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Subject: Re: For Chess Archivist.

Author: Carey

Date: 19:20:37 11/10/05

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On November 10, 2005 at 16:58:18, Joshua Shriver wrote:

>Came across this nifty page, has some info on an old 8080 DOS and has a really
>old  chess program in source. Looks like some kind of weird BASIC but in HEX.
>
>http://www.thebattles.net/sol20/solpgms.html

Hi;

I'm the one who has been trying to track down classic chess programs.

I am aware of that program.  It was the first microcomputer chess program to
play in an ACM tournament.  Not quite as historical as Sneaky Pete, but pretty
close.  (I've tracked down several authors who had micro programs in 1977, but
so far, they can't find a copy of their programs.)

But I haven't been able to track down the author or any company that owns 8080
chess.  The author was Robert Arnstein.  He wrote a few adventure games in
1979-1984 for the Radio Shack Color Computer.  But apparently those hobbiests
don't know where he is, either.

From what I've heard, Processor Tech (the company that originally sold it), sold
its assests to another company.  When that company went under, they released
everything to the public, including the source.

But apparently the SOL hobbiests don't know where the source for all that stuff
is either.


The program is just done as a simple hex dump.  It loads into the SOL emulator.
But I don't know the commands, so I haven't been able to get it to work.

I thought about disassembling it, but it's not worth the effort.


As for the collection and preservation of classic & antique chess programs...
the progress has been extremely slow.

A few have decided not to make their programs public.

A half dozen or so have never responded.

A couple have said they might have a printed copy, but that's all.  No
electronic copy.  (And they have more sense than Mr. Hyatt.... they didn't offer
to scan and OCR the stuff...[grin]  I'm sure Mr. Hyatt is having no fun at all
doing the OCR work!  It's likely to be a loooong time before he gets done.)


I've tracked down 5 or 6 classic chess programs where the authors said they
would be willing to donate the programs.  But nothing has arrived.  Nothing at
all.  I can undstand most not arriving, but none.... it's a bit discouraging.

And there was one guy in here who offered me the source for the PC version of
Kaissa, and something else.... But I haven't been able to recontact him, either.
 I've tried three times with two email addresses.  So I don't know if I have
permission to post the stuff he sent or not...  Or whether he was able to find
that other stuff.




One good piece of news, though, is that I wrote the Spracklens and they said
they were in the process of donating all of their old stuff to the
ComputerHistory.org people, and their computer chess exhibit.

(The ComputerHistory.org site is a bit more concerned with physical items, but
they certainly aren't going to turn down anything worthwhile.  It looks like
they haven't been able to talk Greenblatt into a copy of his MacHack VI source,
either...  Supposedly he might have a copy in his garage, but that may or may
not be true.  A few others have said they might be able to scrounge up a copy,
but the problem with that is you don't know how much its been modified.  And
they don't have the authority to distribute the stuff anyway, so it couldn't be
posted by CH.org anyway.)






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