Space Trader is a strategy game for PDA computers
running Palm OS version 2.0 or higher.

There are three versions of the game:
* SpaceTrader_b&w.prc is for Palms running an OS
version below 3.5, or Palms that do not support
at least 16 grayscales or colors. Note that
this program file runs on any Palm with OS
version 2.0 or higher, so if you don't like the
colors/grayscales or have little memory to
spare, you can always install this version.
* SpaceTrader_gray.prc is for Palms running at
least OS version 3.5, and support grayscale
* SpaceTrader_color.prc is for Palms running at
least OS version 3.5, and support color

I found that several people cannot find functions
to buy equipment and such. These options are
available through the menu, which is accessible
by tapping the standard Palm menu button. Many
of the game's less often used functions are
available from there.

Information on playing the game can be found
in the game itself. There is extensive help on
every screen, which can be accessed through the
Help menu, using the option Help Current Screen
(shortcut H). Also, the Help menu contains some
separate entries that explain the overall design
of the game.

The document file SpaceTrader.html contains an
elaborate manual on many of the game's particulars,
even those that aren't covered in the Help menu.
It's not really necessary to read this file, but
it can help you to become a successful space

You can play two Space Trader games in parallel on
one Palm. You switch between them with the "Switch
Game" option in the "Game" menu. This allows two
people to enjoy their own game of Space Trader
using the same Palm.

Space Trader is rather large and complex, and not
suitable for short, quick games. It is suitable
to be played for several minutes, to be picked
up at a later time, though. Those who want a
game like this but which can be finished in, say,
15 to 30 minutes, should pick up Matt Lee's
DopeWars or Dave Webb's SolarWars.

This game's homepage can be found at You can find the latest
version of the game, the FAQ, the source code and
playing tips there.

If you want to contact the author to discuss the
game, file a bug report, ask a question or simply
express your feelings about it, you can do that
by email:

Any references to the classic 80's game Elite are

Have fun playing Space Trader.


This game is freeware and copyrighted by its author,
Pieter Spronck. It is released under a GNU General
Public License (GPL). This gives you the right to
distribute the game in almost any way you like. It
also means that not only the game, but also the
source code is available. However, the fact that the
code is released under a GPL means that if you use
the code in another application, you are obliged to
make available the source code of that application
too. The complete text of the GPL is included in the
file License.txt.


The files in the Space Trader package are the

SpaceTrader_b&w.prc (the black & white version)
SpaceTrader_color.prc (the color version)
SpaceTrader_gray.prc (the grayscales version)
SpaceTrader.html (the game's documentation)
Readme.txt (this file)
Version.txt (version differences)
License.txt (text of the GPL)


Name: Space Trader
Version: 1.2.0
Author: Pieter Spronck
Release date: Octobre 13, 2002
Palm OS: 2.0 and higher
Size: 393K (color), 337K (gray), 284K (b&w)
Creator ID: STra
Distribution: Freeware, under a GPL


The game probably won't run on a PalmPilot Personal
running OS 2.0.x - at least in won't run in the
emulator, and the emulator is much more forgiving
than an actual Palm. It should run on a PalmPilot
Professional running OS 2.0.x, although it may not
run in every case, because the memory management of
OS 2.0.x is not very good.

The error "Fatal Alert: MemoryMgr.c, Line: 4340,
NULL handle" indicates that you don't have enough
free RAM to run Space Trader. Unfortunately this
message is generated by the system itself, not by
my application, so I cannot replace it with a
friendlier and clearer message.

Several system hacks have been reported to me as
giving problems, not only with Space Trader, but also
with other Palm applications. Notably, this has been
reported to me about Phlegm hack and QuickBits.

Two players reported that on Palm OS 4.1, when they get
a message interrupt (for instance from the datebook),
the message title shows the text "Your fine and number".
(This was with Space Trader 1.1.2, it may be different
or absent in version 1.2.0). This is the first line of
one of the help texts of Space Trader. Obviously
something is wrong here, but I have no idea how this
is caused, and I can't emulate it. Perhaps this is also
due to a system hack. If anyone else experiences the
same kind of problem, please sign me in. At this time,
I simply do not have enough information to work on it.

Space Trader accesses the frame-attribute of buttons
in several places (turning them from buttons with
rounded corners into buttons with square corners).
According to the SDK documentation, this attribute may
no longer be supported by future OS versions. There is
no library function that can replace my direct access
of this attribute. It works up to OS version 4.1, but
there is as yet no clarity on whether it works with
OS 5.0 and higher. Therefore, in Space Trader those
buttons that normally have square corners have rounded
corners on OS 5.0 and higher. If I find out how to
get rectangular buttons to work on OS 5.0 and higher,
I may change this for a new version.