Keywords: Software

A program developed by Sebastian Helm to record and replay go games with a Pocket PC.

Download the beta version for free from [ext] and post your feedback here or e-mail it via the link on that page. In either case, please make sure you include the build number. (You can find the build number under Help -> About. If you send e-mail through the provided link it should already automatically be included in the header). -- Sebastian 2003-09-09

(Sebastian 2004-10-25:) I'm currently not working on Miniban, but I will try to give limited support through this page.

Table of contents


I just realized that some friendly person posted a nice entry about Miniban on Pocket PC and even added screenshots!

Whoever it was - thanks a lot! -- Sebastian 2003-09-16

I also got some nice feedback by e-mail (which I was allowed to publish on my [ext] webpage), but I'm hoping for some feedback on this page, as well. Don't be shy!

Feature Discussion

Guessing Game

I was thinking of a feature, where one could guess the next move and specifically allow more than one choice. The result would be a "congeniality" value, which tells you how close your thinking to the player(s) you're emulating is.

AshleyF: That would be a pretty nifty feature for Miniban; to play through pro games, choosing say 3 - 5 points on each turn that I think are important, then see stats across all phases of the game of my choice's proximity in both space and time to the pro's plays. That'd be interesting to see.

AshleyF: By proximity in 'time' I mean that the chosen point was played later in the game. If you guess a point that was played just a few moves later then perhaps you're beginning to grasp a new concept but your timing is off. I've noticed in my own games that as I focus study on some concept (e.g. 'reducing frameworks') then I start to make correct moves in that one respect but have trouble balancing with other competing objectives - decent move, wrong time to play it.

(Sebastian:) The way I wanted to do it was:

  • Allow the user to click as many points as he/she wants. There will be one tenuki button, which means move was somewhere outside the current zoomed view.
  • When done, the forward button or key has the following effect:
    • Miniban compares if move has been predicted. If so then user gets points, (value depending on if actual move agrees with first or last prediction. Less points for tenuki because it contains more fields.)
    • display next move

But your idea sounds better.

Request: The number of captured stones displayed near the board.

(Sebastian:) I definitely should make this available. Question: Does it have to be always present or can it be reached by a menu? I prefer the latter because space is very limited, and you usually don't always need this information.

User Questions, Requests and Bug Reports

Issue: Pandanet and IGS information -- not repro


  • In the games from IGS the word PANDANET in the description is in capital letters. Miniban report this as a series of mistakes.
  • In the same files from IGS there is information about the stones marked as when scoring. Miniban crashes there.

(Sebastian:) Thanks for the feedback. I never had any problems with IGS. Maybe they changed the format. (None of my SGF files contains the word PANDANET, nor do they have properties for stones. I've only been playing on KGS since.) Could you please send me a sample file (to [email] Maybe this is a code page issue. Which language version of the OS are you using, and what are your locale settings?

Issue: Wrong Handicap placement - todo

(frogola:) When I recorded/played a 7-stone handicap game Miniban placed the side star-point handicap stones at the top and bottom star points.

(Sebastian:) Oh, sorry about the handicap arrangement. So you're saying it should be turned 90? When I resume work on it, I'll go through HandicapPlacement and check them. For the time being, please turn the PDA so it fits the board.

(frogola:) Yes, the handicap stones should be rotated 90 degrees. Thanks.

Question: Default location

(frogola:) Although I saved the game it seems to have disappeared; it doesn't show up in the list of games to load. Where is Miniban's default location for saved game files? -Frogola

(Sebastian:) Default location should be where you installed Miniban (I can't check the program right now and the [ext] VisualStudio documentation is vague about this). The default file names are in the format "yy-MM-dd HHmm.sgf" - maybe you can search for this?

(frogola:) oops - my bad, I found the games. Just a touchy connection with my laptop sometimes keeps files from showing up. I did notice a separate file for each time I saved this game;

Request: Option to overwrite - please use workaround

(frogola:) consider a config option where the same game with additional moves overwrites the previous version (with prompt).

(Sebastian:) I see your point. It is quite confusing if you have a whole folder full of similar names. But there is an easy workaround: When a game is done, save it under a name and/or in the directory of your choice; then simply delete the intermediate files at your convenience.

Issue: PDA froze - not repro

(frogola:) this morning i was recording a game with miniban and my pda froze up completely - i had to press the reset button to get it back. unfortunately i didn't save the game i was recording so it's lost. i recorded another game after that and everything worked ok (except handicap stones are mispositioned).

(Sebastian:) I'm sorry to hear this. I am not sure what made your PDA crash and I would need more information. This is the first report of an incident where a PDA crashed while Miniban was running. Are you sure it was Miniban? What other applications were opened at that time? Could there have been an interference, e.g. with a reminder? What exactly were you doing with Miniban when the PDA crashed?

(frogola:) the only thing running was miniban; i was recording a game.

Issue: Can't navigate to file - todo

(frogola:) another apparent bug is when i select 'open saved game' the only games listed are the ones in the 'sgf' folder i created. even when 'folder' is 'all folders', the games files which are in the root (miniban's default location for saved games) do not show up in the list, hence i can't open them on my pda but must copy them to my laptop for review.

(Sebastian:) I use the standard file dialog, like most other PDA applications. This dialog should offer you a choice to navigate through the folders. Are you saying you can't navigate in this dialog?

(frogola:) what i am saying is, i can navigate but no matter which folder is selected, the only sgf files that are listed are those in the 'sgf' folder. the ones in the pda root ("my pocket pc" in activesync explorer) do not appear regardless of which folder i select in the file dialog dropdown.

(yuubyou:) rev 0.6.0831.12 defaultly (`File/Save') saves in the root (`My Device' in File Explorer). The standard file dialog appears to look only under `My Documents' and `Storage Card'.

(Sebastian:) That's strange. It seems to behave differently on different devices. Maybe I should have it ask for the folder the first time you save automatically?

Issue: Board lines disappear after captures - todo

(frogola:) After captured stones are removed from board, miniban does not display the lines within the area of the captured stones. (Sebastian:) Yep, known bug. Originally, I kept it because I found it funny - as if the board got blasted away by the capture. But obviously many people don't share this sense of humor - I've had several complaints about this. Thanks again for your feedback and for using Miniban!

Issue: Pass not recognized - todo!

(yuubyou:) When I load a 9x9 SGF file, the board is initially displayed as 19x19. When I go to the end of it with the [->|] button, miniban crashes. [ext] is the file (and move 58 is a proposed cover illustration for Get strong at gote 2/e).

(Sebastian:) Well, this is actually embarrassing: It just doesn't recognize passes. Certainly something I should fix! However, in your case, the workaround is simple: Just delete the last two pass moves ("W[tt]" and "B[tt]").

(kester 2005-04-13:) I just got miniban recently and I like it - especially the zoom in feature. I have 2 issues and 1 nice-to-have enhancement for the lists:

  • Issue 1 : same as mentioned above, when I load a small board game in to replay, it appears on a 19x19 board. I thought of zooming in as a work around but what happens when an edge group gets taken when it's no longer an edge??
  • Issue 2 : when I save a game with score info, the score info seems to vanish?
  • Nice-to-have : any chance of a meaningful file name on the default save? e.g. "kester-sebastian-050413" ?

Big feedback

(Sebastian:) I received mail with very good, extensive feedback from a user who agreed to post it here. Thanks a lot! Since it is a document on its own I will put it in a subpage: /feedback 2006-02.

Miniban last edited by on January 23, 2015 - 08:58
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