Contents of the COM2COMS.DOC file
Remote communications for IBM and compatible computers.
Published (P) 1991 by DiskTop Publishing Group
Copyright (C) 1990,91 Oaklandon Computer Research,Inc.
All Rights Reserved. 14 FEB 1991 REV. 06-S
What is COM2COM?
Com2Com is a remote communications package featuring full
screen transfers, file transfers and remote/host printer
control. Com2Com does not support graphics modes or mice.
Most available commercial software that does not REQUIRE
graphics or a mouse will run with Com2Com. We have tested it
with the following programs:
Quick Basic 4.01b
Skyline Property Mgmt.
Great Plains Accounting
SBT Accounting Programs (dBase III+)
Novell Netware 2.15 SFT
Some modems may not support the commands required by Com2Com.
We have tested it with the following modems:
Star 2400 (internal/external)
Cardanal 2400 (internal/external)
US Robotics Courier HST
Watson (1200 & 2400)
Avatex 1200 External
Everex 2400 (internal/external)
Please note that we tested only the US Robotics 9600 BPS
protocol, NOT V.32 and NOT dual standard. We also had some
problems getting the Watson modem to connect to the US
Robotics, altho we eventually had some success.
THIS SOFTWARE IS SHAREWARE.
TO USE IT LEGALLY PAST THE DEMONSTRATION PERIOD IT IS
NECESSARY TO REGISTER IT.
TO GET ANY SUPPORT FROM THE AUTHORS IT IS NECESSARY
TO REGISTER THE SOFTWARE.
SEE THE FORM BELOW FOR REGISTRATION INFORMATION.
THE PROGRAM IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND
EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED
TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE.THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND
PERFORMANCE OF THE PROGRAM IS WITH THE CUSTOMER. IN NO EVENT
SHALL O.C.R. BE LIABLE TO CUSTOMER OR ANY THIRD PARTY WITH
RESPECT TO ANY LIABILITY, LOSS, OR DAMAGE CAUSED BY OR ALLEGED
TO BE CAUSED BY THE PROGRAM, ITS USE OR OPERATION, WHETHER
DIRECT INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL.
O.C.R. does not warrant that the functions contained in the
Program will meet the Customer's requirement or that the
operation of the Program will be uninterrupted or error-free.
This License shall be governed by the laws of the State of
Customer is licensed to use the Program:
(1) Solely for the internal purposes of its own business,
(2) On TWO machines ONLY at one time.
(3) Use this program as described above for a period
of not more than 1 month without registering the
software and paying the registration fee of $50 US.
(1) Copy the Program into any machine readable or printed
form for backup
(2) Copy this SHAREWARE version of the program and distribute
it to others by ANY means so long as this license and
documentation is not removed or altered,and so long
as no more than a reasonable (less than $10 US) is
charged for the service.
This document assumes that the readers will have some working
knowledge of the operating environment (e.g. DOS.) and about
some of the hardware used by the IBM PC (e.g. printers, monitors,
THE DEFAULT PASSWORD IS 'URANAD' ! This is required to run the
setup and installation programs.
1.0 Setting up COM2COM
To install COM2COM simply copy all files associated with the
system into a subdirectory on your hard drive, or copy them to
a system floppy. They will fit on a single 360K diskette with
no problem. The files included with COM2COM are:
COM2COM ABS 4000 4-01-91
SETUP ABS 4000 4-01-91
COM2COM COM 10448 4-01-91
CHOPS EXE 46480 4-01-91
CLSPC EXE 5088 4-01-91
FCOPY EXE 32896 4-01-91
SETUP HLP 14560 4-01-91
The setup program 'CHOPS' is used to change the user options for
To invoke the setup program from COM2COM simply type 'CHOPS' at
your DOS prompt and press [ENTER]:
The setup program is documented on-line, which means that help is
available within the program by pressing F1.
When CHOPS starts, you'll see a large window with the current
setup options. And a flashing cursor to show you that it is
waiting for you to select a COM Port.
There are four radial dialog options (COM PORT, PRINTER PORT, BAUD
RATE, and ALIAS) and 2 check boxes (REBOOT HOST, LOCK HOST)
To change the radial options, use the arrow keys and the floating
dot will move accordingly to show the current option for that
To move from field to field in the setup program press the TAB
key, or SHIFT+TAB.
To change check box options, press the space bar. An 'X'
represents that item is checked.
Holding down the ALT key highlights the shortcut keys to all
options. To move directly to another field without TABbing through
all the options before it, hold down the ALT key and press the
letter associated with that field.
The REBOOT HOST option will reboot the host machine upon
connection termination. This may or may not work with your
machine, it works on all of ours, but we've been around long
enough to know that some BIOS stuff is really strange. If this
DOESN'T work on your machine we would appreciate a postcard
telling us that it failed, along with your brand of machine,
version of DOS and type of BIOS (AMD, AMI, Phoenix, etc).
The LOCK HOST option is not implemented in the shareware
The printer return code is a hexadecimal number indicating the
value that will be returned to the program doing the printing
if the printing is successful. The default value here is 90H.
If you have any remote printing problems you may have to
change this number. Note that COM2COM will NOT detect paper
out or other error conditions on REMOTE printers (printier
attached to the calling computer).
Press ALT+O to pull down the options menu, which allows you to save
the configuration and exit.
1.1 What is a host and a remote computer?
A host is a computer that is waiting for another computer (the
remote) to connect to it via modem and establish a communications
link. Once the two computers are connected, the host will ask for
the user to login (discussed later) with a special password that
only certain users are allowed to have.
Once the user has correctly logged himself onto the host, the
remote computer takes over the Hosts' keyboard, disk drives and
printer; and the host takes over the remote's display. The
remote has actually taken over the host so that a program that
displays information will display the information to the remote's
screen or printer (whichever is being addressed.) Likewise, any
input to the program comes from the remote's keyboard.
1.2 Setting up a COM2COM host computer.
So that both computers are speaking the same language, both
computers will need a copy of the save version of COM2COM.
To get the same version of COM2COM on 2 computers, simply make a
copy of the current (latest) version to a floppy disk.
Put a copy of COM2COM in drive a and close the drive door and
type "A:" at the DOS Prompt. Your screen should look similar
to the screen below. If you are running a floppy based
system, the first prompt will be A:\> or similar.
** Note: if you have a hard disk based system, you may want to
copy COM2COM to a subdirectory of the hard disk and
switch to that directory before continuing.
To start COM2COM in host mode just type: COM2COM at the DOS
NOTE: If you haven't setup your copy of COM2COM to be used as a
host facility, you MUST do so before trying this.
COM2COM Version X.XXx (C) Copyright 199x Oaklandon Computer Research.
COM2COM: Waiting For Connection..
The host computer is now waiting for a remote computer to connect
to it and establish a communications link.
The host computer, once invoked with COM2COM has returned to its
normal computing state, or back to the command mode. You can now
run other programs or leave it waiting at the command prompt so a
remote computer can enter commands (such as run applications, copy
1.3 Starting remote access.
Once a "HOST" computer is waiting for a remote connection, any
computer with a modem can dial into the host and establish a
connection (Provided the host and remote are both using the same
version of COM2COM.)
NOTE: If you haven't setup your copy of COM2COM to be used as a
remote facility, you must do so before trying this.
To get the remote computer to dial into the host, you must start
COM2COM in remote mode by typing:
You will then see a message displaying that the modem is being
initialized and a few seconds later, a dialogue box asking for
the phone number:
| COM2COM Version X.XXx (C) Copyright OCR.... All rights... |
| Enter Host Computers' Phone number: |
| [_ ] |
Entering in the phone number in the space provided will dial the
host and establish a communications link that only COM2COM can
understand. Dialing the host with any other terminal program will
not work correctly.
After the Host has correctly identified that the remote is using
COM2COM, you will then see a prompt to enter your user id.
CONNECT xx00 Baud.
The remote user will get 3 chances to correctly enter the user
id that has been assigned by a supervisor. After accepted, the
user will then see the same screen as shown by the host and can
enter commands or keystrokes just like the remote computer and
host were the same computer.
2.0 Controlling the printer.
The host computer will default to its local printer when not
connected to a remote (e.g. all printer output goes to the printer
connected to the host provided it is available.)
Once connected, the host computer defaults to the printer connected
to the remote (e.g. all printer output goes directly to the printer
at the remote end, provided it is available.)
2.1 Changing printer status.
To change the default status of the printer (while a remote is
connected) press ALT+P. You should see a box displaying the
correct printer status:
| Using Host Printer for output |
ALT+P is a toggle, so the next time you press ALT+P you will change
the default printer back to your printer.
| Using Your Printer for output |
3.0 Terminating a communications session
Press ALT+X to disconnect from the host at any time. Any print
jobs will be lost (if directed to the remote printer) but
processing jobs will continue until finished.
| Disconnect from Host (Y/N)?_ |
Press Y to disconnect and terminate the session. The remote will
disconnect from the host and return to the operating system.
4.0 File Transfers
File transfers are implemented as a separate program called
'fcopy.exe'. This program is run on the host computer like any
other, except that it automatically detects the presence of the
COM2COM communications engine and uses it to transfer files instead
of screen and text information.
To start FCOPY you must be at a DOS prompt on the host machine.
From the DOS prompt simply type 'fcopy'. The devices in FCOPY are:
SYS:REM/ referring to your 'local' machine
SYS:HST/ referring to the host or 'called' machine
A box will appear on the screen asking for 'FROM' and 'TO'. The
default is FROM:SYS:HST/ and TO:SYS:REM/. Following these you may
insert a fully qualified DOS path and filename. You may also
backspace over the HST/ or REM/ to change the copy defaults. Once
valid filenames are entered and the [ENTER] key is pressed the
transfer begins, with a status window to show how much of the file
has be transferred so far. Before pressing [ENTER] you may move
from field to field using the TAB key and you may abort the copy
operation by pressing [ESCAPE].
4.1 External Protocols
If FCOPY won't do it for you, COM2COM also works with popular
external protocol programs such as DSZ from Omen Technologies.
To transfer files using an external protocol you must have the
external protocol program on BOTH the host and remote
machines. Run it with the correct command line on the host
machine first, then shell to DOS on the remote machine and run
it there FROM WITHIN THE SHELL.
5.0 Questions, Troubleshooting.
Q: I start my computer as a remote and enter the number to dial,
but it doesn't dial.
A: Is the modem on?
Are all connections to the modem secure? (ie Phone line, serial
Is your modem on COM 1 or COM 2? (use setup to change comports)
Q: I hear the modem connect, but I don't see anything on my screen.
What can I do?
A: Make sure that you have used the correct modem set up as
described in the set up section of this manual. Failing that,
try pressing [ENTER] on your machine and see if that brings us
the 'USER-ID:' prompt. Make sure that the host machine is indeed
running COM2COM and not some terminal program or other remote
control package. If all else fails, give us a call (If
you're a registered user).
Q: When I get connected and enter my password, the screen goes
blank, usually completely white. What's happening?
A: You have probably dialed into the host computer when it was
running a graphics application. COM2COM does not currently
Q: My modem does some crazy things when I try to dial out, and I
often can't get anything to happen at all. What's wrong?
A: Be sure that your modem setup strings are valid for your
particular modem. Refer to your modem manual if necessary and
setup the strings using the setup program (CHangeOPtions or
CHOPS) to the proper values for your modem.
Q: After using COM2COM I can't get my other terminal programs
(such as Procomm, PCPLUS or Telix) to work correctly.
What's going on?
A: Currently COM2COM does NOT reset the modem after exiting.
So the modem will still be set up for COM2COM. In Procomm
or Telix you need to make sure that your initialization
string is complete (i.e. turn auto answer off, set results
to character). You will need to check your modem manual
for complete instructions on how to do this. If you are
using host mode and are NOT restarting COM2COM after a
reboot you might want to reset the modem to turn off auto
answer in your autoexec.bat file. Again, see your modem
manual for details.
Q: Somethimes after I clear the screen on the host there are
still characters left on my screen in odd places. What's
A: COM2COM can get confused about what it's supposed to send,
either because of phone line noise or because of the way some
programs clear the screen. COM2COM only sends what's updated
on the screen, so if it misses one byte, that byte will remain
there until changed. This is a hanging character.There is a
program included with COM2COM called CLSPC that fills the
screen with spaces. If you have hanging characters and they
really bother you, run this program on the host. No more
One way that we have found to reduce phone line noise is to
use an external modem. Some internal models tend to pick up
noise for the PC's power supply.
By the way, the registered version includes screen transfer
error correction....which obviates the need for CLSPC!
The benefits of registration are as follows:
1. Error correction on screen and printer transfers.
2. Mouse driven user interface with dialing directory.
3. On line context sensitive help system.
4. Two hours phone support from O.C.R.
5. Expanded and printed manual and keyboard overlay.
To register a two user license for COM2COM fill out the
form below. Contact us by phone for corporate site license
or bundling information.
COM-2-COM REMOTE COMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM
City, ST, Zip
Quantity Item# Price Ea. Ext.
1 COM-2-COM 50.00 50.00
(2 user license)
Indiana Residents add 5% sales tax ($2.50)
DiskTop Publishing Group
PO Box 241
Fortville IN 46040