Some guidance on how to run the simulation in the Haiku OS

I see that someone has uploaded a session with the NIMROD simulation in Haiku to YouTube. Very nice, except that he never seems to have actually discovered how to get it to play the game! (:-)) I intentionally made things not entirely obvious, but I guess perhaps I overdid it a bit...! So, let me try to point you in the right direction a little more directly.

When you click on the NIMROD icon, all you will (should!) initially see is a black&white photo of the machine. If you click anywhere on that, it will tell you "Click the Desk to Start". Do this, and another window showing the desk's control buttons and switches should appear. This is where you actually control NIMROD, just as the operator would have done at the time.

You won't get far without knowing how to work these controls, though. Left front in the window is the booklet that describes the machine and its workings. Obviously (:-)) to read it, you should click on that. To give you the information, the app assumes that a web browser is available and assigned to handle HTML files. This was always the case under BeOS, and should be so with any current Haiku package, as 'WebPositive' should be included; if it isn't, you may have to use the installoptionalpackage app to get it. If for some reason the instructions still don't pop up, you should be able to get at them directly, starting at 'NimDoc/NIMROD.html'.

Everything you need to know to run the game can be found in that text, but perhaps a little more reading than you might like is needed. So here are some quick hints to get you started. First, there are two types of controls on the desk. The 'buttons' are pretty obvious — you just click on them to operate; clicking one will turn on all lamps to the left, and turn off all those to the right. The 'lever switches' at the top seem to baffle people, though! To operate one of those, you just 'grab' it (depress the mouse button) and move it in the desired direction. For example, the game is initially in 'Setup' mode, where you can turn lamps on and off as desired by pressing buttons. To switch to 'Game Play', grab the switch at the left-hand end, and move it left.

Before starting play, you should set up the game by turning on some of the lights in each row, then flip the 'Play' switch. The computer (by default) then waits for you to make the first move by clicking one of the buttons to turn off some lights in one row. To get the computer to respond with its move, you click the button in the centre, immediately above the rows of lamps and buttons. (Ignore the one directly between the switches for now. To find out about that and the other switches, read the docs!) You can the make your next move, and prompt the computer once again, until one of you manages to turn off all the lamps.

The various display panels on the main computer cabinet respond as on the real machine, but unfortunately the resolution doesn't really let you read most of the text. (It proved impossible to provide quality text at the resolution of the photo.) Again, you should refer to the docs to see what they actually say.

I hope that's enough to get you started on your journey back to the 50's!