Contents of the WATCHCAT.DOC file
WATCHCAT is a program which performs certain functions critical to
safe and reliable operation of RBBS-PC.
1. WATCHCAT reboots system if no carrier is detected in 8 hours. Thus
if RBBS hangs, the system will automatically restart.
2. WATCHCAT reboots system if carrier lost during a critical period.
In particular, the system will be rebooted if carrier is lost while
executing a DOOR. This ensures that the system will be available after such
a loss, and that no user can gain access to a DOOR that he did not initiate.
3. WATCHCAT reboots system if the phone rings 20 times without
answering. This if the system hangs for some reason, it may be rebooted by
simply calling and letting the phone ring for a few minutes.
4. WATCHCAT reboots system if the "Hit any key to return to system"
message appears on the screen. Perhaps the most annoying RBBS problem is
if the system has a software failure, RBBS requires manual intervention to
be restarted. Since these software failures are frequent (about twice per
week on my system), this function keeps RBBS running reliably without
waiting for the timeout in function 1.
5. WATCHCAT drops the line if the left and right shift keys are
pressed simultaneously. This allows users to be logged off without a
nasty message, and allows the SYSOP to get immediate control of the system
at any time.
WATCHCAT is loaded as a TSR before RBBS is started for the first time.
The syntax is WATCHCAT ps, where p is the port number RBBS uses (1,2,3,4),
and s is the screen type (C-olor or M-ono). For example
WATCHCAT 2C specifies that COM2 is to be monitored and that the system
has a color screen.
Initially, all WATCHCAT functions are disabled. Subsequent WATCHCAT
commands control the operation of the program:
WATCHCAT OFF disables all functions
WATCHCAT ON reboots if carrier lost
WATCHCAT TIMER reboots if 20 rings without answering phone, if no carrier
in 8 hours, or if "Hit any key to return to system" appears on screen.
Also, pressing both Left and Right Shift keys simultaneously will
drop the line, logging off the current user.
Normally, WATCHCAT TIMER should be used just before RBBS is entered,
wheter initially or on return from a Door. WATCHCAT ON should be used just
before the CTTY command on entering a Door. WATCHCAT OFF should be used
when exiting RBBS to DOS.
WATCHCAT is in the public domain may be freely distributed provided
the WATCHCAT.DOC, WATCHCAT.ASM, and WATCHCAT.COM files are not modified
in any way. Users are free to adapt the program as they see fit. I would
appreciate a copy of such adaptations.
Joseph R. Ahlgren