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The MPt Protocol v1.10

User's Manual

Copyright (c)1990 by Matthew Thomas
All Rights Reserved

The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Licensing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Customer Support. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

2. Getting Started. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
The Help Screen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
The Setup Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

3. The MPt Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Running MPt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Program Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
A+/- Delete aborted downloads. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
B+/- Beep upon completion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
CDSx Log to a CDS file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
D+/- Stamp with current date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Ex Effective baud rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
F+/- Enable 16550A FIFO buffers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
HF Handshake fast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
HD Handshake on disk writes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
HN No handshaking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
HS Handshake slow. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Lx Log to a DSZ file . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
N+/- monitor the carrier signal. . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
O+/- allow overwriting received files. . . . . . . . . . 9
Px COM port number . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
R+/- allow resumed transfers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Sx UART baud rate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
M+/- Hangup modem when finished. . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
W+/- Wait for keystroke when finished. . . . . . . . . . 10
X+/- Enable RLE compression. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Sender File Specifications. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Receiver File Specifications. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Exit Codes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Examples. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

4. The MPt Display. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Screen Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Colors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
The Help Screen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Batch Status. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Current File Status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Throughput Efficiency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
UART. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Stats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Display Footer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Messages. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

5. The Setup Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Main Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Change Default Options. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Adjust Screen Colors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Install Registration Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Quit and Save Settings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

6. Acknowledgments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Inside. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Outside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Trademarks and Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25


A. Log File Formats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Enhanced DSZ Log Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
CDS Log Format. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

B. MPt Auto-Start Receive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

C. Suggested Reading. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

D. Software Revisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

1 - I n t r o d u c t i o n


The MPt Protocol is a powerful tool for getting your data from one
place to another through a serial link. Whether downloading or
uploading files to and from a bulletin board system, or moving
files between PC compatible computers over a serial cable without
a modem, you will find that MPt will do the job, and will do it
quickly and accurately.

MPt offers many advanced features:

þ Full color screen display of transfer status.
þ Standalone setup program for changing default options,
configuring screen colors, and installing registration
þ UART (serial port) baud rates up to 115200 bps.
þ Auto-sensing of 8250, 16450, 16550, and 16550A UARTs. Full
support for 16550A FIFO buffers.
þ The ability to use COM ports 1 through 4, with each port's IRQ
and base I/O address fully configurable.
þ Call Data Standard (CDS) logging of file transfers.
þ Enhanced DSZ compatible logging of file transfers.
þ All screen operations use direct video memory access, or
DESQview, TaskView, OmniView, TopView, Microsoft Windows, and
IBM 3270 PC multi-tasking video buffers (MTVB), if present.
þ Optional auto-start of the protocol receiver.
þ Optional data compression on a block level using RLE
þ Fast and reliable recovery from line and data errors.
þ Dynamic block scaling for optimal data throughput.
þ Up to 99 files transferred in a batch.
þ and many more features...


The MPt Protocol and its accompanying documentation have been
released as Shareware. This gives you the chance to experience
the performance of the software for a 30 day evaluation period.
If you continue to use this product beyond this period, you are
required to register. Information on becoming a registered user
can be found in the file LICENSE.TXT.

The author specifically disclaims all warranties, expressed
or implied, including but not limited to implied warranties of
merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose and the
program license granted herein in particular, and without limiting
operation of the program license with respect to any particular
application, use, or purpose. In no event shall the author be
liable for any loss of profit, lost savings, commercial damage, or

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

other incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use
or inability to use the MPt Protocol even if the author, Matthew
Thomas, or an authorized distributor of the product has been
advised of the possibility of such damages, or for any claim by
any other party.

This agreement shall be governed by the laws of the state of


Product support is available through three channels. To contact
the author with questions, suggestions, problems, or other

1) Call the Programmer's Guild BBS at (414) 639-8456 and send
E-mail to Matt Thomas.


2) Call the Exec-PC BBS at (414) 789-4210, and send E-Mail to
Matt Thomas.


3) Drop a note via US Mail to:

MPt Software Company
Matthew Thomas
PO Box 4694
Racine, WI 53404

The author offers limited support to unregistered users of the MPt
Protocol, in order to help them get the program installed for
evaluation. If you have a problem installing or using the
software, and you have read this entire User's Manual (please do
read the manual before requesting help; many times problems can be
cleared up by finding the answer in the manual), then feel free to
request help through either of the channels mentioned above. We
will make an attempt to answer all mail received, but please be
aware that registered users have first priority for support.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

2 - G e t t i n g S t a r t e d

For experienced users who wish to get a quick start using the MPt
Protocol, this brief chapter has been included to help you along.
For a complete explanation of how to use the protocol and the
setup program, continue reading beyond this chapter.


When you run MPt the first time, try executing MPT.EXE
without parameters. You will see a screen full of information
about command line options. This screen is your "quick reference"
card, so to speak. It will help you to get the software running
if you choose not to read the rest of the documentation right


Also included with MPt is a file called MPTSET.EXE. This program
allows you to change the software's default options and screen
colors, and to enter registration information.

In order for the setup program to operate, you must be logged to
the drive and directory containing the MPT.EXE file (the MPt
Protocol program). Type MPT, and press enter. If the setup
program cannot read the MPT.EXE file in the current directory, or
the file has been corrupted, you will be alerted.

Much of the setup program is self-explanatory, but a few things
might not be obvious without some explanation:

þ When choosing a baud rate for the UART, the value of "Current"
will cause the software to sense and use the current baud rate
of the UART when MPT.EXE is executed.

þ When choosing an "effective" baud rate, the value of "UART"
will cause MPt to use the UART baud rate (whether specified or
auto-sensed) as the "effective" baud rate.

þ In the "Adjust screen colors" mode, pressing the M key will
cause the color scheme to change to monochrome. If you use a
monochrome monitor, you may wish to use this option
immediately upon entering the color set screen. To return to
the default color set, press the C key. Both of these keys
destroy any changes made to the color set before saving!

þ In the "Change default options" screen, the options that you
choose will be written to the MPT.EXE file as defaults. When
running MPt, you may override any of these defaults by using
command line parameters, detailed in Chapter 3.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

3 - T h e M P t P r o g r a m

This chapter will familiarize you with the MPt Protocol, and its
features and command line parameters.


To load and run the MPt program, a command line must be given.
This command line can come from the keyboard, at the MS-DOS
prompt, from a batch file, or from a calling program, such as a
BBS, which loads MPt directly without using the DOS

This command line has a specific syntax. Here are the three
general formats for the MPt command line:

MPT [options] s filespec [filespec] [filespec] [...]
MPT [options] s @listfile
MPT [options] r [path]

Anything appearing in square brackets is optional, and may not
need to be specified for proper operation of MPt.

Note that MPt completely ignores the "case" of the command line,
which means that upper and lowercase characters may be mixed in
any combination.

The word "MPT" at the beginning of each command line is required
in all cases. This is what tells MS-DOS to load the MPT.EXE
program file.

The "options" are outlined below, in the "Program Options"

The "s" and "r" letters, which follow the options, are required on
the command line. The letter "s" tells MPt to send files to
another computer, while "r" tells MPt to receive files from
another computer.

The "filespec", "@listfile", and "path" portions of the command
lines are described below, in the sections entitled "Sender File
Specifications" and "Receiver File Specifications".


The MPt Protocol offers a number of features and settings. This
section will explain each command line option, and how each
affects MPt operation. Note that a plus (+) in the syntax enables
an option, while a minus (-) disables it.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

Following is a description of each option:

A+ or A- (delete aborted downloads)
If enabled (A+), this setting will cause MPt to delete the
transferred portion of any files that were not fully received.

If disabled (A-), this setting will cause the protocol to leave
any partially received files on the disk. This gives the user the
option of continuing the transfer later, by using the "Allow
Resumed Transfers" option.

Note: This parameter has no effect when used in the send mode.

B+ or B- (beep upon completion)
Enabling this setting causes MPt to emit a series of beeps to
alert the user when a transfer is finished. The beeper will sound
regardless of whether the transfer was a success.

Disabling this setting causes the program to remain silent at all

CDSx (log to a CDS file)
This option allows the user to specify a log file where MPt will
create a CDS log entry for each file transferred. You may replace
"x" with any valid DOS drive:\path\file combination. If only
"CDS" is specified, with no value for "x", a CDS log entry will
not be written to any file. For example, the following command
line will receive files, and each will be logged using CDS to the
file "c:\logs\mptlog":

MPT CDSc:\logs\mptlog r

Whereas, the following receiver command line will not log the
files in CDS format:


For information on the CDS log format, see Appendix A, "Log File

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

D+ or D- (stamp with current date)
This setting, when enabled, will cause MPt to stamp each received
file with the current time and date of the transfer.
When this setting is disabled, MPt will stamp the file with the
original time and date that are passed in a header packet at the
beginning of each file transfer.

This is a useful setting for BBS SysOps who wish to date-stamp
their files according to when they were uploaded.

Note: The D+/- option has no effect when used in the send mode.

Ex (effective baud rate)
When using this option, the "x" may be replaced by a numeric value
between 0 and 115200, inclusive. A non-zero value will adjust the
effective baud rate to the specified value. A value of zero will
cause MPt to set the effective baud rate to the same value as the
UART baud rate. See the section below entitled, "Sx (UART baud
rate)" for information on UART baud rates.

* * * * * * * * * * * Effective Baud Rates * * * * * * * * * * *
Typically, the baud rate of the UART (serial port) is displayed
and logged by communications programs as the baud rate used during
the session. However, many modems communicate with the computer
at one baud rate, while communicating over the phone line at a
different baud rate.
For example, the USRobotics Courier 14400 HST modem can
communicate with another Courier HST modem at an effective baud
rate of 14400 bits per second. However, the modem is actually
communicating with the UART at 19200 bps.

Because of this difference in UART baud rate and effective baud
rate, MPt allows each to be specified separately. MPt will use
the effective baud rate to calculate estimated transfer times and
efficiency percentages which are displayed during a transfer.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

F+ or F- (enable 16550A FIFO buffers)
This option is only effective when the COM port in use has a
16550A or equivalent UART installed. When enabled, this setting
allows MPt to enable the FIFO buffers on the 16550A, and to use
them during the transfer. When this setting is disabled, the FIFO
buffers will be disabled during the transfer. MPt will always
return the UART to the state it was in when MPt began.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

In almost all cases, this setting should remain enabled. The
disable option is provided for users who wish to emulate the 16450
UART with a 16550A UART during MPt transfers.

HF (handshake fast)
This setting enables fast hardware handshaking during file

If you are unsure whether to use hardware handshaking, it is a
good idea to consult your modem manual. Most 300, 1200, and 2400
baud modems do not use hardware handshaking. However, MNP modems
do, as do high-speed modems, such as the USR Courier 14400 HST,
and the USR HST/Dual Standard.

When using MPt to transfer files over a direct-connect link
between two computers, hardware handshaking may not be necessary,
but should be enabled in case one computer sends faster than the
other can receive.

* * * * * * * * * * * Hardware Handshaking * * * * * * * * * * *
Hardware handshaking uses two pins on the serial port, called CTS
(an input), and RTS (an output) to arbitrate data flow to and from
the serial port.

The rules of CTS/RTS handshaking are fairly easy to understand:

1) Data may be sent to a serial port as long as the CTS line is
high. If the CTS line goes low, the sender must stop
transmitting data until CTS again goes high.

2) When ready to receive data, the receiver must raise the RTS
line. If, at some point, the receiver cannot receive data, it
must lower the RTS line until data can be received again.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HD (handshake on disk writes)
This setting enables fast hardware handshaking and disk write

Disk write handshaking causes the protocol to lower the RTS line
whenever data is being written to disk.

This setting is useful for computers that have BIOS or DOS disk
drivers that cause hardware interrupts to be disabled for extended
periods of time. MPt can not read data from the UART while
interrupts are disabled. As a result, it is not uncommon at baud
rates of 9600 or more, to get "overrun errors". If the disk
drivers are the cause of this problem, then this setting will very

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

likely solve the problem. If overrun errors are continually
occurring, you may need to use the HS parameter (detailed below).

Note: The HD parameter is typically used by the receiver (where
disk writes occur). However, the sender may use this
setting to force the receiver (on the other end) to use
disk write handshaking.

HN (no handshaking)
This option completely disables CTS/RTS handshaking.

HS (handshake slow)
This setting enables slow hardware handshaking and disk write

Slow handshaking is useful for receiving files on a computer that
is too slow to process received characters at the UART baud rate.
In this situation, the RTS line is toggled to pace the sender to a
speed suitable for the slow machine to process the data.

If you are experiencing overrun errors while receiving files with
MPt, try using the HD parameter (detailed above), or the HS
parameter. If the errors continue, another possible solution is
to install a 16550A UART in your serial port or internal modem.
MPt supports the 16550A UART's provisions for buffering received
data, which takes part of the load off of the CPU.

Note: The HS parameter is typically used by the receiver.
However, the sender may use this setting to force the
receiver (on the other end) to use slow handshaking.

Lx (log to a DSZ file)
This option allows the user to specify a log file where MPt will
create a DSZ log entry for each file transferred. You may replace
"x" with any valid DOS drive:\path\file combination. If only "L"
is specified, with no value for "x", a DSZ log entry will not be
written to any file. For example, the following command line will
receive files, and each will be logged to the file "c:\logs\log":

MPT Lc:\logs\mptlog r

Whereas, the following receiver command will not write a log file:


For information on the DSZ log format, see Appendix A.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

N+ or N- (monitor the carrier signal)
This setting, when enabled, will cause MPt to end if the DCD
signal (carrier) is lost during a transfer.

When this setting is disabled, MPt will ignore the state of the
DCD signal.

Note: BBS SysOps should enable this setting, so if a user drops
carrier during a transfer, MPt will end, and control will
be immediately restored to the BBS software.

O+ or O- (allow overwriting received files)
This setting, when enabled, allows MPt to overwrite existing
files. For example, if a file header is received for "",
and a file of the same name already exists in the receive path,
MPt will delete the old file and write the new one under the same

If this setting is disabled, MPt will not allow a received file to
overwrite another file.

Px (COM port number)
This setting tells MPt which COM port to use. The "x" may be
replaced by a value between 1 and 4, inclusive. If the specified
COM port is not installed, MPt will not attempt to use it. For
information on COM port configurations, see Chapter 5, "The MPt
Setup Program".

R+ or R- (allow resumed transfers)
This setting, when enabled, allows the MPt receiver to request a
resumed transfer. For example, if a file header is received for
"", and a file of the same name already exists in the
receive path, MPt will check to see if it is shorter than the
expected length. If it is, a resume request will be sent, which
will cause the transmitter to only send the remaining portion of
the file. This feature is useful for recovering from a lost
carrier signal, or an abnormal amount of line noise.

When this setting is disabled, MPt will not attempt to resume any
transfers. In this case, if a header for an existing file is
received, MPt will check the "allow overwriting received files"
setting before writing the new file to disk.

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Sx (UART baud rate)
When using this option, the "x" may be replaced by a numeric value
between 0 and 115200, inclusive. A non-zero value will adjust the
UART baud rate to the specified value. A value of zero will cause
MPt to auto-detect and use the current UART baud rate when the
MPt program is executed.

* * * * * * * * * * * * UART Baud Rates * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The UART is an integrated circuit that resides in a serial adaptor
card, internal modem, or sometimes on the motherboard of your
computer. UART is an acronym for Universal Asynchronous Receiver-
Transmitter. This is a complicated way of saying "serial port".
The serial port can communicate with external devices at various
speeds, or baud rates. The UART baud rate setting of MPt adjusts
this speed. If you're unsure about which value to use for the
UART baud rate, try using the auto-detect value (0). You may wish
to consult your modem manual for more information about which baud
rates can be used to communicate with your modem.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

M+ or M- (hangup modem when finished)
When this setting is enabled, MPt will lower the RTS and DTR
signals at the end of the session. Most modems can be configured
to "hang up" when the DTR signal is lowered.

When this setting is disabled, MPt will end with the RTS and DTR
signals set high.

W+ or W- (wait for keystroke when finished)
This setting, when enabled, causes MPt to wait for a keystroke at
the end of a transfer before returning to DOS. If this setting is
disabled, MPt will return control to DOS immediately after the
session ends.

X+ or X- (enable RLE compression)
This setting, when enabled, allows MPt to use RLE compression
where possible when transferring data.

If either end of the MPt connection (sender or receiver) disables
this parameter, RLE compression will not be used.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

* * * * * * * * * * * * * RLE Compression * * * * * * * * * * * *
MPt uses RLE compression techniques in an attempt to shorten
blocks of data before they are transferred. MPt will never
transmit a compressed block of data unless the compressed block is
shorter than the original block.

The compression routines in MPt are written in Turbo Assembler,
and are quite efficient. However, at very high baud rates, when
transferring pre-compressed files (such as those created by PKZIP)
the overhead that is caused by MPt analyzing each block for
compressibility can slow throughput slightly (especially on slower
machines). Therefore, RLE compression can be disabled to allow
for the greatest possible throughput on compressed files at high
baud rates. Note that disabling RLE compression is typically only
beneficial at baud rates above 9600 baud. Even most slow machines
are fast enough to analyze and output data with compression
enabled at baud rates up to 9600 baud very efficiently.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


This version of the MPt Protocol is capable of sending
up to 99 individual files in a single batch. Each file which is
transmitted by MPt is preceded by a header packet which contains
the name of the file, its length, the original time and date
stamp, and other control information. The receiver reads these
header packets to determine what the sender is transmitting.

When invoking the sender command line, there are two distinct
syntaxes for specifying files to transmit:

MPT [options] s filespec [filespec] [filespec] [...]
MPT [options] s @listfile

In the first syntax, at least one file specification must be
placed on the command line. Additional file specifications may be
placed after the first. These file specifications may be actual
filenames, including drive letter, and sub-directories, or may
include wildcard characters (ie. *.*). MPt will parse each
wildcard specification into individual file names. If more than
99 files are specified, MPt will send the first 99 files found.

In the second syntax, a single absolute file specification (no
wildcards) is specified on the MPt command line, immediately
preceded by the @ symbol. MPt will read this file, expecting to
find that it contains a list of file specifications (which may
contain wildcard characters) each separated by CR/LF characters.
For example, for the command line,

MPT s @c:\file.lst

A file named "file.lst" must be placed in the root directory of
drive C, which contains a list of file specifications to send.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual


When receiving files with MPt, the syntax for the command line is
as follows:

MPT [options] r [path]

The "path" portion is optional, and may be any single
drive:\path\filename combination.

The purpose of the "path" is to tell MPt where to place all the
files it receives. If a file name is specified in the "path"
parameter, the file name portion will be ignored, because MPt
determines file names from the information packet it receives for
each file from the sender. Therefore, when specifying only a path
(no filename), this parameter MUST end with a backslash character
(\). For example, both of the following command lines are valid,
and will cause the same result:

MPT r c:\download\myfile.ext
MPT r c:\download\

Because the first command line has no terminating backslash on the
path parameter, the "myfile.ext" portion will be ignored, and all
received files will be placed in the "c:\download\" directory.

MPt allows a file name to be specified only because certain
calling programs insist on passing it along with the receive path.

If more than one path specification appears on the MPt command
line in receive mode, the first one following the "r" parameter
will be used. The remainder of the command line will be ignored.


When the MPt Protocol returns control to DOS at the end of a
transfer, it will return a DOS exit code to the calling program.
The following codes are returned by MPt:

0 Transfer was completed successfully
1 Transfer began, but ended without completing
2 Session ended before transfer began
3 MPt detected invalid registration information
4 MPt was invoked without any command line parameters

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual


Following are some examples of command line syntaxes:

MPT s c:\file1.txt (send a file using default options)

MPT hf s p1.exe p2.exe (send two files, use fast handshaking)

MPT s d:\*.* (send all files in root dir of d:)

MPT x+ s *.txt (send text files, allow compression)

MPT x- s *.zip (send ZIP files, don't try to compress)

MPT n- s @files.lst (send files in a list, ignore carrier)

MPT s9600 e2400 s *.* (send at 9600 bps, effective 2400 bps)

MPT p3 cdsmpt.log r (receive files from COM3, log with CDS)

MPT r c:\files\ (receive into "c:\files\" directory)

MPT r \ (receive into root of current drive)

MPT a+ r (receive files, delete aborted downloads)

MPT ldsz.log r (receive with DSZ logging)

MPT r+ o+ r (receive, allow resume and overwriting)

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

4 - T h e M P t D i s p l a y

This chapter will familiarize you with the MPt display, and the
meaning of each item shown during a MPt session.


When MPt is executed, the first thing it does is to put up a full
screen display. If MPt is run under normal DOS conditions, all
accesses to the screen will use direct memory access. In other
words, MPt will put updated screen information directly into the
memory on board the resident display adaptor, bypassing the slow
BIOS and DOS routines that are the alternatives to this technique.

Since protocol programs are often used in multitasking
environments, where direct video access can cause conflicts on a
"shared" monitor, MPt offers an alternative. When MPt is
executed, the program checks for the presence of one of the
following multitasking sub-systems:

DESQview TaskView OmniView TopView
Microsoft Windows IBM 3270 PC

If one of these systems is active, and the Multitasking Video
Buffers (MTVB) are enabled for the current process, MPt will
direct all video access to the corresponding MTVB, instead of the
physical memory on the display adaptor. This technique allows for
complete display compatibility with the above list of multitasking


The color scheme of the MPt display can be easily customized for
color or monochrome displays by using the MPt Setup program. See
Chapter 5, "The Setup Program", for more details.


The help screen will appear when MPt is executed without any
command line parameters. It is always available for quick
reference to command line syntaxes. For detailed information
about the options shown on the help screen, see Chapter 3, "The
MPt Program".

* * *

When MPt is executed with command line parameters, a status
display will appear, filling the screen with information
concerning the status of each transfer.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

The next few sections will explain the contents of each area of
the display.


This display area contains information on the entire batch
transfer at hand. On the left side of the Batch status window are
totals for the batch, and an estimated time of transfer. This is,
as are all other estimates, based on the "effective baud rate",
not the "UART baud rate". See Chapter 3, "The MPt Program", for
more information on baud rates.

On the right side of the window are current values for the
progress of the batch. The Batch progress meter at the bottom
reflects the percentage of completion for the entire batch.


This display window contains information on the file which is
currently being transferred. Of particular interest in this
window is the "Last message" item. This is where all verbal
messages are shown regarding MPt status. Message descriptions are
discussed below, in the section entitled, "Messages".


This window shows information concerning the estimated efficiency
of the file transfer in progress. The "Compression" item shows
"RLE" if the current block of data is compressed, or "none" if it
is a normal block of data. This item may also show "disabled" if
either end of the connection has specified the "X-" option on the
command line, or disabled RLE compression using the setup program.

The "Block size" meter reflects the length of the current block,
from 64 bytes to 1024 (1K) bytes.

Also shown in this window are average speed in characters per
second, and an estimated efficiency in percentage of theoretical
"maximum" efficiency.


The UART status, or "modem light" display, gives the status of the
signals that MPt uses on the serial port.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

At the top of the UART window is shown the type of UART that is
installed in the COM port that MPt is using. The recognized UARTs

8250B (INS8250 or INS8250-B)
16450 (NS16450, NS16C450, NS8250A, or INS82C50A)
16550 (NS16550)
16550A (NS16550A, NS16550AF)

MPt will optionally use FIFO buffers, if the "enable 16550A FIFO
buffers" option is enabled, and the UART type is 16550A.
See Chapter 3, "The MPt Program", for more information on using
the FIFO buffers.

The remainder of the UART display shows the status of the transmit
line (TXD), the receive line (RXD), the carrier detect line (DCD),
the clear to send line (CTS), and the request to send line (RTS).
The indicator next to each item will light when the corresponding
signal is high or active.


The stats window shows some miscellaneous information about
options. The indicator beside each item will normally be lit if
the item is enabled, unless otherwise noted. Following is a brief
description of each item:

Beep - status of the "beep upon completion (B+/-)" option.

Date - status of the "stamp with current date (D+/-)" option.

DCD - status of the "monitor the carrier signal (N+/-)" option.

Dele - status of the "delete aborted downloads (A+/-)" option.

Hang - status of the "hangup modem when finished (M+/-)" option.

FIFO - this indicator will be lit when FIFO buffers are used.

Over - this indicator will be lit when the "allow overwriting
received files (O+/-)" option is enabled. If the MPt
receiver actually overwrites a file, this indicator will
blink for the remainder of the transfer of that particular

Resu - this indicator will be lit when the "allow resumed
transfers (R+/-)" option is enabled. If the MPt receiver
actually resumes a file, this indicator will blink for the
remainder of the transfer of that particular file.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

Virt - this indicator will be lit if MPt is using an MTVB (virtual
screen) for display access. For more information on this
item, see the section entitled, "Screen Access" near the
beginning of this chapter.

Wait - status of the "wait for keystroke when finished
(W+/-)" option.


The footer line of the MPt display indicates miscellaneous items
of interest. We'll cover them from left to right, as displayed on
the MPt screen:

The far left section will contain "S" or "R", to indicate send or
receive mode.

Next is the COM port which MPt is using.

The following two items are UART baud rate, labeled Ubps, and
effective baud rate, labeled Ebps. These values are shown in bits
per second.

Next is the handshaking indicator. This will show the type of
handshaking in use:

N = None
S = handshake slow
D = handshake disk
F = handshake fast

Finally, on the far right, is the version number and User ID of
the remote MPt Protocol driver. This item will show "unknown"
until synchronization has been established with the remote


There are a number of messages which may be conveyed to the user
by the MPt Protocol. This section gives the most important
messages and their meanings:

MPt is attempting to communicate control information with the
connecting protocol. This occurs at the beginning of each file
being transferred.

MPt was unable to synchronize with the connecting protocol.

MPt is synchronized and has begun the file transfer.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

filename.ext DONE
Transfer of "filename.ext" has completed successfully.

filename.ext DELETED
The partially received file, "filename.ext" has been deleted.
This will only occur if the "delete aborted downloads" option is

MPt had problems writing to a log file.

ERROR AT BYTE xxxx: errortype
This message indicates that MPt is attempting to recover from
some type of line error. The value of xxxx shows the byte
position in the current file where the error occurred. The
errortype indicates what caused the error. There are seven
causes for line errors:

CRC - MPt detected an error when comparing CRCs. This
is usually causes by line noise on a bad

Long - The MPt receiver received a block longer than 1K
in length. This is typically a result of line
noise "adding" spurious garbage characters into
the bit stream.

Short - The MPt receiver got a partial block, which was
not complete.

Duplicate - The MPt receiver received a block of data that had
already been received successfully.

Waiting - The MPt receiver is waiting for the next logical
block in the sequence.

Timeout - The receiver has not received a block of data
within a reasonable time frame.

Overrun - The MPt receiver has experienced a UART buffer
overrun error. This is usually caused by slow
receiver CPU's at high baud rates, slow disk BIOS
or drivers, or multitasking receiving computers
without a 16550A UART. For information on
correcting this problem, see Chapter 3.

ERROR READING FILE: filename.ext
The MPt sender could not read the current file from disk.

The transfer was cancelled by the other end of the connection.

The transfer has been cancelled locally by pressing the ESC key.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

The DCD signal was lowered during the transfer. This will only
be reported if the "monitor the carrier signal" option is

The sender received no response from the receiver within a
reasonable amount of time.

More than twenty consecutive line errors occurred during the

The receiver got a file header for an existing file, and the
"allow overwriting received files" option is disabled.

The receiver can't create the file to be received.

The receiver can't write received information to the disk file.

* * *

The following messages can occur only before the transfer begins,
and will cause an ERRORLEVEL 2 to be returned to DOS.

The MPT.EXE file contains an invalid UserID/Serial number

An invalid parameter (xx) has been given on the command line.

An invalid speed (baud rate) has been specified.

An invalid handshaking option has been specified.

An invalid COM port has been specified. This will occur if MPt
cannot identify an active UART in the specified port.

The "s" or "r" parameter was not given on the command line.

The MPt sender could not read the specified list file

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

FILE NOT FOUND: filename.ext
MPt could not locate the file filename.ext as specified in a
list file, or on the command line.

The MPt sender found no file specifications on the command line
or in a list file.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

5 - T h e S e t u p P r o g r a m

Accompanying the MPt Protocol program is a setup program called
MPTSET.EXE, which allows the user to customize MPt. The setup
program accomplishes this by reading the MPT.EXE file, which must
reside in the default directory, and updating it with the custom
setup information.

Using the MPTSET program is easy. First, log to the directory
where the MPT.EXE file resides. This can be done in DOS by using
the "chdir" or "cd" command.

Next, execute the MPTSET.EXE program. This program can reside
anywhere on your hard disk, or on a floppy disk.

The setup program will first attempt to read the MPT.EXE file. If
it is not present in the current directory, or is somehow
corrupted, you will be alerted.

When the MPT.EXE file has been found and read successfully, you
will be presented with the setup program's main menu.


The main menu contains the following information:

-> Change default options
Adjust screen colors
Install registration information
Quit and save settings

From here, you have four options from which to choose. You may
select an option by moving the arrow that is shown on the screen
to point at the option you wish to select. The up and down arrow
keys move the arrow. Press Enter to choose the selected item.
From the main menu, you may also press the ESC key. The results
of this action are the same as selecting the "Quit and save
settings" option.


After selecting this item, you will be presented with a screen
showing a number of options and their current defaults, as they
are currently set in the MPT.EXE file.

An explanation of each of these options is detailed in Chapter 3,
so we won't repeat ourselves in this section.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

A few things to note about setting options:

The UART baud rate - When choosing a UART baud rate, the setting
"Current" will cause MPt to use the baud rate at which the UART
is operating when the program is executed.

The Effective baud rate - The setting "UART" will cause MPt to
match the effective baud rate to the UART baud rate when MPt is

IRQs and Base addresses - The IRQ settings adjust the hardware
interrupt for each COM port. The base address settings adjust
the base I/O address where the UART is mapped for each COM port.
Base addresses must be entered in hex format. These settings
allow customization of non-standard COM ports. See your
internal modem or serial port manual for more information on
IRQs and Base address settings.

The CDS and DSZ log files - These settings allow default log
files to be specified.

All default settings except for COM port base addresses and IRQs
can be overrided by using command line parameters when executing


Selecting this item causes a portion of the MPt Status screen to
be shown, along with a menu of items that can be colorized. Using
the up and down arrow keys, you can position the arrow to point to
an item to be adjusted. The following keys affect the "selected"

Enter - changes the foreground color
Space - changes the background color
ESC - return to main menu

The following two keys affect the entire display:

C - select default color scheme
M - select monochrome scheme


This item allows registered MPt users to install their User ID and
serial number. For information on registering, please read the

A note to registered MPt (or Puma) users:

When you receive your User ID and serial number in the mail, you
can use the "Install registration information" option to install

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

the information into MPT.EXE.

When typing the UserID, you may use mixed upper and lower case
letters, all CAPS, or all lower case, whichever you desire.

Enter the serial number EXACTLY as it is shown on your
registration certificate. MPt will not run with improper User ID
or serial number information. If you receive the message,
"Invalid registration information" when running MPt, double check
the ID and serial number on your certificate with the information
entered into MPTSET.EXE.

Registered Lynx Users:

You may use the LYNX_MPT.EXE program to extract the registration
information from LYNX.EXE for use with The MPt Protocol.

You must first place your REGISTERED LYNX.EXE file into the
current directory, and then execute the LYNX_MPT.EXE program.
Follow screen instructions for more details.


This option causes MPTSET to prompt you for a response:

Save new settings in MPT.EXE ?

Responding with "N" will cause MPTSET to end without updating

Responding with "Y" will cause MPTSET to end after writing the new
setup information into the MPT.EXE file.

* * *

When running MPt after using MPTSET, note that the "Stats" window
will reflect the default settings that you have specified. These
defaults can be overrided by command line parameters.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

6 - A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s

This chapter is dedicated to the people who made the MPt project
possible, including all the users who registered as Lynx Protocol
users, all those who helped test Lynx and MPt, and those who
contributed in other ways. . .


A large percentage of the development time on MPt was spent coding
and tuning the UART interface routines using Turbo Assembler 1.0.
Repeated tests have revealed that MPt operates quite reliably on a
115200 baud direct link between an 8 Mhz 80286 and a 12 Mhz 80286,
even with a 16450 UART. Hats off to Borland International for a
fine assembler!

The remainder of the project was coded in Turbo Pascal 5.5,
Borland's award-worthy compiler and development system.

The speed of the display in MPt is attributed to the QWIK toolbox
from Eagle Performance Software - QWIK is an irreplaceable kit
full of goodies that makes programming without the CRT unit a
genuine pleasure. Good work, Eagle!

TheDraw from TheSoft Programming Services was used to develop
everything visual in the MPt software package. TheDraw proved to
be an invaluable tool for designing the user displays. Kudos to
Mr. Ian Davis for his quality screen design software!

The MPt Protocol is distributed in ZIPPED format, a technology
made possible by the wonderful PKZIP shareware product from
PKWARE, Inc. Thanks to Mr. Phil Katz for a top-notch shareware


MPt has made it to the Shareware marketplace only after very
extensive testing by the author, and by these fine people, who
kindly volunteered their testing services:

Nick Anis Kevin Bass Mike Callahan
Chuck Dennis Charles Edstrom Ken Flower
Shawn Johnson Scott Kuntzelman Al Maynard
Lee Pollard Bob Rapp John Schuit

Thanks, folks!

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual


The Courier HST and HST/Dual Standard are products of USRobotics

DESQview is a product of Quarterdeck Office Systems

DSZ is a product of Omen Technology, Inc.

IBM 3270 PC and Topview are trademarks of International Business

MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows are registered trademarks of
Microsoft Corporation

PKZIP is a registered trademark of PKWARE, Inc.

QWIK is a product of Eagle Performance Software

Taskview is a product of Sunny Hill Software

TheDraw is a trademark of TheSoft Programming Services

The MPt Protocol is a trademark of Matthew Thomas

Turbo Assembler and Turbo Pascal are registered trademarks of
Borland International, Inc.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

Appendix A - L o g F i l e F o r m a t s


The Enhanced DSZ logging that MPt uses is provided for some
compatibility with programs that recognize this type of logging.

The log file consists of a single line of text for each file
transferred. Following is a sample entry:

S 217837 57600 bps 5050 cps 0 errors 0 1024 MPT110.ZIP MPt

The format of each field in this entry is as follows, beginning
with the leftmost field:

- 'S' for send, 'R' for receive, 'E' for aborted transfer, or
'L' for lost carrier.

- The length of the file, in bytes.

- The effective baud rate. MPt follows the DSZ format of using
'65535' to represent an actual baud rate of 115200.

- The average transfer rate, in characters per second.

- The total number of errors which occurred during transmission.

- The number of flow control restrictions, as specified in the
DSZ documentation. MPt does not record this value, so this
field will always contain a zero.

- The length of the last block transferred in the file.

- The name of the file which was transferred.

-*The name of the protocol used.

-*The last field is either empty, or contains '(resumed)' to
signify that the file was resumed.

* These fields are not part of the original DSZ specification.


CDS logging is a standard of recording online activities of all
types. It was developed in an attempt to standardize the
interface between various communication utilities, such as
terminal emulators, BBS software, external protocols (such as
MPt), and phone bill analyzers.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

By supporting CDS logging, MPt's activities can be tracked by any
utility that will read a CDS file.

Following is an example of a CDS log entry made by MPt:

90-01-04 00:46:11 020 MPt
COM port 1
Comm parameters 2400 8 N 1
File size 142
Protocol MPt
Ended 90-01-04 00:46:11 (call ended abruptly)
Transfer Errors 1
Efficiency 0.0 %
Average CPS 0

The first line is the record header, which gives the date and time
the transfer began, the record number (020), which identifies the
record as a file transfer entry, and 'MPt', the name of the
program that created the entry.

Following the header are single-line entries describing the

COM port N

The communications port used for the transfer. N will have a
value from 1 to 4.

Comm parameters 2400 8 N 1

Designates the effective baud rate, data bits, parity check, and
stop bits during a transfer. Each parameter is separated by a
space. MPt always uses '8 N 1' for data type.

Sent file FILENAME
Rcvd file FILENAME

The name of the transferred file.

File size NNN

The size of the transferred file. NNN is the size in bytes (not

Protocol MPt

The file transfer protocol used.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

Ended YY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS (aborted by sender)
Ended YY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS (aborted by receiver)
Ended YY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS (call ended abruptly)

Tells when the transfer terminated, and shows if the sender or
receiver aborted the transfer, or if the carrier signal was
lost (call ended abruptly).

Transfer Errors NNN

Provides the total number of errors encountered during the
transfer. If the entry is missing, no errors occurred during
the transfer.

Efficiency NNN %

Provides the efficiency of the file transfer. "NNN" is the
efficiency as a percentage ("96.2 %" for example).

Average CPS NNNN

Provides the average characters transmitted per second for the
file. "NNNN" is the CPS average as a whole number, "239" for

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

Appendix B - M P t A u t o - S t a r t R e c e i v e

MPt has a feature that allows the sending protocol to alert the
receiver to start download synchronization. This can decrease the
number of required keystrokes to start a download.

At this time, none of the terminal programs that were evaluated by
the author directly support any type of auto-receive mode for
external protocols, other than Zmodem.

It may be possible for some terminals to support MPt auto-receive
by using their built-in script language to wait for the MPt auto-
packet, and then beginning the external MPt receiver protocol.

Following is the format of the MPt auto-packet, which the MPt
sender transmits at one-second intervals at the beginning of a
batch transfer:

Turbo Pascal format:
#24#8#24#8#24'MPt '#24#8#24#8#24

When this string of characters is received during a terminal
session, the MPt receive protocol should be initiated.

Perhaps we will see this type of feature supported in future
releases of the popular terminal programs. But for now, it has to
be done using scripts.

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

Appendix C - S u g g e s t e d R e a d i n g

For in-depth information on all aspects of computer
telecommunications, the author recommends the following book:

"Dvorak's Guide to PC Telecommunications"
By John C. Dvorak and Nick Anis
Published by Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 1989

This book has over 1000 pages, and contains two 5.25" floppy
disks. Included on the first disk is "Telix SE", a complete and
powerful communication package, along with a Modem Tutor Program.
The second disk is packed (zipped, actually) with a number of very
useful shareware programs.

Suggested retail price is $49.95. Check your local computer or
book store for this excellent source of information!

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The MPt Protocol v1.10 User's Manual

Appendix D - S o f t w a r e R e v i s i o n s

The following revisions have been made to the MPt Protocol
Software package:

v1.00 (01-15-90)

This was the initial release of the protocol. The name of the
software was "Puma" in its first release.

v1.10 (08-07-90)

This release was made only to change the name of the protocol to
"The MPt Protocol", due to a trademark problem with the previous

Page 31

  3 Responses to “Category : Communication (modem) tools and utilities
Archive   : MPT110.ZIP
Filename : MPT.DOC

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: