Mike's Cinco (Penté) Program

Update - This program will not run on the latest Intel based Macintosh.  It is coded entirely in 68K assembler and must run in emulation on PPC or earlier Macintosh's.  I would love to port the program back to "C" (it's original language)  and  bring it up to date,  perhaps using a Java user interface, in order to support multiple platforms.  I expect that running natively on a modern processor would significantly improve it's capabilies.   I believe that the architecture could rather easily be adapted to run in parallel on multiple processors.  However with so many other activities occupying my time, I just don't have time, to make headway.   Since I don't have time to work on this project, myself,  I'm making this old 68k source code available to others using the Gnu Public License.

Download Source Code for Cinco


This program was started back when I was working for a company that was designing and selling "super mini" computers. The machines had 1 to 10 MIPS (a measure of computer performance) and cost up to half a million dollars. The first version was written in C and ran on one of these super mini computers. Soon after I bought an original 128K Macintosh. Later I upgraded it to a Mac Plus and ported the program to 68K assembly language with a Mac user interface. On the machines of the time, running with a skill level of master was impossibly slow.

A lot of the inspiration of this program came from the book "Computer Chess" by David E. Welsh. Except for the lack of an opening book, the program uses a search technique similar to those used by chess programs.

Now I have a new version of the program for the very fast PPC Macintoshs available these days. With older Macintoshs, the higher skill levels were absolutely unusable, do to the time it took the computer to calculate a move. When running the old program, current generation machines can calculate a move quite quickly even at the highest level . For the new version, I have increased the number of skill levels by 5. Everything else is the same. Let me know if you want a version that goes even deeper (and slower).  I believe that this version has a potential issue with 68k processor stack overflow on the newly added difficulty levels.

One trick you can use to see what the computer is thinking about is to flip between the Cinco window and another window while it is calculating the next move.  When the Cinco screen refreshes, it will show the move it is currently looking at.

I have heard of issues with folks having trouble with downloading and extracting the program. If you have trouble, try expanding with an application called Zipit.

  • Download Cinco(Penté) Program For Macintosh
  • Penté Rules
  • Cinco Program Directions

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