Ringtrainer
 
 
 
1. Introduction
2. Installation
3. Usage
4. History, Bugs & Fixes
5. Thx!
6. Legal stuff
 
1. Introduction
 
The Nürburgring. The "Green Hell", as Jackie Stewart called it. The Mother of all tracks. 22 of the most challenging, thrilling, scaring, and often enough, killing kilometers of asphalt that have ever been built and used for racing.
GPL gives us the opportunity to race on this monster without being in the danger to end as dead meat. But as driving in GPL in general is difficult, it becomes even annoying when learning the Ring. How often did you sit down in front of your computerwheel with the intention: "Today, I'm gonna tame it!". And how often did you quit driving, frustrated after having been killed a dozen times because you couldn't remember what came after the next turn.
To me, this happened a lot. And I wished that I could drive some of the hairy sections much more often to get the hang of them. But the sheer length of the track prevented this.
But then someone found out that with some alterations to the file "track.ini" one could change the point where the car is deployed onto the track in practice. I did some research and found a method on how to do this from within a program and then from within GPL. Ringtrainer was born.
Now you have the opportunity to learn the Ring piece by piece, section by section, without having to drive a full lap inbetween (and getting even more frustrated). Some call this cheating. I call it maximizing the fun. And that is what computer games are for, IMO.
Once you know the Ring and are able to drive complete laps without crashing, you'll find out that you would have missed a lot of the "GPL-experience" if you had never learnt it. Ringtrainer is a little tool that helps you squeezing the maximum amount of entertainment and fun out of GPL.
 
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2. Installation
 
1. Download Ringtrainer here (534 kB)
2. Make a folder (for example C:\Programs\Ringtrainer) and unzip everything but the file "track.ini" into it.
3. Make a backup of your original "track.ini".
4. Unzip "track.ini" into the folder ..\gpl\tracks\nurburg. You must use this "track.ini", otherwise Ringtrainer will not work properly. Btw: The "track.ini" that comes with Ringtrainer has a nice little feature: It moves the pitboard-guy to the straight between the Südkurve and Hatzenbach. Because of this, he has enough time to write your actual laptime on the board.
Hints:
- When you launch Ringtrainer for the first time, it will ask you for the path to the "gpl.exe"-file and will write this path into a file "ringtrainer.ini" in its folder. Do not edit this file manually; Ringtrainer won't work or could likely crash.
- Ringtrainer needs VisualBasic-runtime-files to be installed on your computer. You can download them by clicking this link. If the link is broken, go to the Microsoft homepage and search the download-area for "visual basic runtime". Another way is to search at Yahoo, Altavista or whatever your favourite search-engine is.
 
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3. Usage
 
After having been started, the program will look like this:
 

(Click into linked parts of the image to get further information!)
 
 
The sectionselection:
Here you can select the deploypoint of the car. The selected point is immediately applied to GPL so you can directly start GPL and do some practicing. However, if your computer is fast enough, you may want to use the hotkey-option. See
this part for further explanation.
 
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The map:
This map shows the chosen section of the track highlighted in red. The car is deployed some hundred meters before the highlighted part so that you can gain normal speed before you approach it.

 
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The incar-view:
Here you can see the actual position where the car hits the track.

 
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The hotkey-option:
Check this option to activate F4 as hotkey. You must fire up GPL via the "Launch GPL"-button of Ringtrainer. Every time you press F4 during playing GPL, Ringtrainer moves you one point forward on the track and a chipmunk tells you the actual positioning via voice-output so you don't have to quit GPL to choose another part of the track. ATTENTION: You have to quit the practice session and reenter though for the changes to take effect. This is due to the fact, that GPL loads the "track.ini" only once at the beginning of a session.
Unfortunately this requires some computing power so I left it optional for those who don't have the big PIII or Athlon under their desk ;). Also, big framerate hits have been reported from opengl-patch users, but this should be history due to the lately released D3D-patch.

 
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The "Launch GPL"-button:
Clicking this button fires up GPL, and, if the option is checked, enables F4 as hotkey.

 
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The "Help"-button:
Opens the html-helpfile in the standardbrowser.

 
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The "Exit Ringtrainer"-button:
Terminates Ringtrainer.

 
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4. History, Bugs & Fixes
 
If you encounter bugs then please report them to: webmaster@joachimblum.de
A brief description of what happened would help a lot (this means that mails like "I cannot get this $%#&! to work!" do not really help).
 
2001/06/18:
- Ringtrainer V3.1 released. Corrected a bug that prevented some points from being selectable because they had umlauts in their name. Lesson to be learned: Never use umlauts in a program that might be used in an English-speaking environment ;). Thanks to eguzo for finding this bug. Some minor corrections in this helpfile.
 
2000/12/23:
- Ringtrainer V3.0 released. Complete translation into English, new online helpfile.
 
2000/06/06:
- Ringtrainer V2.5 released. Some improvements in the hotkey-routines - it uses less cpu-power now. End of development so far.
 
2000/06/05:
- Ringtrainer V2.0 released, now with hotkey-support.
 
2000/05/30:
- Ringtrainer V1.0 released. Still no hotkey-support.
 
2000/05/29:
- Ringtrainer V0.5 has already the actual user interface but lacks the hotkey-support.
 
2000/05/28:
- Ringtrainer V0.1 is born. It can read the track.ini, alter it and write it back.
 
2000/05/28:
- Project started!
 
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5. Thx!
 
I have to thank all of these people without whom this program would not exist:
 
- All GPLlers out there
for being the f***ing best community ever ;)!
 
- My lovely wife Erika
for being so patient with me and my hobby. I love you!
 
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6. Legal stuff
 
Ringtrainer is copyright (C) 2000 by Joachim Blum
 
The software is provided "as is". In no event shall I, the author, be liable for any consequential, special, incidental or indirect damages of any kind arising out of the delivery, performance or use of this software. This software has been written with great care but I do not warrant that the software is error free. You may not attempt to reverse compile, modify, translate or disassemble the software in whole or in part.
You may freely give copies of Ringtrainer to others, as long as the software is unmodified. You may not change a single bit, you may not exclude any files or add any to the package and you may not make Ringtrainer part of another package. You may not charge any money for the copying and/or distribution of Ringtrainer, also not for Ringtrainer itself.
 
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This document is (c) 2000, Joachim Blum. All rights reserved.