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Paul Nielsen

Short Range Scan Mr. Spock

The reason I got into computing was to play DEC-Trek.

I was a music major and the only way to get into the computer lab and get time on the PDP-11 was to be in a programming class. This was before the Apple][. So I signed up for a DEC BASIC course, got my hands on DEC-Trek and found that programming was even more fun that playing computer games. Before you make nay punch card jokes, they removed the punch cards the year before I started programming.  I’m not really that old after all. But, I did love to play DEC-Trek.

Similar to any other console game of the day, like Zork or Adventure, DEC-Trek was played by entering a text command and seeing the response in text as the green screen scrolled on. DEC-Trek had commands like SRS – short range scan, fire phasers, move, dock at the starbase, and so on. The universe was a 2d map of 8x8 quadrants. Each quadrant was divided into 10x10 sectors. Hidden around the universe was a number of static Klingons that would fire back causing severe damage if you didn’t have your shields raised. Damage could be repaired at starbases. The goal was to eliminate every Klingon before the time ran out or you were destroyed.

“What does this have to do with SQL Server?” Adam is wondering.

DEC-Trek, is one port of SuperTrek, which was ported to more systems than any other software. Google and you’ll see. But it’s never been ported to SQL. Since I’m in Nyack, NY for a three week contract, I’ve finally taken up my long time goal of porting DEC-Trek to SQL.

SQLtrek. Tonight I got the basic space and object tables working along with a first version of short range scan and long range scan queries. As more features are added I’ll keep you posted here on my Once enough is working that it can be tested and played, I’ll post the code here too. In the meantime, here are some screen shots of the SRS and LRS commands. 

Published Monday, December 4, 2006 7:37 PM by Paul Nielsen

Attachment(s): SQLtrek.jpg


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About Paul Nielsen

Paul Nielsen believes SQL is the romance language of data. As such he’s a hands-on database developer, Microsoft SQL Server MVP, trainer, and author of SQL Server Bible series (Wiley). As a data architect, he developed the concepts of Smart Database Design and Nordic – an open source O/R dbms for SQL Server. He lives in Colorado Springs.

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