The Ultimate ChatDoor for Remote Access
CHAT! V3.10, Written & Compiled by C.Buijs
Copyright (C) 1990/91 by LongWord Software Development
This manual was written by C.Buijs
CHAT! is a chat-door for Remote Access. I felt like writing a chat-program
with a number of features that I had seen in other chat-doors.
My intention was to include all these good features in one program, so
I did..... but then....
After I lost the original CHAT! programm and sources, i totally rewrote
CHAT! (Only for Remote Access!!, the old CHAT! worked with both QuickBBS
and Remote Access), i can say it's better than the old one!,
this documentation was updated to be compatible with the new CHAT!, after
reading it for several times i didn't discover any flaws, if you find any
flaws in it (maybe some info about something CHAT! doesn't support anymore)
please let me know.
The author is not to be held responsible for any damages or loss of data,
as a result of using this program. It was thoroughly tested during several
weeks (months), without any problems.
Requirments: IBM PC, XT, AT or PS/2
256 KB free memory
Remote Access V0.04 or higher (V1.00 also!)
FOSSIL (BNU or X00)
What can CHAT! do?
Full-Screen and Split-Screen (Switchable within CHAT!).
Message to sysop.
Not availble screens/text per hour.
Up to 256 definable song-files where CHAT! will pick randomly from.
Abbreviations, up to 512.
Programmable Function-Keys, startup .EXE, .COM and .BAT files, with
variables that can be given through by CHAT! (commport, baudrate etc.).
Reason for chat, will be automatically Subject in message to sysop,
but still editable by the user.
For each message CHAT! can give, you can define your own text/screen.
Page-Length, number of pages, page-hours will be read from CONFIG.RA,
but are also editable in CHAT!, for each day of the week!
Full info-screen when user is yelling.
Status-line with user-name, city and how much time he has left, also
the current time is displayed.
Time-limit can be changed with the arrow-up/down keys.
The asc/ans screens CHAT! reads may contain the ^F and ^K text-variables,
they will be translated also, ^A also supported.
The ^F and ^K text-variables are also usable in the yell-prompt and
Definable Colors for the sysop, user and system messages.
Great configuration utility for easy setup.
And much more...
CHAT! can be installed as a type 7 or 15 door in your menu's.
When you use CHAT! as a Type 7 or 15 door, NO parameters are needed.
I suggest that you supply the *M parameter on the optional dataline
in you menu's, CHAT! uses approximaly 150 KB when its fully in use.
CHAT! supports one parameter, /F, with this parameter you can force a
chat, now you can define an ALT-Fn key for CHAT! and break in for a chat
with a user, when the /F parameter is given CHAT! will not ask for any
reasons or doesn't bleep, CHAT! will directly start in chat-mode, /F
stands for 'Force Chat'.
CHAT!.EXE can be placed in the directory you want, CHAT! searches for the
RA environment variable at startup, when not found, the current directory
is taken as the RA directory, the following files (when used) must be
placed in this directory:
CHAT!.CTL - CHAT! Control file.
CHAT!.ABV - CHAT! Abbreviation file.
CHAT!.MSG - CHAT! Not-availble message-file.
CHAT!.IGN - CHAT! User-ignore file.
CHAT!.VIP - CHAT! Very-Important-Person file.
When CHAT! is started up, CHAT! will search for the EXITINFO.BBS and
DORINFO1.DEF files in the CURRENT directory, this is done for sysops who
uses an multiline environment of RA.
CHAT! Control file
This file contains the configuration of CHAT!. It's a plain ASCII file,
that can be edited. All statements are optional, lines that begin with a
semi-colon (;) will be ignored. This file must remain in the same
directory as CHAT!.EXE. The following statements are used:
With this statement you tell CHAT! to start up with the abbreviations
If enabled, CHAT! will put your name on the screen as soon as you start
typing. If the user starts typing, his/her name will be shown. Also, if
the user interrupts your writing (very rude, though :-), his/her name
will appear too.
With this statement you can tell CHAT! to capture all the text as the
default, all text will captured automaticaly to the CHAT!.CAP file.
If CAPTURE is not enabled, you can always switch on CAPTURE during chat,
by pressing ALT-C, note that all ANSI-Codes (when a user has his
ANSI-Flag set) will be captures also, so you can review later excactly
what was happened in full colour, note also that capture doesn't work in
You can give a filename to use as cature-file, when nit given, CHAT! will
use CHAT!.CAP in the system-directory, the filename is optional.
With this statement you can define some functions under the function-keys.
Where the numeric expression is of the function-key you want to use,
may range from 1 to 10, and the command you want to be executed,
you can see this command a any command you would like to type in on a
DOS-Prompt, for executing files NO .EXE/.COM or .BAT extension neccesary,
also for /BAT files, NO command.com needed, it uses the current
In the command-string you can use several parameters you want to give
through these are:
*A - Ansi on/off, gives a "1" if ansi is on, a "0" if off.
*B - Current baudrate (300 - 38400).
*P - Cuurent comm-port (1 - 4)
*S - Full sysopname.
*T - Users remaining time in minutes.
*U - Full username
and a very special one:
*V - Variable
If CHAT! sees *V on the command-line, it will as the sysop for a
parameter, the *V will be replaced by this parameter.
You can also display ANS/ASC files from the text-directory with a
function-key, just use as command:
The filename must be WITHOUT path and WITHOUT extension.
With this statement you give the location of the log-file you want to
use, for example: LOGFILE C:\RA\RA.LOG, CHAT! uses frontdoor-alike
When LOGFILE is not defined, CHAT! will use CHAT!.LOG in the system-
This is the messageboard number where the COMMENT messages will be
If enabled, CHAT! will prompt the user for a "reason to chat", before
yelling you. If no reason is supplied by the user, CHAT! will return
command to Remote Access. The "reasons to chat" are written into the
The registration-key you get when registering CHAT!, must be used in
conjunction with REGTEXT, if notvalid, CHAT! will work as an Unregistered
evaluation Copy, which displays every 2 minutes a annoying message.
The text you want to have when you register CHAT!, this text will be
placed in the banner, shown to the user at startup of CHAT!
With this statement (up to 255) you can define several song-files that
must be played when a user yells the sysop, CHAT! will randomly choose
one song from the songs you define with the song statement, the
songfiles will be searched in the path given with the SONGPATH
Path to a directory where CHAT! can find the songfiles you've defined
with the SONG statement.
With this statment you tell CHAT! to start up in SPLIT-SCREEN
With these 7 statements you can define paging-hours for evrey day of the
week, format of the TWO parameters are:
hh:mm - Where hh is the hour, and mm the minutes.
The first parameter is the starting time, the second the ending time,
please note that the ending time cannot be smaller then the starting
time, for example:
SUN 10:00 20:00 will work correctly
SUN 22:00 04:00 will NOT work correctly and no user can yell you.
With these four statements you can define the colors used for the
sysop-text, user-text, system-messages and de informations-bars.
must be a decimal number ranging from 0 to 31, and
must be a decimal number ranging from 0 to 7, the following
numbers represents the following colors:
0 - Black
1 - Blue
2 - Green
3 - Cyan
4 - Red
5 - Purple
6 - Brown
7 - Grey
8 - Dark Grey
9 - Light Blue
10 - Light Green
11 - Light Cyan
12 - Light Red
13 - Pink
14 - Yellow
15 - White
If you add 16 to thes values, the color will blink.
The yellprompt that must be shown to the user when he is yelling the
sysop, the text-variables (CTRL-F and CTRL-K) may also be used in here.
To create CHAT!.CTL you can edit the supplied CHAT!.CTL to your own needs,
or startup CHAT!.CFG.EXE this is a utilty that can configure CHAT!, its
fully menu-controlled, and all functions are self-explaining, CHAT!CFG.EXE
can also be used to change the current settings of CHAT!, at startup,
CHAT!CFG will read in CHAT!.CTL and you can edit the settings, and you can
save your changes back into CHAT!.CTL.
CHAT! ASC/ANS Files
CHAT! uses several ASC/ANS files, these files are ALL optional, when they
not exist, a hardcoded default message will be displayed instead, the files
must exist in the text-directory specified in RACONFIG.
The files CHAT! uses are:
ABORTED! - Is shown when the sysop cancels the users yell.
FINISH! - Is shown when the sysop and the user are finished chatting.
FORCED! - Is shown when the sysop has forced a chat.
HANGUP! - Is shown when the sysop presses ALT-H (Hangup).
IGNORE! - Is shown when the user exist in the CHAT!.IGN file.
LOCKOUT! - Is shown when the sysop presses ALT-L (Lockout).
MAXPAGE! - Is shown when the user has paged the sysop to much.
START! - Is shown when the sysop react on the users yell.
YELL! - Is shown to the user (not to the sysop, the sysops see an
info-screen with info about the user instead) when he is
yelling the sysop.
CHAT! ASC/ANS File Variables
In the ASC/ANS files CHAT! uses, you can use some text-variables also used
in RA, the valid ones are:
^A - If CHAT! finds this char, CHAT! will wait for Enter
^FA - Users Full Name
^FB - Users Location
^FD - Users Data Phone-Number
^FE - Users Voice Phone-Number
^FF - Date Of Users Last Call
^FG - Time Of Users Last Call
^FH - Users Security-Flag A
^FI - Users Security-Flag B
^FJ - Users Security-Flag C
^FK - Users Security-Flag D
^FO - Users Security-Level
^FQ - Number Of Uploads The User Has Made
^FR - Kilobytes The User Has Uploaded
^FS - Number Of Downloads The User Has Made
^FT - Kilobytes The User Has Downloaded
^FW - Users First Name
^FX - Sysops Name (Not in RA)
^FY - Sysops First Name (Not in RA)
^KF - Number Of Times User Has Yelled The Sysop
^KI - Time In 24 Hour Format (HH:MM:SS)
^KG - Day of the week (Sunday, Monday, etc)
^KJ - Current Date (DD-MMM-YYYY)
^KL - Start Paging-Hours (HH:MM) (Not in RA)
^KP - End Paging-Hours (HH:MM) (Not in RA)
^KR - Current baud-rate
^KS - Day of the week (Sun, Mon, etc)
CHAT! uses an optional file called CHAT!.IGN, this file may contain the
names of users you don't want to be able to yell you, it has the same
structure as the TRASHCAN.CTL file of RA.
CHAT! uses an optional file called CHAT!.VIP, this file is the opposite of
CHAT!.IGN, this file may contain the names of users that are special (Very
Important People), and can ALWAYS yell you, when a user yells you and he
exists in this file, the page-hours will be ignored, the page-settings
set with ALT-O in RA also will be ignored, a flashing VIP will be added
after a username in the info-screen when he is a VIP, this file also has
the same structure as the TRASHCAN.CTL file of RA.
CHAT! has just like M-Chat abbreviations, definable in CHAT!.ABV. Some
sample abbreviations are supplied in the CHAT!.ABV file included in this
package, but you can edit this file as much as you want. Every
abbreviation contains two lines: On the first line the abbreviation, on
the second the string that should appear whenever Sysop OR user uses the
abbreviation. You can add your own abbreviations, with a maximum of 256.
Abbreviations consisting of one or more words can be used.
There are some system-abbreviations (makro's) in CHAT!, the following
abbreviations are system-abbreviations:
/T - Show the current time.
/D - Show the current date.
/U - Show the user name.
/S - Show the sysop name.
/I - User info.
/FU - First name of user.
/FS - First name of sysop.
CHAT! Not-available messages in CHAT!.MSG
If a user yells outside the period, defined in CONFIG.RA, or whenever
you don't (want to) reply on a yell, CHAT! will show a little
text to the user. This text can be defined per hour in CHAT!.MSG. Like
al the other control files, CHAT!.MSG is a plain ASCII file, that you can
edit using your own favourite line-editor. The format of CHAT!.MSG is as
In which is the hour that the particular text should be shown, and
is the messagetext. Between and a colon ':' MUST be
supplied. You can create a text of more than one line: Just state the same
on several lines, followed by the messagetext. Example: If you want
to create a text for 04:00 (am), you should edit CHAT!.MSG like this:
04:Are you nuts? The Sysop is asleep right now!
04:Shouldn't you go to bed, too?????
For each hour you can enter a text up to 64 lines, as with the other CHAT!
support files, this file must remain in the same directory as CHAT!.EXE.
You can also define a message starting with 99:, this message will be used
as default message when CHAT! hasn't found a message for a particular hour,
when no message is found for a particular hour and the 99-message is not
defined, a hard-coded message will be shown.
You can also define a ANS/ASC screen for each hour, just instead of some
text you can say:
After the hour and semicolomn (:) you write a appendix (@) and a filename
WITHOUT any PATH and WITHOUT any extension, CHAT! will search for the
ANS or ASC file in your text-file-directory pointed out in RACONFIG.
The text-variables (CTRL-F and CTRL-K) can also be used here.
CHAT! uses the page-settings defined with ALT-O, so don't forget to switch
your page-settings, CHAT! reads the PAGESTAR.RA file in the RA directory
for this function.
At startup, CHAT! will read the PAGESTAT.RA file in the system-directory,
this file contains information about the page-status you can define in
RA with ALT-O, according to the information in the PAGESTAT.RA file,
CHAT! will act the same as the internal chat of RA.
Note that scroll-lock will overrule the page-status of RA, and that the
paging-times used, will be the ones you define in CHAT!.CTL instead of the
paging-times you define in RACONFIG.EXE.
As the Sysop, you have several functions available, that can be activated
by just pushing the right buttons:
ALT-A - Toggle Abbrevications on/off toggle.
ALT-C - Toggle Capture on/off. Everything that is written by you, or
the user will be written to the file CHAT!.CAP. You can view
and/or edit this file for later purposes.
ALT-E - Start up the full-screen user-editor for current user.
ALT-G - ANSI Graphics on/off toggle, this will only affect CHAT!, not
the ANSI flag of the user.
ALT-H - Terminate connection at once. (Hang up on user)
ALT-I - Show user-information.
ALT-J - Shell to DOS function (Sysop only). CHAT! will show the user
a message, stating "Sysop has shelled to DOS...One moment
please". After you finished your work in DOS, you can return
to CHAT! by typing "EXIT" at the DOS-prompt.
ALT-K - Shows the Sysop keys to the sysop.
ALT-L - Lock out user and hang up.
ALT-P - Toggle AUTOPROMPTING On or Off.
ALT-S - Full-Screen (Split-Screen) On/Off toggle.
ALT-V - With this option, you can show the user a file. ASCII and ANSI
files can be shown.
ALT-W - 'Wipe-clean'. This function clears the screen. May be needed in
case of very bad phoneconnections
F1-F10 - Proggramable function-keys, see FKEY session.
LOCK - Switch between availble/not-availble mode.
ESC - End Chat-mode.
Included in this package is an utility called CHAT!TSR, its a TSR utility
that you can startup from the DOS-Prompt, it has to be started only ONCE!
CHAT!TSR will check if it's already installed, so don't worry if you start
CHAT!TSR by accident a second time.
CHAT!TSR checks when resident if the key-combination ALT-SPACE is pressed,
when it is, it will show you on line 24 and 25 of your display the date,
time, username, location and reason for chat of the last user who yelled
you with CHAT!.
The correct syntax for CHAT!TSR to startup is:
CHAT!TSR [Timeout] [/U]
Timeout is the number of seconds the message on line 24 and 25 must
stay there before line 24 and 25 is restored and control is given back
to the system, this is an optional parameter, when not given, CHAT!TSR
will use the default-timeout of 3 seconds.
Use /U to un-install CHAT!TSR.
CHAT!TSR is not needed for CHAT! to work properly, its only a handy
stand-alone utility, CHAT! works as good with as without CHAT!TSR.
You are encouraged to copy this program and share it with others. Make
sure that the archived file contains all the files that you found in this
archived file yourself.
The files that MUST be included are:
CHAT!.EXE - Main Programm.
CHAT!CFG.EXE - Configuration program.
CHAT!TSR.EXE - Small TSR utility to show reason for chat.
CHAT!ENG.DOC - This File.
CHAT!NL.DOC - Dutch version of this manual.
CHAT!.REG - Registration Form.
CHAT!.CTL - Sample Config File.
CHAT!.ABV - Sample Abbreviatoion File.
CHAT!.MSG - Sample Messages file.
CHAT!.IGN - Sample user-ignore file.
CHAT!.VIP - Sample V.I.P.-User file.
SONGS.ZIP - Sample SONG Files (40 Files!, written by Bart Burkels).
BANNERS.ZIP - Sample ANS/ASC files.
The CHAT! version you currently have, may be unregistered. In that case,
CHAT! will show a message at startup to the sysop and the user, and will
delay for 10 seconds.
Running CHAT! as a unregistered program is in NO way destructive of
any kind, and all the functions of the program are available.
If you register, the annoying message at startup will be disabled.
When registering, you'll get a code-key (number) that can be typed in in
CHAT!CFG or can be added with a ASCII-Editor in CHAT!.CTL, together with
the registration-text you fill out on the registration-form it will disable
the annoying message.
The code-key will work with all versions of CHAT!, also version that are
released after current release, if the algorithm to calculate the key
changes, you can update your key for free.
To register this program, you must do the following thing:
Print out the file CHAT!.REG, fill it (by hand) in and send it with
a cheque (NL: 25 Guilders, UK: 10 Pounds, otherwise 20 US-Dollars) to:
For all countries: For the United Kingdom
C. Buijs Mr. D. Parker
De Spil 22 9, Timerley Garden
1507 CX Zaandam Batts Hill, Redhill Surrey
The Netherlands RH1 2BG England
Sending CASH-Mony is on your own risk, if it dissapears in the mail or
whatever, we CANNOT be hold responsible.
After the form and cheque are received, the registration-code will send
to you by post or netmail (if availble), it can also be given to you by
telephone (voice) if the other two ways give some problems of any kind.
Please remind that it can take up to two weeks before you get your key.
If you have any questions about the use of this program, or maybe a
bugreport, you can always contact the following BBS's. Also, you will find
the latest versions of CHAT! there, I will also give special thanks to the
sysops of the following BBS's for there great help with beta-testing.
Action Board Zaandam (Netherlands)
HST-Speeds 14.4, V42 & V42Bis
(Also Registration and Support Node)
Frontiers BBS (United Kingdom)
HST-Speeds 14.4 Dual Standard
(Also Registration and Support Node for the United Kingdom)
Action Board Aplhen (Netherlands)
Andries de Lange
The Olliveti RemoteAccess (Netherlands),
HST-Speeds 14.4 Dual Standard
Reinier de Groot
Multiport Paradise (Netherlands)
ByteLine! Systems Europe (Netherlands)
HST-Speeds 14.400 Dual Standard V32Bis
Special thanks to Bart Burkels who made this ENGLISH manual for CHAT!,
although i've updated it, he was the one who made it readable in the
Chris Buijs, 23-May-1991