Contents - Index - Previous - Next

Tutorial -- Introduction

Thanks for trying The League Assistant program for Windows. This program is shareware. Feel free to evaluate it as long as you like to be sure that it suits your needs and those of your league. If you like it and choose to use it for your league, you are required to register your license for it. Registration is quick and easy on the website with PayPal.Mail in Registration details are provided in the order form that is included in this help file. You can easily fill in and print the order form by selecting Help and Registration from the menu. Click on the Order Form button on the dialog box that appears. This will load the order form into the Windows notepad. You can fill out and print the order form while you are in the notepad application.

This tutorial will help to familiarize you with the many program features and options. If you're a user of a prior version of this program, you may find some tips in this tutorial that will be helpful to you. There are four major sections of this tutorial. This section is the INTRODUCTION. The next BACKGROUND section will give you some insight on the design objectives and history of the program. The third EXPLORATION section will use the "Example Files" provided in the compressed distribution file to explore basic program operation and features. The fourth EVALUATION section will take you through the initial set up of the record keeping for a new league. You will want to follow along on your PC when you work through the EXPLORATION and EVALUATION sections. You will get the most benefit from this tutorial if you follow along with a printed copy of this tutorial. You can also press Alt-Tab to hot key back and forth between this help file and the program as you work your way through the tutorial.

Perhaps you feel that you don't have the time right now to go through this tutorial. You want to jump right in and try the program. Go ahead and try it. You will find the program easy to use and with the on-line help, you will be able to use the program successfully for your league. If you run into problems, please work through this tutorial or contact me for assistance. Details on how to contact me are provided in this help file, in the About dialog box that appears when you select Help and About from the menu, on the website, and when you click on the Upgrade button that appears in the dialog box when you select Help and Registration from the menu. This program has worked well for thousands of users over the years and I'm sure it will work for you.

Back in the mid 1970's, a fellow employee at work asked me if I could create a program to help with the company bowling league record keeping. At that time, there were no personal computers available. I did the programming in BASIC on Compuserve. This was the start of the code for The League Assistant.

In the late 1970's, I purchased my first home computer. The first few machines I had, RCA COSMAC VIP and SINCLAIR ZX-81, did not have enough memory or power to support the league record keeping program.

In the early 1980's, version 1 of The Bowling Assistant was created for the TIMEX 2068 computer. The program and data were stored on audio cassette. Features were limited due to the memory size and serial data storage. But the program was successfully used to track and report on the results of our league for several seasons. This version was not offered to the public.

In the mid 1980's, versions 2 and 3 of The Bowling Assistant were created for the ATARI 800 line of personal computers. More memory and disk storage were now available. Program features were enhanced and it was successfully used for many seasons. These versions were offered as shareware to the public. It was uploaded to Compuserve and GEnie. The final version of this program is still available today if you are interested in using an ATARI computer.

Later in the 1980's, I purchased my first IBM compatible for the home. Although there were many registrations for the ATARI version, I decided that I enjoyed the programming more than I enjoyed the work of managing the sales, marketing and registrations. Version 4 of The Bowling Assistant was created and offered to the public as freeware. It was uploaded to Compuserve, GEnie, America on Line and local bulletin boards. This version was programmed in Borland's Turbo BASIC. I continued to use this BASIC for the DOS version of the program. Over the years, Turbo BASIC evolved into Power BASIC. Major design objectives for the MS DOS version for IBM PC compatibles were:

1) It will run on any IBM compatible from the original 8086 PC's to today's desktop & laptop PC systems.
2) It will run with only 640K of RAM.
3) It will work on machines with a single 360K floppy drive.
4) It will work with any text printer capable of printing 80 columns of ASCII text.
5) It will work with any monitor.

These objectives were met for all versions 4 and 5.

Version 4 was a simple porting of the ATARI version to the IBM compatible.

Version 5 was a complete reprogramming to take advantage of the increased power of the IBM compatible PC and add features that users were demanding. Some of the details of the version changes from 5.30 to 5.64 are detailed in the history section of this help file if you are interested.

Version 5.64 for MS DOS is mature. It has been refined based on comments and feedback of it's many users. It will probably be the last major change to the MS DOS version. It is offered as shareware.

The version you are working with now is 6 or greater. Versions up to 07.92 were written in Microsoft Visual Basic and offered as shareware. Starting with version 09.52 the program is now written using FireFly and Power Basic. Current version numbers are formatted as YY.MN where YY is the year, M is the month (1 to C), and N is the version number for that month. For example, version 09.52 would be the second version (2) created in May (5) for 2009 (09).

Over the years I have had many requests for a program that could be used for sports other than bowling. In 2002 I decided to modify The Bowling Assistant to create The League Assistant. The modifications allowed the program to be customized for any league where teams compete on a periodic basis.

I have had numerous inquiries about using the program for brackets and tournaments. Starting with version 15.42 in 2015, this functionality has now been added to the program with a multitude of options that should allow any league to create standard or custom brackets for their league.

That's enough about the background of the program. If you'd like to know more about it, please send email. You will want to be at your PC with a printed copy of this tutorial for the exploration section of the tutorial. If you don't want to print out the tutorial then keep it in memory. Load The League Assistant program and switch back and forth using Alt-Tab.