GIB on the Internet

To play a network game: To play over the net (Internet or Intranet), first select the ``players'' entry on the setup menu. The game needs to be organized in advance, with one of the human participants selected to ``serve'' the table. This human must first start his own GIB and type in his OWN IP-address in the relevant spot in the setup dialog and he must in some way ensure that this address is known to the other players. The other human players must type the server's IP-address in their own setup. Each player must also decide in which direction he sits. If this place is already occupied by another human an error message will be generated. We've included a button to find your own IP address under Windows 95/98; under Windows NT, you'll need to open a CommandPrompt box and type `ipconfig /all'.

If you are going to use a Windows 95/98 Intranet in a SOHO-surrounding, there normally are no IP-addresses preset by the Windows installation program, so you must give the addresses manually using the Windows Control Panel. In the control panel, go to Network and select the properties for the TCP/IP Etherenet Adapter. Give any suitable address (e.g. 193.193.193.44) and the subnet filter 255.255.255.0. The IP-address consists of four parts x.y.z.u, where you for your intranet can select x to be between 192-224 and y,z and u can be 0-255. u is the id for your computer and every number is specific to that computer. x.y.z is the address of your intranet and must be the same on every computer in your network.

When a player tries to connect to the server and gives the server's address, the Windows operating system will try to connect to Internet via a modem. Cancel this and now the GIBs should find each other. Using a network, 2 to 4 players can be interconnected and the partnerships can be as desired. Be sure to give your name in the players dialog box, so that the server can see who has been connected and decide when to start the game.

If you're serving the table, you need to wait until all the players are there. Then simply start play. It's not possible to kibitz an internet GIB game, or to join the game once it's started.

Certain features are disabled during network play. Only the server can skip to the next deal, and it's impossible to review the bidding or card play. You can still ask GIB for a hint, though.

Pricing structure: Our policy is that all feature enhancements to GIB, other than improvements to the bridge, will always be free for all of our customers. Network play is not a bridge improvement, so it's free. There is no annual fee, no upgrade fee, no fee of any kind.

GIB vs. OKBridge: The fact that it is possible to play bridge against GIB on the internet will doubtless lead some people to compare our product with services like OKBridge. Let me make a few comments about that comparison.

First, it is not our intention to compete with OKBridge. GIB is not a bridge club. We do not provide an internet service, mediate disputes, arrange partnerships, and so on. If people want to set up a chat room somewhere where people looking for a "GIB game" can go, that's up to them. And yes, you could use that service to set up games that didn't have any computer players at all. But that's not a service that we expect to provide, because we aren't in the bridge club business.

Although we don't provide the bridge club service that OKB provides, there are a variety of things that we do provide that OKB does not:

Finally, a request. Our policy has always been to trust our customers. Once you install GIB, you don't need to have the CD in the drive in order to play. We did that so that people could play GIB on an airplane, both at home and at work, and so on. In general, we feel that our trust in our customers has been rewarded.

But please remember that if you're running two copies of the program at once, you are supposed to have purchased two copies of it. We realize that it will be tempting for two members of a regular partnership to share a copy of GIB, and to play simultaneously over the network.

Please don't do that. We're committed to making GIB both the best bridge player and the best bridge program on the planet. Continuing improvements take time and money and if we can't afford to make them, they won't get made.

Thanks!