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katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11] 
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
Here's a couple of questions maybe one should ask:

Can you install and use any of the gazillion engines out there, including the Chessbase ones? I believe there's a standard interface, but I just thought I'd ask.

What formats does Scid input/output besides PGN? Important if you have some old Chessbase files from a prior incarnation.

Is there a truly free .rar extractor out there that someone has used? That Million Base 1.74 file may be free, but you've got to get the contents out of it. Yes there are free trials for several programs that will do the job and I'll probably buy one eventually anyway, but some true freeware is to be preferred.

How do you get the TWIC archives? I went to their website, but the only download I could find was their latest issue. Maybe I just missed it, but then my wife tells me I'm not very observant... She might even be right... :?

Inquiring minds might want to know...

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Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:12 am
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
Wildman wrote:
Is there a truly free .rar extractor out there that someone has used? That Million Base 1.74 file may be free, but you've got to get the contents out of it. Yes there are free trials for several programs that will do the job and I'll probably buy one eventually anyway, but some true freeware is to be preferred.

I use WinRAR. Yes, it tells you that you must buy it after 40 days, but you can just click close on the box that pops up once the trial period runs out. There's probably a better choice out there but I've been using it for awhile now so it's what I've stayed with.

Wildman wrote:
How do you get the TWIC archives? I went to their website, but the only download I could find was their latest issue. Maybe I just missed it, but then my wife tells me I'm not very observant... She might even be right... :?

Here you go. http://www.chess.co.uk/twic/twic


Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:46 am
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
@Wildman:
Uniextract is an excellent free alternative to any commercial competitor. It's short for Universal Extractor. I'm using it pretty much exclusively.

To download the TWIC files manually is a lot of work, but the Firefox extension DownThemAll can save you a lot of time there.

SCID can not use the chessbase format, because it is proprietary. You'd have to find a way to export these files to pgn. Of course SCID does PGN, but it also has its own database system, which is very good imo. It also does EPD files.

Engine installation is fairly easy once you get the hang of it. You should be able to install all engines. The only case I can think of where I had problems was when I could not find the engine file for Junior, which came in a special package. As long as you can find the engine file, you should be able to install. If not, just chose one of the many extremely strong free engines out there. Glaurung for example, which is what I use exclusively. Commercial engines aren't significantly stronger than the good free ones. In fact many of them are weaker, especially if you use a dated version of a commercial engine. The only exception to that is Rybka obviously, which you will be able to install without any trouble.

@katar:
Great video! I've also been working with SCID for several years now, but there are always new tricks to learn. Good point about using shortcuts, those really are worth learning. Bringing up the engine with a quick slam on the F2 key still brings a smile to my face.

My impression is that SCID does slow down quite a bit when confronted with large databases regardless of pc speed. But of course clipbase is a perfect workaround for that. Want to look at some Nimzo lines? just grab all the Nimzo games in your huge database and put them into the clipbase. Or create a new Nimzo database and copy your games there.


Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:10 am
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
A very handy video thanks katar and everyone for the useful information.

7-Zip is excellent open-source file (de)compression software:
http://www.7-zip.org/


Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:14 pm
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
glad to see this video on scid. the 'word' is / was spreading that development work on scid had stopped a few years ago. that led to the development of ChessDB [on which there is also a recent video in the forum].

i posted asking about the differences between the two programs [in addition to their both being free - isn't being 'the same' a sort of 'difference'? - namely, 'no difference'?] i do favor 'let a thousand flowers bloom!' AND i prefer to know that each flower presents different strengths and weaknesses -- not just re-invented wheels.

can someone who knows more about engines than i do [which is nearly nothing] shine some light? e.g., i got an email that stated that scid had an upper limit on games / databases of 16,000 games. is that true? if yes, is there a work-around? [i think the free version of Chessbase has a 32,000 upper limit. ]

oh yeah: are there similar free programs around?


Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:56 pm
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
Bobster:

SCID's newest version is January 2010, so its development appears to be quite active. In contrast, ChessDB has not had a new version in 2.5 years, since August 2007. SCID blows away ChessDB feature-wise, IMO.

If you watched the video, you saw that my SCID database has 1,530,000 games (1.53 Million). So -- No, SCID does not have a limit of 16,000 games. I don't know why you'd get an email with that rumor. Free software like SCID is not crippled (unlike ChessBase's demo version).

A google search might uncover free alternatives, but because SCID is free and meets my needs i have no reason to browse around. GL.

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Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:13 am
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
The only feature ChessDB has over SCID is a statistics tool in the opening tree. Nothing you really need.

From the SCID mailing list:
- Scid has a limit of 16 millions games per base. Before reaching this
limit, the size of the game file could exceed 2 GB, which was not
possible on 32 bit systems. So now some of Scid's IO handle large
files (64 bit I/O system calls even on 32 bit systems) (but the limit
for the game file is still 4 GB, given that games offsets are saved as
unsigned integers). So now it is possible to have bases that
effectively contain up to 16 M games.


Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:59 am
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
katar -

The SCID software I downloaded was not working right, so I deleted and am going to try downloading again. I'm using a brand new laptop running Vista, but since you said (above) that the latest release is January of this year, I'm sure it must be compatible w/ this.

I've run into another question - when I was playing around w/ SCID, I discovered that you cannot edit games when in pgn mode, at least not w/o an additional program called pgnscid(?). I tried finding this on the website and couldn't find a link anywhere to download it. I think I would need this if I want to copy over all my games from Chessbase into SCID, correct?

Thanks again for your help.

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Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:38 pm
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
Yeah, i've seen other folks here at CV.tv run SCID on Vista.

***

Yes, PGN files are read-only in SCID. (ie, you can't save changes directly to the PGN)

I'd forget about "PGNSCID" if i were you, it's from 2001 or something and can be safely ignored. :-D

I show an easier way in the video: i create a SCID database called "NEW" then i import seven PGN files (menu item: Tools, Import File of PGN Games)

the PGN's are imported into the active database. See video at ~7:30 to ~9:30. Should be pretty clear i think.

***

The above should be sufficient, BUT a different way is to open the PGN (menu: File, Open, choose PGN file) and the drag and drop the PGN into another database in the Database Switcher Window.

I will make SCID Workshop #2 soon b/c #1 has been popular (lots of views/comments).

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Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:19 pm
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
studentofchess: I run SCID on Vista. If you have problems pm me and I'll try to help.


Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:43 am
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
Wow, I feel really dense. I've been playing around w/ this thing and can't seem to figure it out. And I am a Math-(computer)Sciences major who was a Systems Administrator in the military. Granted, that was 25 years ago, but still....

I can't seem to figure out how to do something as basic as saving a game. I've tried 3 times now to enter in 3-4 moves, then save the game. I close out SCID, reopen and either the file is not saved, or I can't find where it is saved at?

Thanks katar and HH for the help. I don't want to hijack this video into my own personal help line, so I'll pm you guys w/ questions. One thing I did notice though was that when I first open SCID and there is a new board, or if I was playing through a game and hit Ctrl-X (new board / game), and then I clicked in the empty space to the left of the board, the program would lock up and the computer's "ding" alarm would go off repeatedly. The only way I could stop this was through the Task Manager, and even then the "dinging" would continue..... If its not Vista, perhaps SCID is not compatible w/ something else that is on my laptop.

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Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:55 am
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
I never had that particular problem. So it's probably something on your laptop. Let's continue this with pms.


Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:33 am
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
katar

Love the program. I'm having a little bit of trouble with it. I've downloaded it successfully but then I tried to download the mill base that you had and it doesn't do it in pgn format. The files always end in .zip. How do you get the files to pgn format if its not doing it automatically?

I also tried downloading some of the TWIC archives manually but I'm running into the same problem.


Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:46 am
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
Randas,

As it says on the website:
Million Base 1.74
1.74 million quality chess games in PGN format. You need WinRar to unzip the 192 Mb download.

Instead of WinRar you could alternatively use "7zip" mentioned above in this thread. I prefer 7zip. :cyclopsani:

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Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:00 pm
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Post Re: katar - SCID Workshop 1 [38:11]
How can I convert CBH files to pgn?


Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:08 am
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