NOTE TO EXISTING CUSTOMERS: Since December 2005 the program has a feature that will check your version and, if needed, offer to automatically update your copy to the latest version. You can check if that option is available in your version by looking for a "Check for Updates" option within the "Help" pull-down menu. Otherwise, you will need to download and install the full installation this time (and the option will be available for future updates). It's safe to use either update method with your current data, as the installation process will detect and preserve any existing data and settings you have.
Please note that if you have a registered version less than 4.0, then you will need to pay for an upgrade license for each PC that you use the program on. As a registered user of a previous version, you may UPGRADE AT A SIGNIFICANT DISCOUNT.
VERSION 4.6.0 (Released: 2/26/2016)
Increased the size of the Help fonts.
Updated copyright material and migrated from VB5 to VB6.
Removed the requirement to run the program with Admin rights.
VERSION 4.5.4 (Released: 3/7/2011)
Enhanced some processes to run faster.
Modestly improved the look and feel of the Help System.
VERSION 4.5.3 (Released: 11/12/2008)
Modified some of the graphics to enhance the presentation.
VERSION 4.5.2 (Released: 11/9/2008)
Improved the presentation of the "Quick Start" information.
Added better detection of systems using Windows Vista.
VERSION 4.4.0 (Released: 7/17/2007)
Converted the help system to HTML help to make it more Windows Vista friendly.
VERSION 4.3.4 (Released: 2/25/2007)
Added Windows Vista Compliance Features (e.g. the data files are stored under the "Application Data" folder rather than under the "Program Files" folder). The new version will detect if you already have data and relocate the files for you.
VERSION 4.3.3 (Released: 1/30/2007)
Made improvements to the color scheme and added some other underlying adjustments to make the program run better.
VERSION 4.2.4 (Released: 12/06/2005)
Added a feature where the program will check if the version being evaluated is older than 30 days and offer the option to check for updates.
VERSION 4.2.1 (Released: 02/02/2005)
Added a feature so that when the game is minimized on the screen, the timer bonus automatically stops deducting points. It resumes when the game is restored to normal size. (Office staff around the world requested that one.)
VERSION 4.1 - 4.2
Enriched many of the color schemes and optimized the speed windows display.
This major new release upgraded the program from a 16-bit program to a true 32-bit program.
Continued to add many enhancements to the visual presentations. New special effects, backgrounds, colors, etc. have been added to make the overall presentation and play of the game more visually stimulating. Windows pop, expand, and slide onto the screen — and then, when being closed, they snap, implode, and slide off the screen. Colors have been optimized to bring attention to certain areas of the screen and make the game more visually appealing.
Made it so the timer bonus does not begin counting down until the first play has been completed, allowing one to study the cards when the game is first dealt.
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VERSION 3.2 - 3.8
Made enhancements to the visual presentations, an addicting process that continues with each new version (see above for details).
Enhanced the Help System to support hyperlinks to the Internet.
Polished the Help System in some areas to make it more succinct.
There is a new bonus score for completing the game as quickly as possible: you are given an initial bonus and then it is slowly deducted as soon as all the cards are dealt. This significantly rewards players capable of completing the game as fast as possible, and it greatly adds to the fun and challenge of playing the game.
Extra bonuses for removing all but 10 or less cards are awarded.
The bonus for getting as many different hands as possible has been changed to a straight calculation and is more clearly explained during the score tabulation.
A virtually unlimited # of different players can be added to the player list (the previous limitation was twelve players).
The welcome screen is presented much faster.
Made some look-and-feel changes to make the screens more visually appealing.
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Fixed a bug where occasionally the program would erroneously think no more plays were left.
Added a feature where you're notified of all potential plays (not just the one with the least points) when accessing the Tips/Hints function.
Fixed a bug where, on certain computers, the high scores seemed out of date when they were not.
Added a feature where the top ten (high) scores can be reset if they have not been added to in over 15 days of play.
Enhanced the presentation when the final score is calculated after a player wins and made the process even more clear to understand.
Reworked the way the final score is calculated. The bonus is calculated by taking the number of cards removed and multiplying that times $5. This provides great incentive to remove as many cards as possible. It also ensures you get a bonus every time and strongly rewards highly skilled players that remove as many cards as possible and get as many different types of hands as possible!!!
Added some menu options to the Player List window.
Enhanced the status bar so it also shows the average score for a player during the game.
Fixed a small bug with the average score computation.
Added a new feature where the average score for a player (defined as the number of times a player has played divided by their accumulated bankroll) is tracked, computed, and shown. This is nice so that a player can keep a better track of their playing performance relative to other players.
Ownership of the program changed from John Cutter to NorthStar Solutions.
Some major changes to the interface were made...
An initial screen explaining how the game is generally played is presented to new users.
Right clicking the mouse now is the same as clicking in the area around the cards to make a play — making it easier to play the game faster.
The point values of hands were added to the screen so one can identify the value of selecting one hand over another more quickly.
The scoring system has been modified significantly to reward novices and challenge good players alike.
Some colors were changed and some 3D text was turned off on some screens to make the text a little more readable.
Options to quickly exit the game while, for example, viewing the Player List were added.
The Help System was completely rewritten and condensed to ensure minimal time is needed in the help system to become a good player.
Explanations of how Jokers fit into the strategy of the game are presented to users right away if someone tries to use a Joker improperly.
Some of the menu items were rearranged and condensed.
When the program first starts, it is assumed you want to play the game, so the cards are dealt automatically.
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Fixed a crash when all cards removed in standard game, and another following the "Thomas Crapper" contest. No other substantive changes.
Removed unnecessary code and files. Added bonus for clearing all cards (normal game). Fixed very elusive crash bug (overflow error). Finalized sound effects and text. Finalized help file. Added licensing and vendor information.
Included shareware registration features, tweaked sounds and game play. Added remaining contests, and combined them all into one file. Fixed lots of mostly minor bugs.
Implemented High Scores and Title Screen (with animations), created first draft of help file, built a Setup.exe file. Distributed this version to full test audience.
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Added sound and put in code to check for "valid moves." Created 10 contests.
First test release to limited testing audience. Basic game with no sound effects and very few features. No logic to test for "end of game" condition (no more moves).
Compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000, Me, and 9x.
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