UFO Scan

Version 2.00 Date 2000-09-10

(c) 1999-2000 by Holger Schlegel. All Rights Reserved.


1.1 What Is UFOSCAN
1.2 Installation
1.3 Using UFOSCAN

2.1 Features
2.2 New Friendly Codes
2.3 Scan Message and VPA

3.1 Contact The Author
3.2 Known Bugs Or Limitations
3.3 Version History

1.1 What Is UFOSCAN

In the games I play often addons like Jumpgates or Asteroids are used and these addons create UFO objects to show some data on the WinPlan starchart. Because I don’t like the WinPlan interface and therefore play using DOS planets and VPA I’m unable to see these object because there are not included in the result file I receive from host. So I decided to write this program to reduce some of the disadvantages of non-WinPlan players.

1.2 Installation

After downloading and unpacking the UFOSCAN.ZIP archive file you should have the following files:
UFOSCAN.EXE The executable program
UFOSCAEN.TXT this documentation file
UFOSCADE.TXT Diese Datei in Deutsch

The executable program (UFOSCAN.EXE) should be placed in the host base directory. That is the directory where (P)HOST.EXE is located.

1.3 Using UFOSCAN

To use UFOSCAN it should be added to the auxhost2 hook after all other programs that may use UFO objects.

To to that you must add the following command to the end of the AUXHOST2.INI file found in the game directory. If no AUXHOST2.INI file exists create one.

UFOSCAN.EXE <game-directory>

<game-directory> absolute or relative path of the directory in which the host game resists.

Relative pathes are interpreted as based on the current directory.

The program will store some informations in a data file named UFOSCAN.HST which will be created in the host data directory. Additional the logfile UFOSCAN.LOG will be written.

Since version 2.00 UFOSCAN is written as a DPMI mode program and due to that it requires about 2 MByte of DPMI memory and at least 200 KByte of free shell memory to run during auxhost phase.

2.1 Features

As written in section 1.1 What Is UFOSCAN I often play in game that uses UFO objects. To reduce some of the disadvantages of non-WinPlan players UFOSCAN could be used.

If enabled UFOSCAN will do the scanning for UFO objects and sends scan messages. A player will receive a message for each UFO object in scan range of at least one its ships or planets.

Additional to scanning UFOs the player will receive a message for all own minefields not scanned by his ships. In PHost games active Vision alliances are recognized. A player will only get a UFOSCAN minefield message if he won’t get a minescan message for that minefield via Vision alliance. Also scan messages for own minefields are copied to Vision allies if they can’t scan the minefield by themself of Vision alliance.

If the game used PHost all messages by UFOSCAN are created using the language set by the player (if supported by UFOSCAN). Currently UFOSCAN supports german and english language.

If you have ideas or suggestions for new features, please tell me.

2.2 New Friendly Codes

UFOSCAN adds three new planetary friendly codes to VGA Planets:

UF0 (last character is a null)
UF1 (last character is a one)

Players can use that case sensitive friendly codes to enable(UF1) or disable(UF0) the UFOSCAN function. The friendly code UF? could be used to determine your current UFOSCAN state. Scanning for UFO objects and minefield scanning is enabled or disabled together.

As default the scanner if switched off because WinPlan players don’t need the UFOSCAN functions.

2.3 Scan Message and VPA

Because of the format the UFO scan messages will have, you can use the
following message template to create a marker on the VPA starchart for
each scanned object.
; UFOScan Scanned UFO Object
Message Marker
Check 1,[UFO Scanner]
Check 6,[:]
Check 6,[/]
X 6,[:]
Y 6,[/]
Keep Flag 13

You may modify the parameters of the Keep statement to change the marker used in VPA to display the UFO object.

The use of line numbers instead of keywords will garant that messages could be scanned correct regardless of the players language.

The messages for own minefields should be the same as the messages from (p)host.

3.1 Contact The Author

If you want to contact me (the author of UFOSCAN) you can email me, page me via ICQ or visit my homepage.

Holger Schlegel eMail: [email protected]
Germany ICQ#: 10514637
Internet: http://come.to/spocks

Ideas and suggestions are allways welcome.
Bug reports are not as welcome but email them too…

3.2 Known Bugs Or Limitations


3.3 Version History

2.00 changed: Rewritten as a DPMI program for faster execution
added: created german documentation
added: UFOScan now supports PHost vision alliances

1.3b bugfix: ufo and minefield scanning enabled again

1.3a changed: internal changes to prevent errors and to increase speed

1.3 added: UFOScan now supports PHost3 internal wraparound mode bugfix: scanner state message corrected

1.2a bugfix: minefield scanner used invalid message template

1.2 added: UFOScan now supports up to 999 ships (Host999 support)

1.1e bugfix: error in memory management could cause runtime error 203

1.1d added: new friendly code to check the scanner state

1.1c bugfix: scan message now shows correct data

1.1b changed: host file access rewritten to prevent possible errors

1.1a changed: scans only minefields not scanned by own ships

1.1 added: scans all own minefields

1.0b bugfix: checks correct friendly code to enable/disable scanner

1.0a changed: changes in message handling to prevent possible errors

1.0 first version; UFO’s are scanned, scanner can be switch on and off


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