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Subject: Chess servers and auto reconnect: suggestions and observations

Author: Edward Seid

Date: 05:59:00 12/08/02

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I did a little experimenting on my end.  I have a few suggestions and

First, the suggestions.

Suggestion 1 - The default Winboard installation directory is "C:\Program
Files\WinBoard".  I suggest you put all batch files (FRENZEE.BAT) and additional
configuration files (FRENZEE.INI, FRENZEE.LOGON) in that directory.  I suspect
that you have batch files floating around in other places, such as your desktop
or root directory.  The big giveaway is when you quoted your original
commandline in an earlier post. You called Winboard with a fully qualified path
from the root, instead of simply 'winboard'.  The problem of not being able to
find debug files will be solved once you limit your batch and configuration
files to this one directory.  If you wish to keep old debug files, remember to
rename them as you go along because the default debug file is always
winboard.debug and that can't be changed.  Each time you turn on debug, any
existing winboard.debug file is overwritten.

Suggestion 2 - Start all over with a clean winboard.ini file.  Any changes can
be made in a seperate @indirection file (like FRENZEE.INI. refer to FRENZEE.BAT
to see how to use an @indirection file).  To do this, go to your winboard
directory and delete winboard.ini.  Then double-click winboard.exe and choose
'Just view or edit game files'.  This will start Winboard and create a default
winboard.ini file.  While Winboard is running, go to 'Options' and uncheck 'Save
settings on exit'.  Now exit Winboard.  This ensures that you have a clean
winboard.ini that won't be overwritten.

Suggestion 3 - Keep your chess engine files seperate from your Winboard program
files.  I have all my chess engines in their own directories...
C:\Chess\Crafty1910, C:\Chess\Yace09956, C:\Chess\Frenzee, etc...
Be sure that the /fcp and /fd lines in @FRENZEE.INI point to the right

After following these suggestions, make sure the files FRENZEE.BAT, FRENZEE.INI,
FRENZEE.LOGON and the sleep.exe utility are in the default Winboard directory
(C:\Program Files\Winboard).

Now a few observations.

Observation 1 -  The use of debug as I have it in FRENZEE.BAT works.  I repeat
it here...
start /w winboard -debug @Frenzee.ini

Observation 2 - I had included an alias that I use for my account that you can
omit in your case.  The alias is called 'away', which simply sets an away
message on ICC so that if someone sends a tell, the response is 'told FRENZEE,
who is a (C) and running unattended. To communicate with the operator, message
this account.'  The alias is mentioned in the last line of FRENZEE.INI.  Here is
what your last line (without the alias reference) should look like...
/zippyGameEnd='seek 10 0 f m\nseek 15 0 f m\nseek 25 0 f m\nresume\n'

By following the 3 suggestions and making the small change in observation #2, I
think you should have no problems with running Frenzee unattended on ICC using
the 3 files that I provided.

To make sure all is working properly, start Windows Explorer and navigate to
C:\Program Files\Winboard.  Then double-click on FRENZEE.BAT.  Once you verify
that all is working properly, you can right-click on FRENZEE.BAT and 'Send to -
Desktop'.  This will create a shortcut on your Windows desktop, making it very
easy to start the batch file.

Some final comments on your original batch file...

You had previously given the following:
G:\Fischer\Chess\Frenzee\Frenzee_ICC\winboard.exe -debug /cp /zp /fcp
"G:\Fischer\Chess\Frenzee\Frenzee_ICC\Frenzee.exe" /ics /icshelper=timestamp

First, I would move that batch file to the default Winboard directory to
eliminate the need for the long path name at the beginning.

Next, I would make a few changes to the commandline itself.  In particular, I
would (a) leave out /cp, (b) add /fd, (c) add /icsport and (d) change the order
of the commandline switches.

/cp is used when either a human is playing the engine locally or the engine will
be used in Analyze mode.  /zp and /ics is sufficient when playing on ICC, making
/cp unnecessary.
/fd ensures that winboard is looking in the correct directory.
/icsport specifies the proper port to use when communicating with ICC.
Finally, I'm not sure if the order of the commandline switches matter, but I
would give the ICC-related switches first and put the engine-related switches
last (like in the default winboard.ini.  I give your batch file with suggested
modifications here...

winboard -debug /zp /ics /icshost /icsport 6000 /icshelper
timestamp /fcp G:\Fischer\Chess\Frenzee\Frenzee_ICC\Frenzee /fd

I think I've covered all of the bases.  Hope this (finally) solves all of
current problems and helps avoid future problems so that you can concentrate on
the important stuff... making Frenzee stronger :)  Good luck!

Ed Seid

On December 08, 2002 at 04:37:34, Sune Fischer wrote:

>Hi I tried your three bat file approach.
>There seem to be a small problem. It opens and closes, opens and closes every 30
>seconds. :)

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