new chess computer: CT800

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fern
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Re: new chess computer: CT800

Post by fern » Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:58 am

I think that Thortens Czub here can have the Martin mail. I had it another time, but I cannot find it now...

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Re: new chess computer: CT800

Post by Ras » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:45 am

ok, I was able to find out some things via the wayback archive. The download back then was a Windows executable. The CCRL has Colossus 2008b in green colour, which means "free" as in "free beer", but no source code.

I guess that is why I didn't even look at it since I only checked out the orange items in CCRL (open source). No open source means no use for me. That's why I went through the CCRL from the top, filtering for open source engines that are written in C. Obviously, Crafty was the prime candidate because it is strong and extremely well documented, but after some evaluation, I found it beyond my capabilities to reduce it to the hardware constraints of 1 MB ROM and 192 kB RAM.

NG-Play was the best matching candidate which I considered in (distant!) reach of the hardware footprint. Initially, it had had around 400 kB of RAM usage plus the hash tables. After many months of work, I got that down to around 70 kB of RAM plus 116 kB for the hash tables.

Colossus might be doable since it had been running on the C64, but that depends on what exactly was done with the 2008 release. Still, this was only a binary release.

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fern
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Re: new chess computer: CT800

Post by fern » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:02 am

You must contact Martin, I believe. I have not found nothing for that in Internet, but maybe i did it wrong. Thorsten is here the most knowledgeable guy with respect to that. Now I am thinking too in other guy, Chris Wittington, father of Cstal. Thorsten is also the man to get to him.

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Re: new chess computer: CT800

Post by Ras » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:56 pm

fern wrote:You must contact Martin, I believe. I have not found nothing for that in Internet, but maybe i did it wrong.
I used the wayback archive to get the archived version of the Colossus website. The main issue I see here: the program has been around since the C64 era, but always as closed source.

People can think "MY program", or they can think "my PROGRAM". Doing a leap from the former to the latter is very unlikely, due to human reasons.

However, I won't pick up software without a GPL-compatible licence since I don't want to have YACDU (yet another closed dedicated unit). Running FLOSS is a major point of the project, after all.
Now I am thinking too in other guy, Chris Wittington, father of Cstal.
CStal has not only been closed source, but also commercial. According to CPW, there is now a company owning the source code. They will not release the sources because it may still be an asset. The thing wandered around from Oxford Software to Ubisoft to AI Factory, and it will hardly be the end of the journey as long as there might be a last dime to be made somehow. That's just good business sense.

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fern
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Re: new chess computer: CT800

Post by fern » Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:33 pm

what about Schroeder, that comes here all the time?
He long ago released all his stuff.
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Re: new chess computer: CT800

Post by Ras » Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:38 pm

oh, I even have a real hardware MM4 somewhere in the basement, from the late 80s.

Ed has explained quite a lot on how Rebel works, and you can download the executables on his website - but not the source code. It isn't FLOSS.

Next thing is.. well, just take a look at this example (line 281 ff):
https://github.com/zmeadows/feldspar/bl ... deo_book.c
I am not inclined to work on a whole codebase written like this, and even less so in my unpaid leisure time.

That aside, the CT800 has an interesting way of playing anyway. :-)

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fern
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Re: new chess computer: CT800

Post by fern » Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:53 pm

I think you does not lose nothing contacting Ed. He is still very interested in this field, as his web site prove it, not to mention his current upgrades of mighty Rebel. I can see him cutting some easy deal with you, but if not, which is the harm to try it?

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Re: new chess computer: CT800

Post by Ras » Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:24 pm

Did you actually take the time to check the linked code fragment? That's why. The rest will not be much different. Suffice to say that I am not inclined to work with code that is written in such a way.

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fern
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Re: new chess computer: CT800

Post by fern » Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:27 pm

Yes, I saw it, but not being a programmer i cannot give an opinion.
Nevertheless, clearly I suppose that Ed did NOT program his stuff with that verbal explanation. Surely all that became binary code or whatever the name, even perhaps became assembly

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Re: new chess computer: CT800

Post by Ras » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:00 pm

fern wrote:Yes, I saw it, but not being a programmer i cannot give an opinion.
The issue is that a codebase written in that way is just not maintainable. It's like a piece of art - watch it, but don't touch it. That way of coding flies in the face of pretty much any definition of "structured programming", which was invented in the 1970s precisely to deal with such maintenance problems.

Besides, as I said, I don't see much use in recycling Ed's software because the Revelation already offers the possibility to run it as emulation. So, people who want that can already buy it. Along with a lot of Lang emulations and quite some top PC engines. More are probably to come.

The big difference here why the Revelation can do so is that it can load programs, more or less just like a PC can. The CT800 cannot do this because there is no operating system, no file system, nothing. It lacks the memory to do anything like that.

The Revelation II has 128 MB RAM and 1 GB of flash. The CT800 has 192 kB RAM and 1 MB ROM. There is a factor of thousand between the two machines.

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