Dec 112017
 
Very simple, but small Smart-Terminal program.
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Very simple, but small Smart-Terminal program.
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Contents of the ETERM17.DOC file


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| ETERM 1.7 Smart Terminal Program |
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| Thomas Hanlin III, 01/20/85 |
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| User's Notes |
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ETERM requires an IBM PC and Hayes modem, or compatibles, a disk
drive, and at least 128K RAM to operate. Parallel printers are
supported.

This program may be freely copied and distributed, as long as the
introductory notice is not removed or bypassed in any way. If you
like it, let others in on the fun-- upload a copy to your local BBS!

If you have further questions after reading this guide, or would
like to make a contribution in support of this and similar programs, you
can reach me at the following address:

6812 Sydenstricker Rd
Springfield, VA 22152






PRELIMINARY NOTES:

Some keys may be indicated by more than one letter. In that event, the
key name will be surrounded by "<>", in order to keep things readable. For
example, , , and . That last is particularly unusual, since
the IBM does not mark that key: the Carriage Return, hence .

ETERM is as error-proof as I can make it. If you are asked a question,
you can usually abort it by pressing . That will keep the old value,
if applicable, or just abort the function. Most functions, once going, can
be aborted by using . That includes dialing, file transfers (except
for receiving ASCII files, a special case which is turned off by ALT-R),
ETERM to ETERM mode, and such functions. If you are asked for a file name,
you can list the files on the selected data drive by answering with a "?"
question mark (terminated by a carriage return).

I've done what I can to make this understandable, but if you're a
complete novice, it may help to keep a reference manual handy. Just
remember, there's not much you can do to hurt anything, and...
DON'T PANIC!

Please contribute if you use this program, so that I can continue to work
on it and other such products. Strike a blow against overpriced software,
and support shareware!




General operation:

First off, anywhere I say "MS-DOS", I also mean "PC-DOS". ETERM will
run on IBM PC's and close compatibles, like Compaq. it may run on other MS-DOS
machines, completely or otherwise, but I don't guarantee it.

ETERM is now fast enough to keep up with the fastest system transmitting
at 1200 baud, and XON/XOFF support (except for in file sending) has been
dropped. It may be advisable to use a ramdisk when receiving ASCII files of
great length (say, over 32000 characters) at 1200 baud, however, since the
disk access may eventually slow ETERM down enough that it will lose part of
the text.

Due to improvements in the autologon scripts and function keys, the new
version of ETERM stores this data differently. For this reason, if you had
autologon script or function key files, you will have to re-enter them. The
parameter file and dialing directory, however, are unchanged, and should work
as is.





Changes since the last version of ETERM:

As of this version, ETERM should work with the modem dip switch one in
either position. Previous versions required the standard factory setting of
this switch to CLOSED.

Since many people using this program do not have a need of certain
functions used to communicate with mainframe computers, they have been deleted
to make way for more useful functions. The functions deleted include: support
of unusual baud rates, word lengths, stop bits, and parity settings; host echo;
and VT-52 emulation. ETERM is now faster, and includes the following new
features: more flexible autologon scripts; the ability to include control
characters in function key definitions; an ETERM<-->ETERM (split screen) mode
that at last works at a decent speed; and support of either setting of modem
dip switch one.





ALT-A: Autodial:

This command allows you to automatically dial up and connect with
remote computer systems. You can keep a directory of up to 46 phone
numbers, along with the corresponding computer name and modem settings.
Numbers may be added to, removed from, or moved about in the directory.
The computers in your dialing directory will be given letters from
a-w and A-W. You can call them by chosing the ial option and entering the
appropriate letter, or a list of letters. ETERM will automatically
redial the list you give it, if the line is busy, until it connects with
one of the computers in the list or until you press . If you would
like to call a computer not on the list, you should set the modem para-
meters beforehand (if you forgot, just xit, do it, and come back), then
just enter the phone number. Phone numbers may be 4, 7, or 10 digits in
length, for Centrex-type systems, local calls, and long distance. If you
are in a Centrex-type system, you should tell ETERM what number to use to
dial out of it by using the ALT-U (unusual parameter entry) command. This
number will then be automatically added when needed, as is the "1" prefix
for long distance calling.
The exit command may work slowly in this area, since ETERM must
finish dialing the number it is currently working on before seeing if you
have pressed . Just press it once, and have patience.
Autologon scripts are available via the ogon option. If you have given
a particular computer an autologon script, it will be able to automatically
log onto the system when you call it up. Not all systems may be able to use
this facility. The way it works is as follows:
First, you tell it the character that you want ETERM to wait for before
sending its information. For instance, if the first thing the computer you
called asks you is "Do you have lower case? ", you would tell ETERM to wait
for the question mark before sending a response. If you told it a space, it
would send the information after "Do ", which would be incorrect-- so, choose
a character that is uniquely identifiable, and at or very near the end of the
question to be replied to. This character can be anything that you can
generate from the keyboard. If it is a control character, it will be
highlighted on the screen (the carriage return shows up as a highlighted "M",
since it's the same as control-M). Then enter the text that ETERM should send
after receiving that character, ended by a control character. ETERM will send
all the text (if any) up to and including this control character (usually a
carriage return). Then you can enter the next character to search for, and
then corresponding text to send, up to the limit of 79 characters.
If this sounds difficult, well... it's not! Here's a sample logon script
for a typical RBBS-PC system:

?Ym?Ym*k?JOHNm?DOEm?PASSWORDm

where the lowercase characters here are actually the highlighted characters
on your screen, the control characters. Remember that control-M is a carriage
return. Now, here's what the logon script would look like, in action (info
from the computer is in lowercase, and info from ETERM to the computer is in
uppercase, to distinguish them, and asides to you are in {braces}):

{Connected to Typical RBBS-PC 844-1212 {short wait}}

{AUTOLOGON BEGINNING}

can your computer display lower case? Y

this is the typical rbbs-pc
operating at 1200 baud, 8 bits, no parity
Anytown, USA {and blah blah blah}

do you want ibm-pc graphics? Y

*************** Bulletins as of 01/17/85 ***
{after seeing "*", ETERM sent a control-K to interrupt the bulletin listing}
{and the RBBS-PC responded a little later by aborting the listing}

what is your first name? JOHN

what is your last name? DOE

password (dots will echo)? PASSWORD {AUTOLOGON DONE}



If other people have access to your computer, it would be a good idea
to leave out the password, and just enter the stuff from there manually. ETERM
automatically sends up to five carriage returns on logging onto a system, if
it doesn't respond immediately, since many systems require that to let them
know that you're there. For this reason, unusually slow systems may not work
with autologon scripts, as they may be sent extraneous carriage returns.
If other people don't have access to your computer, you can use the
autologon capability to improve security by automatically logging onto each
computer system with a different password. If you do this, it is highly
recommended that you keep several copies of the ETERM.LOG file on different
disks, just in case something should go wrong with it for any reason.



ALT-B: Baud rate switch:

This switches the baud rate, or speed, of your modem between 300 and
1200 baud. You can only use 1200 baud if you have a 1200 baud modem, and
if the computer you are connecting to does also. It is almost always
possible to use 300 baud, but it is much slower. If your modem switch one
is set OPEN, this function may cause your computer to lose its connection.
Try it and see. If it does, you may want to use it as an alternative to the
ALT-O command to hang up the phone, since it will usually be quicker.



ALT-C: Clear screen:

This clears your screen, except for the notice in the lower right
corner that " = Help". To clear just the status line, see ALT-G.



ALT-D: Display a file:

With this command, you can display a disk file on the screen. If the
file is not text, but a program or data, it won't look very nice, but you
can still display it. The file is shown one page at a time and stops until
you are ready to go on to the next page. If you aren't sure which file
you'd like to see, type "?" for the file name to list available files.



ALT-E: ETERM to ETERM mode:

This mode is for talking with a friend who also has the ETERM terminal
program. Each of you gets your own half of the screen to type on. When
you get to the bottom of your part of the screen, it will scroll up to let
you type more. The scrolling in older versions of ETERM was painfully slow,
but this has been fixed as of this version: the scrolling is now every bit
as fast in this mode as it is in the normal mode. The advantage of this mode
is that what each of you types is kept separate. Many terminal programs do
not have this mode, and only one person may type at a time, or all of the
letters get jumbled together.



ALT-F: File directory:

The file directory command gives you a list of all the files on the
data disk, or on any other disk you choose. It is limited to drives A-I or
so. ETERM no longer looks at the system switches to determine how many drives
you have, since ramdisks and hard drives might not be included. Therefore
there is no immediate error checking-- if you enter the letter of a drive that
doesn't exist, you will only find out when ETERM tries to access the drive
and gives you an error message. If you have explicitly set the data drive,
this command will also show you how much space is left on that drive.
Otherwise, the data drive will be the one that ETERM was run from, and the
free space left on the drive will not be displayed (due to limitations of the
function to display free space).



ALT-G: Clear status line:

This clears the bottommost line on the screen, which is used as a
status line by ETERM. You can use it to erase status information which
you don't need to see any more. To erase the whole screen, see ALT-C.



ALT-H: not in use (previously Host Echo)

This function has been deleted to make room for more useful functions.



ALT-I: Implement coffee break:

Actually, this is the IN USE function. If you are going to take a
short break, and don't want anyone to touch your computer in the meantime,
use this to display a "don't touch" message on the screen. Just press any
key when you get back to turn it off again.



ALT-J: Invert display colors: (formerly Area-code directory)

Some people prefer to have their screen display black characters on a
green background, rather than green characters on a black background. This
function allows you to switch back and forth... try them both, and decide for
yourself which is more comfortable! (The green background may take a few
seconds to get used to).



ALT-K: Kill a file:

Use this to kill or delete an unwanted file from your disk.



ALT-L: Local echo on/off:

If you connect to another computer and can't see what you're typing,
you should turn local echo on. If everything you type comes back doubled,
you need to turn local echo off. Usually, "off" will be appropriate.



ALT-M: Change data drive: (formerly Mini-Calculator)

This will allow you to set a different drive than the original default
for ETERM to use as a default drive. Any file names you enter after using
this command will refer to the drive you have specified. ETERM still uses
the original drive for its own files, though, so it knows where to find them.
For this reason, if it is at all possible you will modify any of ETERM's
parameters (such as dialing directory, unusual parameters, function keys, etc)
during a session, you should not remove the disk containing ETERM until the
program has completely terminated.
You must explicitly specify the data drive using this function for the
ALT-F (display disk files) function to tell you how much free space is left
on the drive. If you don't, it simply won't display that information.



ALT-N: Rename a file:

If you want to change the name of a file on the disk, this is the
command to use. You cannot rename a file from one disk to another.



ALT-O: Off phone (hang up):

Use this to hang up if the other computer won't do it for you. It will
tell you when it has succeeded in hanging up. Occasionally, the phone line
may jam and this command won't work. Press to make it stop trying to
hang up, and remove the phone plug leading to the wall from the computer.
After a few seconds, you can put it back in. This will hang up the phone,
although it will only be needed very rarely. The ALT-O command will sometimes
be slow, but it almost always does its job.
If your modem switch one is set to OPEN (it shouldn't be unless you've
changed it from the factory settings), functions ALT-W (change word length
and parity) and ALT-B (change baud rate) will probably disconnect you. In
that case, you may choose to use them instead of this command, since they will
probably do a quicker and more reliable job of hanging up.



ALT-P: Print out a file:

This will send a file to the currently selected printer. Only the
parallel interfaces are supported. If you have a printer connected to a
serial RS-232 port, you will not be able to use it unless you have previously
used the MS-DOS 2.0 "MODE" command to redirect parallel output to the serial
printer.



ALT-Q: Quiet mode:

This controls sound level of ETERM. If you choose oud, you will get
loud beeps when appropriate, and you'll be able to hear any dialing ETERM
does. ushed mode uses quieter beeps, and no listening-in on the phone.
ilent mode turns off the beeps altogether.



ALT-R: Receive a file:

By using this command, you can receive files from other computers, or
make a record of what you are doing on them. ASCII receiving is useful for
text files and stores everything that is sent to you, verbatim. Xmodem,
the Christiansen CP/M transfer protocol, allows you to download (receive)
program files from any of the many computers which can handle this format.
Xmodem does error checking, and will see to it that you almost always get a
perfectly accurate program transfer. If you need to know it, this Xmodem
uses the original checksum method, not the newer CRC protocol.
Start the Xmodem send on the other system before beginning the receive
on your end.



ALT-S: Send a file:

As with Receive, you have a choice of how you would like to send a
file to the other computer: ASCII or Xmodem. The ASCII transfer has
XON/XOFF support, meaning that if the other computer is set up for it,
it can tell ETERM to pause transmission when it needs to take a break.
You can also specify a pause after the end of every line transmitted, to
give the other computer enough time to store the line, if it needs it.
Start the Xmodem receive process on the other computer before starting
the send process on your end.



ALT-T: Time/date/time connected:

This tells you the current time and date, and how long it has been
since you last connected to a computer system. If you are not currently
connected, this last bit of information may not mean much.



ALT-U: Unusual parameter entry:

You can enter all sorts of unusual parameters using this option. It
will allow you to select which ports the modem and printer are located at,
a string to initialize the printer, whether you need to use a dial-out number
of nine for Centrex and similar phone systems, and so on. You should go
through this once the first time you use ETERM, to make sure that the parameters
are set to your liking. For instance, it is vital to make certain that ETERM
knows which COM port you are using for your modem-- COM1 or COM2.



ALT-V: View parameters:

A comprehensive view of the important system parameters is provided by
this function.



ALT-W: Word,parity: 7,E / 8,N:

This command switches the word length and parity settings between the
two most commonly used values: 7 bits, even parity, and 8 bits, no parity.
In order to use Xmodem, you must log onto a system using 8 bits, no parity.
If your modem switch one is set OPEN, this function will probably disconnect
you. If so, then you may be able to use it instead of ALT-O to hang up the
phone, and it will probably be faster to do so.



ALT-X: Exit ETERM:

Just what it says. If you have changed the disk in the drive that
ETERM is in, you'd better change it back to the ETERM disk, or you'll lose
any changes that you've made to the dialing directory, logon scripts, or
parameter list.
The original disk also has to be in place if you opt to save the function
key settings, although this is done only when you initiate it, not at the
termination of ETERM.



ALT-Y: View function keys:

You can also edit them, if you like. Function keys provide a quick way
of entering a command to the other computer system: instead of typing it
in, you just press the appropriate function key. The keys have no values,
to begin with, and you may change them to anything you like. There are twenty
function keys (1-10: plain function keys, 11-20: shifted function keys), which
may each be assigned up to about 75 characters. To stop defining a function
key, you use , allowing to be incorporated into the function key
definition. Function keys may be saved, which makes them permanent, or not
saved, which means they'll revert to their previous definitions when you
next run ETERM. Function keys cannot be used to store ALT commands.
As of this version of ETERM, you can embed control characters in a
function key. As with the logon scripts, the control characters will be high-
lighted. Remember that will show up as a highlighted "M", and you can't
put in a function key definition since it is used to terminate the
definition.



ALT-Z: not in use (previously Send zeros, or a machine break)

This function has been removed to make room for more useful functions.




ALT-0 through ALT-9 are reserved for future expansion, but are not of any use
currently. ETERM is currently written in compiled BASIC. An experiment with
translating it into Turbo Pascal failed, due to lack of I/O buffering
capabilities. It may eventually be translated into C, adding speed and
allowingthe addition of more functions. Until then, there won't be much room
for expansion, although suggestions are always welcome. If anyone has
documentation on how the Xmodem CRC protocol works, please send it in, as I'd
like to include the capability in future versions of this program.


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