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On Trax
The New Zealand Trax Association Newsletter. Issue: 7

Issue 7 Contents


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Editorial

OOPS, this was meant to have been out in December 1995. I must apologise for the lateness, and hope that the extra few pages makes up for the delay, at least in part anyway.

This issue initially started out being the announcement of Doby III to the world. And you know how it is with software, it never seems to be ready on time. First there was one delay, then another bug, then Christmas came and went. Then Wintrax was born to allow the World Championship Regional and Candidates Tournaments to go smoothly. Then testing Doby III's position library took considerably longer than anticipated, while Easter came and went. Finally, as everything was starting to come together, my computer crashed, and was put out of action. However, even that was worked around and Doby III was completed the day before I headed off overseas. Unfortunately another bug reared its ugly head, so for some reason, the release version of Doby III wouldn't run. After hastily trying to put together a development environment to fix the bug, Doby III has finally arrived.

If you are in need of a Trax opponent at your level, ranging from absolute beginner to experienced tournament player, then Doby III might be what you are looking for.

Since the last newsletter, the 1995 Internet tournament has been completed, and the 1996 tournament is entering its third round. Keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of the 1997 tournament.

1996 was also World Championship year. The format of the Championship was modified slightly because of the increased participation by overseas players. The world was split into three regions: Europe, North America, and Australasia. The top two players from the regional tournaments went through to the Candidate's tournament.

The Australasian Regional, and the Candidate's Tournaments were held as round robin. However, unlike previous years, when all of the games were played over a single weekend, this year they were distributed over a 2 month period. Local games were played over the table, but the distance games were played live over the Internet. The challenge match was played live across the table.

This issue lists the games played in the Australasian Regional, the Candidate's Tournament, and the Challenge Match.
Donald Bailey
Editor
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News

Trax Software

In addition to Doby III, several new Trax playing tools have come available since the last newsletter. Wintrax was developed specifically for the World Championship tournament to allow players to play live games over the Internet. All you need is an Internet connected Windows PC, and the Wintrax software, which is available free as shareware from http://www.massey.ac.nz/~DBailey/trax/software.html

Karl Heuer has developed an experimental Traxbot for controlling games using IRC software. This was also used for some of the World Championship games, but lacks the graphical display of Wintrax and Doby III. One advantage it does have is the ability for spectators to view the game as it is played. The Traxbot was also used for relaying the Challenge Match games to spectators as they were being played. I believe there was considerable discussion by the spectators on what moves were going to be played next! For further information about the Traxbot, contact Karl at karl@kelp.boston.ma.us. To use the IRC Traxbot, you need an Internet PC with IRC software.

Nick Waterman has developed a Trax program that lets you play on the WWW. At present both players have to be side by side on the same browser. To use this software, your browser has to be able to display tables. For more information, and to have a play, set your WWW browser to http://www.cimio.co.uk/~nick/trax/

Richard's PBM Server

Richard Rognlie's play by mail server was recently moved to a new site. The new e-mail address is pbmserv@eiss.erols.com, and the address of the new WWW page is http://eiss.erols.com/~pbmserv.

Richard has also created a new Trax mailing list. The address of the list is trax@eiss.erols.com. You can subscribe to the list by sending mail to majordomo@eiss.erols.com with subscribe trax in the body of your message. After you have subscribed, you will automatically receive any messages sent to the trax list.

Names

With the popular use of the play by mail server, virtually all of the Trax games played, and certainly all of the tournaments played are Supertrax. This has become the standard game, so the 'super' prefix is no longer needed. Regular Trax has been renamed 8x8 Trax to emphasise the restriction of the playing area to an 8 by 8 array of tiles. An experimental variation which does away with line wins is called Looptrax.

The UK Trax Association

The UK Trax Association has been formed recently. Executive officers are Dave Lunn, Nick Waterman, Stephen Tavener., and Chris Lusby-Taylor. For more details, contact Dave Lunn (dave@rapidagent.netkonect.co.uk)
TRAX is the common law mark of David Smith and is used to identify his tile game and equipment. Rules of TRAX copyright 1981, 1984, 1987, 1990 and 1998 David Smith, Christchurch, NZ.
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