The method I described works for me in Win98se. I don't have WinXP so people with that may have to modify the method a bit (something about putting the commands outside the quotes or something of that nature).
But it DOES work.
From what I understand the Ship combat was simply not up to the standard they wished it to be when the game shipped. So they must simply have run out of time and locked off portions of their work as easter eggs.