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Speculator Speculator - FAQs, Technical Support, Examples, etc

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Old 02-24-2006, 06:00 PM   #1
Ted Craven
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Speculator Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Hello,

I started this topic so there could be a place to post Questions and Answers, usually of a technical nature, about Speculator. How to install it, reinstall it if it crashes, screen shots of error messages and what to do about them, or other issues related to care and feeding of these old DOS programs.

In some cases, advice will pertain to any of the DOS Sartin programs, or in some cases, just how to use Windows, or how to use the DOS command prompt.
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Old 02-24-2006, 06:06 PM   #2
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Spec Crashed during a race, and race won't reload

Question:

Spec (or Val) crashed on a particular card. Won't subsequently load that card no matter what.

Answer:

On your program folder (e.g. SpecPA, Val3c), look for 3 files representing your race card, for example, AQU0223R.DBF, AQU0223H.DBF, AQU0223P.DBF. Delete these 3 files using Windows Explorer. Now try loading the card afresh.
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Old 02-24-2006, 06:49 PM   #3
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Spec won't run at all

Question:

Spec won't even run and get to the Main Menu. It crashes with various error messages.

Answer:

Some of the files needed to run are damaged, missing or corrupt. Best to delete and reinstall the whole program.


Procedure to use if you have the software on a diskette:


Using Windows Explorer:

Let's presume the software is SpecPA and installed in the folder SpecPA.
  1. In Windows Explorer, delete ALL the files in the current SpecPA directory
  2. Put the SpecPA diskette in the A drive, and view that drive’s files as well in Windows Explorer
  3. Highlight all those Drive A files (Ctrl-A), the copy them to the clipboard (Ctrl-C)
  4. Move to the (now empty) SpecPA folder; Paste the copied files from the (A Drive), by Ctrl-V
  5. The files are thus moved from the A drive to the SpecPA folder
  6. Click on SpecPA.exe to see if it works
  7. Make a Desktop icon for SpecPA, by right clicking on SpecPA.exe, Send To, Desktop (create shortcut)
Using the DOS prompt:
  1. Get a DOS prompt (DOS command window).
  2. Delete all the files in SPECPA directory by typing: DEL \SPECPA\*.*
  3. With the SpecPA diskette in your A drive, copy the files to the (now empty) SPECPA directory, by typing: COPY A:*.* \SPECPA
  4. After all the files are copied, make sure you are in the SPECPA directory, by typing: CD \SPECPA, then type SPECPA to load up the SPECPA program.
  5. You should still follow point #7 above to make a Desktop icon for easy access to the software
Procedure to use if you have the software in a ZIP file:
  1. In Windows Explorer, delete ALL the files in the current SpecPA directory, BUT, DON'T DELETE THE ZIP FILE!
  2. In Explorer, find the ZIP file and double-click on it. In WinXP, this usually opens the ZIP file, displaying the contents of the ZIP as if it were a folder of files. (In other than WinXP, your experience may vary - that's another FAQ).
  3. Press Ctrl+A to highlight all the files contained within the ZIP file.
  4. Press Ctrl+C (or right-click, then choose Copy) to Copy all the highlighted files to the Windows Clipboard (there's no message - it just happens)
  5. Switch back to the (now empty) SpecPA folder (usually, pressing the Backspace key moves you out of a ZIP file view and back into the folder you were just looking at, before you went into the ZIP file)
  6. Press Ctrl+V (or right-click, then choose Paste) to paste the files you just Copied, into the SpecPA folder. You should see the same files you highlighted now being copied one by one.
  7. Locate the SpecPA program and double-click on it to try to run the software. Hopefully now it will not crash.
  8. Again, make a Desktop icon for SpecPA, by right clicking on SpecPA.exe, Send To, Desktop (create shortcut)
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Old 02-24-2006, 06:52 PM   #4
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DOS Programs run really slow

Question:

These old DOS programs run really slowly, hog all of Windows resources.

Answer:

Use TameDOS (www.tameDOS.com). It costs $20 bucks, you get a 30 day free trial first. It will solve all your problems with DOS misbehaving under WinXP and earlier Windows version.

I can run several DOS apps (e.g. multiple copies of Spec, Val, on different directories) at the same time, with no loss of speed.
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Old 02-25-2006, 02:54 PM   #5
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How to Install software from a ZIP file

Question:

How do I extract Speculator files from a ZIP file package, and put them in a folder where I can run the software?

Answer:

Let's presume you downloaded Spec150.zip to your Desktop. Or you may need to reinstall one of the other versions of Speculator received from Guy Wadsworth in a ZIP file. Let's presume you use Windows XP. WinXP treats ZIP files like folders: if you double-click on a ZIP file, it opens up to display a list of files contained within it, as if you were looking at a regular folder of files.
  1. First, using Windows Explorer, make a new folder for your Speculator files. It is always best to start with a clean, empty folder.
  2. Next, double-click on the ZIP file containing your Speculator (e.g. found on your Desktop, or wherever you downloaded or stored it). A list of files appears.
  3. Press Ctrl+A to highlight all the files contained within the ZIP file.
  4. Press Ctrl+C (or right-click, then choose Copy) to Copy all the highlighted files to the Windows Clipboard (there's no message - it just happens).
  5. Switch to the new Speculator folder you created in Step #1.
  6. Press Ctrl+V (or right-click, then choose Paste) to paste the files you just Copied, into the new Speculator folder. You should see the same files you highlighted now being copied one by one.
  7. Locate the Speculator program (depending on version: Spec150.exe, SpecPA.exe, etc) and double-click on it to test run the software.
  8. For future use, make a Desktop icon for Speculator, by right clicking on the program (e.g. Spec150.EXE, SpecPA.exe, etc)then choose 'Send To' from the popup menu, then 'Desktop (create shortcut)'. A small DOS icon will be placed on your Desktop which you can click on to run the program you just installed.
Don't forget, you need to download TrackMaster files to a folder named C:\TRKMAST - that's where Spec and Val look for race cards.

Now, if you use a Windows vesion earlier than WinXP (e.g. Win98, WinME, Win2000) or your Windows XP does not have ZIP extraction built in by default, you will need to first download a ZIP file extraction utility such as WINZIP (http://www.winzip.com/). Install this software, then when you double-click on a ZIP file to open it, choose to open it with (e.g.) WinZIP (and make WinZIP the default program to open ZIP files), then follow the instructions above.
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Last edited by Ted Craven; 01-08-2008 at 09:03 AM. Reason: Added info about WinZIP utility for non WinZP systems
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Old 03-13-2006, 06:07 PM   #6
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In Spec150, the Pre Analysis screen is sometimes blank

Question:

In Spec150 and Spec160, the Pre Analysis screen is sometimes blank. Why, and how do I fix it.

Answer:

This is a bug which occurs as follows. Pick a card, then a race, the go to the Pre Analysis screen. Pick any Menu item to view Pre Analysis (e.g. 1 = All Pacelines 2 = Pacelines by Surface 3 = Pacelines by Sprint or Route and Surface), then view the resulting Pre Analysis ranks. Exit to the Pre Analysis Menu, then immediately again select one of the PA view (1,2,3 menu choices). The PA ranks screen will be blank - no ranks are displayed.

To fix this, return to the Pacelines and Calculations Menu and again select Pre Analysis. You can now view PA ranks again.


Comment:

In Spandx and Spec150, Guy attempted to merge the Pre Analysis ranks with the Past Performance screens. You only have to display the PA ranking screen once (for the chosen filters you prefer - days/distance/surface), then the ranks are included in the PP screens, to the right of the Equalized, Normalized, Adjusted upper panel. In previous versions with Pre Analysis, you could mark a < symbol indicating the best rank for a given factor. In Spandx and Spec150, this data entry is no longer possible - instead the ranks just show up on the PPs.
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Last edited by Ted Craven; 02-26-2007 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 03-14-2006, 09:54 AM   #7
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Per-2

Ted,
what is Per-2 on the perceptor tab? The "tot11-r" over on the right side?

very interesting readout. at some tracks and distances it dominates per-1

Richie
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Old 03-14-2006, 10:12 AM   #8
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Perceptor II

This is the Fraction 1, Fraction 2, Fraction 3 velocities, velocity to the Second Call, and Total energy (sum of F1+F2+F3), expressed in the 'Perceptor fashion', then summed horizontally to equal the PII Total and rank.

The "Perceptor" representation of a group of numbers is merely, (in each column) the highest number is 100 (100%), and the rest of the numbers (the velocities) are expressed as percentages of the highest number.

So PII shows the array of raw velocities and TE, rather than the more massaged compound factors in PI. There is a one-to-one relationship between the PII numbers and the underlying Velocities shown on the 7. Velocity-True Speed-Deceleration Screen (upper panel). This gives you an alternate, 'reality' view of how the horses actually ran. It also helps highlight who's at the 1st and 2nd call and how far behind others are - whether there's likely to be early pace contention.

The PII Total and rank is an aggregate of all the energy and positional velocities.

Ted
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:32 AM   #9
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Ted,Do you find that the horse who has the 100% in the 3rd fraction or close to it will end up in the exactas most of the time?Jeff
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:40 PM   #10
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Jeff,

I haven't observed this to be the case, nor would I necessarily. 100% (in the Perceptor II readout 3rd fraction) simply means the horse had the highest F3 velocity, or energy, but utilizing this energy effectively would be a function of where it horse could be positioned at the beginning of that 3rd fraction. In a sprint, it would probably have to be not too far behind at the 2nd call (e.g. good rating on 2nd call beaten lengths, or 2C Perceptor II rating). In a route, I'd also like to see a reasonable HE and FW rating, in addition to the F3.

I'd think the Match Up would be a much more determining factor as to whether a horse's good F3 would get it in the top 2, e.g. does a horse possessing good F3 stand to benefit from a collapsing speed duel; will a slower 1st and 2nd call pace permit it to keep close enough to the front to make its bid; how does the horse typically run when it finishes up close, from deep behind or as a mid-pack runner (i.e deep closer will always subject it to traffic issues).

I would give a close look to a horse with good F3, who also was in the top 3 True Speed + Deceleration.

I haven't studied this, perhaps others have, but I think top F3 alone is not sufficient to win a place bet most of the time...

regards,

Ted
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