.
# Received note from corp mate who was busted in sector 123.
# I can clear my bust.
# Found Ferrengal in sector 3245.
# Create note and avoid sector.
# Found home of enemy corp.
MN,2215,Corp #2 planet, 20,000 fighters, 250 mines
# Busted robbing cash from port
MN,116,Busted robbing cash from port. Left 53k credits.
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