Dec 312017
Public Domain (FREE!) communications program with Zmodem, auto-redial, dial from phone list, etc.
File FREETALK.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Communications
Public Domain (FREE!) communications program with Zmodem, auto-redial, dial from phone list, etc.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
BBS.LST 4075 1206 deflated
FREETALK.CFG 138 115 deflated
FREETALK.DIR 4211 1216 deflated
FREETALK.EXE 97312 24089 deflated
MAKEDIR.EXE 38806 26000 deflated
PCZ21189.ZIP 39531 39503 deflated
READ.ME 14221 5567 deflated

Download File FREETALK.ZIP Here

Contents of the READ.ME file

FREETALK version 1.0

Public domain terminal program with...

>> Interrupt-driven serial I/O - up to 38400 bits per second - menu selectable.

>> Capture text to a file. Send ASCII text from a file.

>> File Upload/Download with Xmodem or Xmodem/CRC. If the public domain PCZ.EXE
is present, then Uploads/Downloads may also use Xmodem-1K, Ymodem(batch),
SEAlink, or Zmodem protocols. (Zmodem is usually best and is recommended.)

>> Shell to DOS (to browse files, run other file transfer programs, etc.)

>> User-configurable MODEM initialization and dialing lead-in strings.

>> Browse/dial from phone directory file. One-key redial. Optional auto-redial.

>> One-key shell to up to seven user-definable external programs. (Your favorite
file-browser, editor, directory navigator, PCTOOLS, etc.)


UnZIP the file PCZ21189.ZIP and put the PCZ.EXE program somewhere (say,

for example, in the directory, C:\COMM ) and SET an environment variable
called "TALK" to that path so FREETALK can find PCZ when it needs to




...will do the job.

Also put the configuration file FREETALK.CFG (described below) and your
dialing directory (FREETALK.DIR) in this directory. FREETALK will use the
path given by the TALK environment variable to find all of them.

FREETALK uses the environment variable called "COMSPEC" to find COMMAND.COM
for use in shelling out to your user-defined external programs (but not for
PCZ.EXE), and for the shell-to-DOS feature. You should not have to worry
about the "COMSPEC" environment variable, as it is normally set by the
operating system when it coldstarts.


The configuration file, "FREETALK.CFG", should be an ASCII text file (a sample
one is provided) placed in the directory named in the TALK environment variable,
and may contain one or more of the following lines (in any order). Case is not
significant and the file will be converted to all caps as it is read. All lines
must begin in column 1, and there should be no spaces around the "=" sign. The
values shown below for everything except the F2-F8 lines are the default values
FREETALK takes if the lines are not present (and therefore need not be coded
unless you want different values).


Notes: The MODEMINIT string is sent to the MODEM as FREETALK starts up.
The default (shown) for a Hayes-compatible MODEM sets...

Q0 - enable reporting of MODEM result codes

V1 - enable verbal result codes (so the user can
read them - FREETALK doesn't analyze result codes)

X4 - enables extended result codes

&C1 - causes MODEM to raise or lower the DCD (Data Carrier
Detect) line in the RS-232-C interface depending on
whether or not it can hear the carrier from the
distant MODEM. (Necessary for FREETALK's sensing
a connection during automatic redialing.)

The DIALPREFIX string is the standard lead-in for tone-dialing
a Hayes-compatible MODEM.

[ Both the MODEMINIT and the DIALPREFIX strings ]
[ use the dial string syntax used in the dialing ]
[ directory file. (See below) ]

The TRIES=1 turns off the automatic redial until connected feature.
Enable it by specifying the number of times to dial until a connection
is made, either here, or from "Parameters" from the main menu (F10).

If automatic redialing is enabled (TRIES=n where n > 1) then the
RETRYDELAY line says how many seconds to wait for carrier before
trying again. This may also be set from the menu.


FREETALK.DIR is the dialing directory file. It is simply a text file of your
own design, requiring only that there be a phone number, enclosed within
braces { } on each line. The file is displayed in a window as lines in a menu
when you invoke the dialing directory from the menu. About 70 columns is all
that will fit for each line.

A simple utility is provided (MAKEDIR.EXE) which can aid in placing the braces
around the phone numbers in a large phone list (such as you may get from a
bulletin board), which asks for the starting and ending columns within which
to search for phone numbers. It just searches inward from the columns given
for non-blanks, and surrounds whatever's htere with braces. An example file
retrieved from a Dayton area BBS is provided (BBS.LST) and the sample FREETALK
directory file (FREETALK.DIR) provided is the result of running the MAKEDIR
program with column numbers of 31,45. You may have to clean up the file
before and/or after processing with your favorite text editor, to fix oddly-
placed phone numbers, extra long numbers, etc.

The text within the braces will be fed, with FREETALK's DIALPREFIX string con-
catenated on the front, to the dialer routine, which takes the following action
with strings it processes...

Sends bytes as encountered, except for these special cases...

^x (where ^ is caret and x is any alpha) means
send Control-x. (i.e. ^M sends carriage return.)

= means wait 1/2 second (9 timer ticks). Multiple
='s may be given for longer delays.

^= means send one = (equal sign)

^^ means send one ^ (caret)

The routine sends a carriage return after the string.

(This syntax also applies to the MODEMINIT and DIALPREFIX strings.)

To use the dialing directory, select "Look up a #" from the main menu (F10)
and page through the list ("P" for previous page, "N" for next) until you
see the entry you want. To dial it, select the entry by its menu number,
or with the highlighted bar using the up/down arrow keys and press enter.
(Press ESCape to return to FREETALK without dialing.)

When you select a number, it will be dialed once and you will be returned
immediately to terminal mode, if TRIES=1. If TRIES=n where n > 1, then the
number will be dialed n times. This automatic redialing process will be
interrupted if (1) the MODEM senses carrier from the other end (raises DCD
in the RS-232-C interface), or (2) if you hold down either SHIFT key.

From terminal mode, pressing F9 causes the last number dialed to be dialed
again - either once (if TRIES=1) or n times (if TRIES=n).







FREETALK /H see the correct usage, which is...

FREETALK [ port [ bits.per.second [ parity ] ] ]

...where port is 1 or 2

bits.per.second is 30060012002400480096001920038400

parity is ODD or EVEN or NONE


Function key usage in FREETALK...

F1 = Help screen on F-keys

F2-F8 = User defined (in FREETALK.CFG - see above)

F9 = Re-dial last number dialed

F10 = Menu


General description of the file-transfer protocols supported by
FREETALK when installed with PCZ.EXE...

Xmodem: This is the most popular protocol in use today, but it is slowly being
replaced by quicker and more reliable protocols. Error checking is a checksum
or a 16-bit Cyclic Redundancy Check. The Xmodem protocol requires a setup of
no parity, 8 data bits, and 1 stop bit. Xmodem is relatively slow, requires
both ends of the transfer to be told the filename of the (only one at a time)
file being transferred, and does not preserve the creation date or exact length
of the file. (The file size is rounded up to a multiple of the 128-byte Xmodem
block size.) FREETALK supports Xmodem (checksum or CRC) internally without
PCZ.EXE present.

XMODEM-1k: Like xmodem except that it uses 1024 byte blocks, sometimes mis-
labeled as ymodem.

Ymodem (batch): This protocol is a variation on Ymodem, which allows for
multiple files to be sent per transfer. While transferring files, it keeps
the correct name, size, and date, and may use 128 or 1024 byte block sizes.

SEAlink: SEAlink is an advanced version of Xmodem developed by System Enhance-
ment Associates. It is a sliding window protocol SEAlink is 15 to 25 percent
faster than regular Xmodem. SEAlink passes a file's name, size, and date when
transferring it, and can be used to send more than one file at a time.

Zmodem: This advanced protocol is very FAST and extremely RELIABLE, and offers
many features. Zmodem can transfer a group of files in one batch, while keep-
ing the exact file size and dates. Zmodem can detect and recover from errors
quickly, and can resume an interrupted transfer at a later time (this feature
is called Zmodem Recovery). Zmodem is also very well suited for satellite
links and packet switched networks.

Of the methods provided by FREETALK with PCZ.EXE, Zmodem is generally the best
choice, and is recommended.


FREETALK is placed in the Public Domain by...
Chuck Somerville TO BE SOLD
7690 Stonesboro Drive
Dayton, Ohio 45424-2262

I may be reached at...

Eastman Kodak Company - Printer Products Division
3100 Research Boulevard
Dayton, Ohio 45420

(513) 259-3561 (voice) 9am - 6pm Eastern (or leave message 24hrs/7days)

FREETALK is available on (and messages may be left for me on)...

The Programmers Connection BBS 110/350.......(513) 461-6735...FREETALK.ZIP

Mythical Kingdom Tech BBS 110/290............(513) 237-7737...FREETALK.ZIP

Fitted Software Tools Modula-2 Support BBS...(214) 517-4629...FREETALK.ARC

I am not soliciting contributions for this program, but if you find it useful
(or if you don't for that matter) I would appreciate a card or letter telling
me what you liked or disliked, or what you would like to see added or changed
in future releases. I thought about making it $5.00 shareware just to track
its usage, but I really wanted it to be free, so I am just asking for a card
or a message on one of the BBSs listed above (or through FIDONET) to get some
idea of how many people are using it out there.

Feel free to distribute FREETALK.ZIP or FREETALK.ARC to friends, other BBS's
and the like. I would only ask that you distribute the entire package intact,
with all documentation, and with the PCZ package intact, complete with its
public domain license information. (I have PCZ's authors' permission to
distribute PCZ with FREETALK, but those are their conditions.)

You can get the latest version of PCZ from the authors at their BBS listed
in PCZ.DOC. (The version included with this FREETALK package was still the
latest version as of March 1990.)


FREETALK is written in Modula-2 and uses Modula-2's built-in facilities for
multi-tasking to maintain separate communications, keyboard, and background
line monitoring tasks. (The RS-232 port's control lines are sampled every
half second during normal terminal operation - indicated by the "heartbeat"
you see on the status line.)

FREETALK was written using the FST Modula-2 development system.

This proffessional-quality compiler and development environment is shareware
with a registration fee of only $49 (as of this writing - March 1990). This
finely-crafted package may be downloaded for examination from the FST Modula-2
Support BBS mentioned above.

Unlike FREETALK (which I placed in the public domain as a direct reaction to
the $80 - $150 price most people get for comm programs these days, which IMHO
is too much!), the FST Modula-2 development system is a complete set of program
development tools with an integrated environment at a modest price. If you
should decide after evaluation you want to use it, I strongly urge you to pay
the registration fee. Registered users receive timely expert support from
the author himself, as well as from a cadre of knowledgeable users who frequent
the Registered Users' Support Conference on the BBS. A collection of user-
developed Modula-2 code is available for download to registered users as well.



Name Description
------------ -------------------------------------------------------

READ.ME This file.

BBS.LST Sample nput to MAKEDIR.EXE. Was produced by removing
headings from an actual Daytin-area BBS list.

FREETALK.DIR Sample dialing directory file (produced by MAKEDIR.EXE
from BBS.LST)


FREETALK.CFG Sample configuration file. Make your own using this as
an example.

FREETALK.EXE The FREETALK terminal program.

PCZ21189.ZIP The Zmodem/SEAlink/Ymodem file transfer program used by
(or .ARC) FREETALK. Public Domain.


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