[TUHS] Gaming on early Unix

Steve Johnson scj at yaccman.com
Mon Dec 9 10:05:50 AEST 2019

I wrote a very simple game for my son -- go fish.   It was one of my
first C programs (that is evident by the fact that it contains several
goto's).  There is the source code in one of the BSD distributions,
dated 1980 (with a UCB copyright...).

The original game simply played cards at random from its hand, and was
pretty easy to beat.  Then I realized that there was a simple
strategy -- if the player asked the program for, e.g., a 5, the
program remembered that the player had a 5.   If it later drew a 5
it immediately asked for it.   This "pro" version was very hard to
beat, to the extent that nobody wanted to play it.  So I made the pro
version an option--the default was the dumb mode.

It didn't get a lot of hype, but I did face an irate user once at a
Usenix meeting who publicly accused me of cheating (since the program
did, in fact, know what the player's had was).  The pro option was
that good, but, unless somebody changed a copy of it, the user's hand
wasn't part of the strategy...

Looking at the code a couple of months ago, I found at least one bug
and one logical error.  The bug would have been caught by Lint, but
that program was many years in the future.


----- Original Message -----
 "Richard Salz" <rich.salz at gmail.com>

<ron at ronnatalie.com>
"TUHS main list" <tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org>
Fri, 6 Dec 2019 11:39:42 -0500
Re: [TUHS] Gaming on early Unix

	There was another multiplayer game called “Search” that would
result around 4:30 in the afternoon someone yelling “Search Up”
which was everybody’s cue to join in the game.

Was that "hunt" that came with BSD 4-something? 

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