Awit-2009

Discussion of anything and everything relating to chess playing software and machines.

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Sylwy
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Full name: SilvianR

Awit-2009

Post by Sylwy »

Hi all !

Enough is enough !
:lol:
Rybka & derivatives scandal bored to death our planet !

If (if :roll: ) you are interested by a legendary chess engine (native) written in AlgolW ( a rarity) by Tony Marsland/Canada - AWIT- here it is:
http://webdocs.cs.ualberta.ca/~tony/Pub ... wit-Win32/

This engine implements a dream : extensive forward pruning.

Enough ?

Best regards,
SilvianR

PS: you can use it-under Winboard- in console mode.
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Sylwy
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Re: Awit-2009

Post by Sylwy »

PS: you can use it-under Winboard- in console mode.

Sorry-under Windows ! :lol: That's because Winboard is my obsession !

SilvianR
Carey
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:18 pm

Re: Awit-2009

Post by Carey »

Yeah, it's an interesting program.

Unfortunately, it's a mess.... And that's no offense to Mr. Marsland, because even he admits that. It was always a part time hobby and there was never enough time to do a complete rewrite.

So it just kept growing as ideas kept getting put in it. He even outgrew the capacity of the only Algol-W compiler he had.

When we first started trying to get it to run, it was rather difficult because it was running so fast on modern hardware that we were seeing errors and crashes that never showed up in his testing on the mainframes back then. (We were doing a couple hundred games in just a few hours and that was far more testing that he had been able to do on expensive mainframe time back then.)

(Before he found the Algol-W converter, I had actually started to port it to Pascal. After all the troubles we had with the original code, I'm glad I didn't finish, because I would have gone crazy trying to figure out if the problems were my conversion or in the original program.)

But even after I lost interest (personal issues, along with 'chess burn-out'), he kept at it and fixed most of the issues.


I have to admit, Awit was always one of the programs I had a fondness for back in the 80's. I like the idea of selective search. Sure, Belle and Cray Blitz were exciting (more for their hardware than the program), but brute force seems so..... wrong. I understand why brute force works so well. I'm just saying the idea seems wrong for a game.


Unfortunately, I never could track down a copy of MacHack. I couldn't even find the author. (I am absolutely terrible at actually finding people. There were lots of authors I could never find. Or got hold of and then lost as their email address stopped working, such as with Larry Atkin, who I was trying to talk into releasing the source for his micro programs. And some of the authors I did find no longer had a copy. Been thrown away or lost or the tapes wore out, etc.)


I can say though, that there are two more antique programs that should be released this year. One as just a Windows executable, and one in source. Both teams have been working on getting their old programs to work with modern compilers and on modern systems. And probably encountering issues with unexpected behavior with the program running 100 times faster than it did back in the days of competition.

After that... that'll probably be all unless somebody else comes along and does better than I did at finding the authors.

I used to have a website with a bunch of old programs available, but due to hosting issues I took it down and with my deperession I haven't worked up the urge to find another free host that could handle the javascript I used.
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Sylwy
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Re: MacHack

Post by Sylwy »

Carey wrote: Unfortunately, I never could track down a copy of MacHack. I couldn't even find the author. (I am absolutely terrible at actually finding people. There were lots of authors I could never find. Or got hold of and then lost as their email address stopped working, such as with Larry Atkin, who I was trying to talk into releasing the source for his micro programs. And some of the authors I did find no longer had a copy. Been thrown away or lost or the tapes wore out, etc.)
Hi !

The authors of MacHack are:
Mr.Greenblatt, Richard D.;
Mr.Eastlake, Donald E., III;
Mr.Crocker, Stephen D.

For details take a look ( and download if interested) here:
http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/6176

A nice photo:
http://www.computerhistory.org/chess/fu ... 614f64ea3e


Regards,
SilvianR
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Sylwy
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Re: An interesting article

Post by Sylwy »

IanO
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Location: Portland, OR

Re: MacHack

Post by IanO »

Sylwy wrote:
Carey wrote: Unfortunately, I never could track down a copy of MacHack. I couldn't even find the author. (I am absolutely terrible at actually finding people. There were lots of authors I could never find. Or got hold of and then lost as their email address stopped working, such as with Larry Atkin, who I was trying to talk into releasing the source for his micro programs. And some of the authors I did find no longer had a copy. Been thrown away or lost or the tapes wore out, etc.)
Hi !

The authors of MacHack are:
Mr.Greenblatt, Richard D.;
Mr.Eastlake, Donald E., III;
Mr.Crocker, Stephen D.

For details take a look ( and download if interested) here:
http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/6176

A nice photo:
http://www.computerhistory.org/chess/fu ... 614f64ea3e


Regards,
SilvianR
Note also that Larry Kaufmann helped with MacHack's opening book.

Also take a quick search of this forum for MacHack, and you will find a nice surprise! Perhaps the only engine which used descriptive notation in its interface.

Ian
bob
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Location: Birmingham, AL

Re: MacHack

Post by bob »

IanO wrote:
Sylwy wrote:
Carey wrote: Unfortunately, I never could track down a copy of MacHack. I couldn't even find the author. (I am absolutely terrible at actually finding people. There were lots of authors I could never find. Or got hold of and then lost as their email address stopped working, such as with Larry Atkin, who I was trying to talk into releasing the source for his micro programs. And some of the authors I did find no longer had a copy. Been thrown away or lost or the tapes wore out, etc.)
Hi !

The authors of MacHack are:
Mr.Greenblatt, Richard D.;
Mr.Eastlake, Donald E., III;
Mr.Crocker, Stephen D.

For details take a look ( and download if interested) here:
http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/6176

A nice photo:
http://www.computerhistory.org/chess/fu ... 614f64ea3e


Regards,
SilvianR
Note also that Larry Kaufmann helped with MacHack's opening book.

Also take a quick search of this forum for MacHack, and you will find a nice surprise! Perhaps the only engine which used descriptive notation in its interface.

Ian
Hardly. Most everyone used English Descriptive in the early days. Took me a _long_ time to be able to deal with "e4" rather than "p-k4". I made the change in blitz/cray blitz first, then that forced me to convert. Obviously algebraic is far superior, but not if you learned the other first. :)
Carey
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:18 pm

Re: MacHack

Post by Carey »

Sylwy wrote:
Carey wrote: Unfortunately, I never could track down a copy of MacHack. I couldn't even find the author. (I am absolutely terrible at actually finding people. There were lots of authors I could never find. Or got hold of and then lost as their email address stopped working, such as with Larry Atkin, who I was trying to talk into releasing the source for his micro programs. And some of the authors I did find no longer had a copy. Been thrown away or lost or the tapes wore out, etc.)
Hi !

The authors of MacHack are:
Mr.Greenblatt, Richard D.;
Mr.Eastlake, Donald E., III;
Mr.Crocker, Stephen D.

For details take a look ( and download if interested) here:
http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/6176

A nice photo:
http://www.computerhistory.org/chess/fu ... 614f64ea3e


Regards,
SilvianR
I know who the authors are. I just can't find an email or postal address to get hold of them.

There are, of course, binary versions of MacHack that still exist and a few emulators have been set up where you can even play it. But no source code has been found.

I gave up on this a couple years ago when I started getting so depressed, so I don't know if anything has changed since then.
Christopher Conkie
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Location: Scotland

Re: MacHack

Post by Christopher Conkie »

Carey wrote:
Sylwy wrote:
Carey wrote: Unfortunately, I never could track down a copy of MacHack. I couldn't even find the author. (I am absolutely terrible at actually finding people. There were lots of authors I could never find. Or got hold of and then lost as their email address stopped working, such as with Larry Atkin, who I was trying to talk into releasing the source for his micro programs. And some of the authors I did find no longer had a copy. Been thrown away or lost or the tapes wore out, etc.)
Hi !

The authors of MacHack are:
Mr.Greenblatt, Richard D.;
Mr.Eastlake, Donald E., III;
Mr.Crocker, Stephen D.

For details take a look ( and download if interested) here:
http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/6176

A nice photo:
http://www.computerhistory.org/chess/fu ... 614f64ea3e


Regards,
SilvianR
I know who the authors are. I just can't find an email or postal address to get hold of them.

There are, of course, binary versions of MacHack that still exist and a few emulators have been set up where you can even play it. But no source code has been found.

I gave up on this a couple years ago when I started getting so depressed, so I don't know if anything has changed since then.
Never give up.
Carey
Posts: 313
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:18 pm

Re: MacHack

Post by Carey »

Christopher Conkie wrote:
Carey wrote:
Sylwy wrote:
Carey wrote: Unfortunately, I never could track down a copy of MacHack. I couldn't even find the author. (I am absolutely terrible at actually finding people. There were lots of authors I could never find. Or got hold of and then lost as their email address stopped working, such as with Larry Atkin, who I was trying to talk into releasing the source for his micro programs. And some of the authors I did find no longer had a copy. Been thrown away or lost or the tapes wore out, etc.)
Hi !

The authors of MacHack are:
Mr.Greenblatt, Richard D.;
Mr.Eastlake, Donald E., III;
Mr.Crocker, Stephen D.

For details take a look ( and download if interested) here:
http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/6176

A nice photo:
http://www.computerhistory.org/chess/fu ... 614f64ea3e


Regards,
SilvianR
I know who the authors are. I just can't find an email or postal address to get hold of them.

There are, of course, binary versions of MacHack that still exist and a few emulators have been set up where you can even play it. But no source code has been found.

I gave up on this a couple years ago when I started getting so depressed, so I don't know if anything has changed since then.
Never give up.
Well, depression runs in the family on my mother's side and nothing seems to help.

I don't really have any hobbies anymore. Just can't work up the interest. Don't care about programming anymore. Rarely visit the chess prog forums anymore.

I can't even work up the energy / urge to find a decent free web host and restore my antique chess program website. (It's javascript based on 'TiddlyWiki', so not every host can handle it.)

Winters are too depressing to do anything. Summers are too hot to do anything.

I can always come up with a reason not to get interested in something. (shrug)