SplitTime v1.7

by
Rene Smit

August 1997

SplitTime1.7 Window

This document describes SplitTime, a public domain utility which gives you
three split times during your laps in World Circuit/Formula One Grandprix.

If you have any comments, buglists or suggestions feel free to mail me at
  rsdi@xs4all.nl

My home page is located at
  http://www.xs4all.nl/~rsdi/



Disclaimer
----------
I hereby state that I am not responsible for any damage or loss of
data, whether or not caused by using either SplitTime or PrintSplits.



Distribution
------------
You may copy SplitTime to everyone as long as you copy the original
lha file containing the following files:

- SplitTime		(c) 1995-97 Rene Smit
- SplitTime.doc
- PrintSplits		(c) 1995    Rene Smit
- libs/f1gp.library	(c) 1995-97 Oliver Roberts

The f1gp.library was made by Oliver Roberts. The version of the library
included here is 35.2.



What's new?
-----------
Fixed in v1.7:
- Fixed an Enforcer hit. SplitTime would unhook from f1gp even after you
  quit f1gp, which could result in a crash.
Added in v1.6:
- Command line options to specify the position of the indicator light.
Added in v1.5:
- Should now really work with all versions of F1GP, and with kickstart 1.3.

Version 1.3 is a special "F1GP Accessoires disk" version, released in
December 1995. Version 1.4 is the same except for some minor changes,
like a friendlier way of sending signals, which are not noticable by the
user.

Added in v1.3/v1.4:
- Autosave option.
- Safer way of displaying split times.
- Added split times in race.
- Changed the virtual lap time row to a virtual times column.
- Added a light on the dashboard that indicates if a split is improved.


What is SplitTime?
------------------
SplitTime is a utility that displays split times at every quarter of a
track while you drive F1GP (so you need that game to use it). Not only
the splittimes are displayed, but also the best splittimes before they
show up (like on TV). Note that I use 3 split times on every track and
that they are exactly at 25%, 50% and 75%, while on TV they now use
only 2 split times (intermediates) at specific points on the track.


Why do I need it?
-----------------
This utility let's you know how well you're on your way while driving a
lap, so you don't have to drive the whole lap before knowing if you drove
well. Normally, you have your own physical markers and locations at which
you look at the timer to know how fast you're on your way, but now you can
forget those and use these very accurate splittimes instead. If you finish
a lap and forget the split times you drove, don't worry, they can be
viewed in the SplitTime window, as well as some other info.


Is this all?
------------
No, this is not all. Besides showing (best) splittimes it also keeps track
of the best split differences, calculated by looking at the time between
two consecutive splittimes. The four best differences are always remembered
and from these, virtual split times are calculated, which means that you are
able to see what time you could have driven if you had done a perfect lap.

All times can be saved to disk so nothing will be lost. This means that
once you have improved a splittime you will see it on your display from
then on every time you are gonna play f1gp again. The car number is saved
with each split difference, so if more people are driving with the same
datafile and they use different car numbers, you can see to whom each split
difference belongs. Also, the lap in which it was driven is stored so you
can see in which lap you drive a certain part best and determine how you
can best warm up your tyres. Note that f1gp does not reset the lap number
to 1 if you drive into your pit position in qualify, instead of pressing
'q'.


What do I require?
------------------
- Any Amiga. People using kickstart 1.x will miss the commandline options,
  and will have default options.
- F1GP by Microprose, any version (European F1GP, World Circuit or the
  A600 WWW version).
- Oliver Roberts' f1gp.library, necessary for SplitTime to work.
  f1gp.library is included with SplitTime in the directory 'libs'. You need
  to copy the library to your libs: directory. If you already have one from
  the latest f1gp-ed, you don't need to do that as the f1gp.library supplied
  with f1gp-ed is always the same or newer as the one included here.


How do I start it?
------------------
Start this program after f1gp is run and it shows 'please wait', from cli
or workbench (although SplitTime doesn't support tooltypes yet).
It is also possible to run it without f1gp, in which case only the times
can be viewed, but it's better to use PrintSplits for that (see below).

For the options you need to start SplitTime from the cli with the following
synopsis:

  SplitTime NAME,DELAY/N,AU=AUTOUPDATE/S,AS=AUTOSAVE/S,NORACE/S,NOLIGHT/S,
            QUIT/S,LEFT/N,TOP/N,QUIET/S,LX=LIGHTX/N,LY=LIGHTY/N

This is what each option does (KS 2.0+ only; to KS 1.x users it will
appear as none of these options are specified, except for the QUIT option):

NAME
	Specify filename for the datafile. If not specified, the filename
	s:SplitTime.dat will be used. If the file does not exist, it will
	be created when the data is saved from within the program.
	Old versions will be converted.

DELAY/N
	Display suspend delay, the time that the (split)time is shown on
	the dashboard before it's replace by the clock again. Default 5
	seconds (the game originally uses 10 secs for the laptime). It may
	not be negative or more than 10 seconds.

AUTOUPDATE/S
	If specified, SplitTime wil automatically update the window contents
	if an improvement has been made while you were driving.

AUTOSAVE/S
	If specified, SplitTime wil automatically save the split times.
	This option will enable the AUTOUPDATE option, and will save the
	times at the same moment as the automatic update occurs.

NORACE/S
	Will disable split times in the race.

NOLIGHT/S
	Will disable the little light that indicates a split improvement.

QUIT/S
	If specified, SplitTime will automatically quit if f1gp quits. The
	data will be saved before it does so. Kickstart 1.x users will have
	this enabled.

LEFT/N
	Specify left offset for window.

TOP/N
	Specify top offset for window.

QUIET/S
	Tell SplitTime to shut up.

LX=LIGHTX/N
	Specify the x position of the indicator light, ala F1GP-Ed
	cockpit graphics coordinates.
	Has to be between 0 and 320 (exclusive), else a default
	position is used (for y position too). Kickstart 1.x users will
	always have the default position, which is (227, 112).

LY=LIGHTY/N
	Specify the y position of the indicator light.
	Has to be between 87 and 184 (exclusive).



How do I use it?
----------------
When f1gp is found, a window is opened. The window will be full of '-:--.---'
lines when you start it, but after driving a lap they will already be filled
with times. At the top is a line that tells you the name of the currently
selected track ('not selected' at first). The bottom line will give you some
info about what's going on. In between there is the real data. There are
seven columns: Spl, Car, Lap, BestDiff, VirtTime, BestTime and LastTime.

The 'Spl' column contains the split number for each row. There are four
rows (1/4 ... 4/4).

The 'Car' and 'Lap' columns contain the car number and lap number in which
each best split difference is done. The lap is always 2 or higher in non-race
sessions since the first lap is a warm-up lap. For the race the lap will be
1 or higher.

The 'BestDiff' column shows you the best split difference, i.e. it shows how
much time it took to drive the corresponding quarter of the track, and this
only gets updated when it's improved.

The 'VirtTime' column is derived from the 'BestDiff' column and shows the
virtual split times you could have driven if the best split differences had
been done in one go. The 4th one is your virtual laptime (this one was shown
in previous versions).

The 'BestTime' column contains the best split time at each quarter of the
track. The one at the bottom will match your best laptime, and for this one
additional info is being stored (although not shown) like the setup, traction
control on or off, and more. This info can be viewed with the external
split data viewer PrintSplits (use the VERBOSE option).

The column most to the right, 'LastTime', contains the split times that have
been driven the last time. Once you cross the first split with your car they
will be cleared again.

As you drive laps and switch back to the workbench to look at the SplitTime
window, you can click the mouse button in the window or press <return>
while it is selected to get an update of your times. If the AUTOUPDATE option
was specified, the times will be updated automatically and the workbench
screen will be brought to front to let you watch them. You'll see that the
improved times will be highlighted in order to help you notice where you
drove better than the previous time.
Note that the autoupdate updates the times when the system is enabled, i.e
after you press <esc>, so only times that have been updated since the last
time you left cockpit will be highlighted. If the AUTOSAVE option was
specified the times will be saved as well (look out, you cannot revert
the data anymore).

Besides this, you can be kept up to date of your performance while you're
driving too. A little light on the right (above the 'player' light), will
have a certain colour after each split. If you improve a split time but
not a split diff, it will be grey. If you improve a split diff but not a
split time it will be dark yellow. If you improve both the split time and
split diff it will be light yellow. Else it will be off (black). If you
find this light distracting you can turn it off with the NOLIGHT option.
And if you think it's in the wrong place (for example with a new cockpit),
you can change its position with the LIGHTX and LIGHTY options.

The window doesn't have any buttons, but every command can be given by
pressing a key while the window is activated. For normal use you don't even
have to touch a key, as clicking the mousebutton on the window will select
the track that you just drove on (if you did so) and will update all the
times. The times are saved automatically when f1gp quits and the QUIT option
has been specified when you started SplitTime. If you didn't, then the times
can only be saved with the 's' key or have them saved automatically when
you quit by pressing the <esc> key. There are no filerequesters, but the
data will be saved to s:SplitTime.dat or to the file that was specified
on the commandline. The same goes for the 'load' command ('l' key).
If you want to quit but don't want to save the data you can use the close
button of the window, or use ctrl-c in the shell you started SplitTime from.

Here is the list of keystrokes:

1..9a..g	select a track:
		1=Phoenix, 2=Interlagos, ..., g=Adelaide.
crsr up		select first track (Phoenix).
crsr down	select last track (Adelaide).
crsr left	select previous track.
crsr right	select next track.
's'		save all data to disk.
'l'		load all data (no questions asked!).
<return>	update display (or click the mousebutton in the window).
<del>		clear all times of currently selected track (you will be
		asked for confirmation, press 'y' to confirm).
F1-F4		will erase the corresponding split difference.
F6-F9		same as F1-F4, but will erase a split time.
<esc>		save (if something has changed) all data and quit.


Kickstart 1.x users won't be able to use the cursor keys or the function
keys due to a system bug.


What about my old datafile?
---------------------------
If you have used SplitTime v1.0 before this one you have probably a datafile
for it. SplitTime v1.3 can load the old datafile, but it won't have the new
data I added (setup and stuff). If you save it again, it will be converted
to a new datafile.
The datafile format hasn't changed anymore since v1.1.


How do I print the data?
------------------------
I have made an external print program named PrintSplits which will print
your data to standard output (use the redirection option or the copy to
clipboard option of the shell to get it into a file).

Usage:

PrintSplits NAME/K,TRACK/N,VERBOSE/S,LIST/S

NAME/K
	Name of the datafile. You have to specify the keyword NAME, else
	ReadArgs thinks it's the track number :)
	If not specified, "s:SplitTime.dat" will be tried.

TRACK/N
	Track number of which you want to print the data.
	If not specified, data of all tracks will be printed.

VERBOSE/S
	If specified, some extra information will be printed like the
	setup and horsepower used for the best lap (4th best split time).
	It will also print if traction control was on or off.

LIST/S
	If specified, only a list of all the tracks with each track
	number will be printed, so you can see what number to specify
	for a track.



Some notes about using SplitTime
--------------------------------
Sometimes the split time is clocked in the middle of a corner. This can
be annoying since the time then depends on the moment you brake for the
corner. For example, if you brake too late into the corner, the split time
will be good, but the next split time will probably be a bad one since
you exit the badly taken corner with lower speed. Such split times mess
up the virtual record a bit in a way that it tells you that you can drive
a certain time, but that it's not the case in reality.
Of course it's possible for me to change the locations at which the splits
are clocked, but I wanted to keep them this way because then they would
be the same as on the pc. I may have changed it though in a next version.
Whenever you mess up a split time or difference like this, you are able
to clear each individual difference with keys F1 to F4, and each split time
with keys F5 to F9 (not with kickstart 1.x). Or clear everything in one go
with the <del> key.

When driving with different setups, frame frates or other configurations,
the virtual times can be affected also. It is advised to use a different
datafile for each configuration so you can always compare the virtual
record or individual split times/differences.

It is better _not_ to quit and/or (re)start SplitTime in the middle of a
session. Although nothing serious can go wrong it is possible that the
best laptime the game keeps track of will be erased by SplitTime, or
the other way round.



People I want to thank
----------------------

Thanks go to:

- Grant Reeve for helping me and beta-testing.
- Oliver Roberts for beta-testing and support.
- Dave Wright for testing with kickstart 1.3.
- Edo Nijmeijer, Maarten van Schouwen, Patrick Giesbergen and
  Robert Schaftlein, also for beta-testing.
- Trevor Kellaway, who also made SPLITTIM on the pc which gave
  me the idea to code it for the Amiga.
- All the people who gave me feedback!



René Smit, rsdi@xs4all.nl | Home