Contents of the PCPLOCAL.DOC file
The scripts in this archive are for use with PCPLUS 1.0 in calling several
local bulletin boards.
Most of the calls are local in the DC Metropolitan area but I've noted the
states in which they are located for those like myself who don't have
The boards covered include:
Colossus III (COLOSS): 986 9062 (MD)
Computer Connections (COMPCON): 547 2008 (DC)*
Contech (CONTECH) 840 0227 (MD)
Darwin (DARWIN): 251 9206 (MD)
Your Place (GOOSENS): 978 6360 (DC or VA; not sure)
CPCUG Software Exch. (SOFTEX): 949 8848 (MD)
Deathstar (STAR) 839 0705 (MD)
VF Associates (VF) 320 2491 (MD)
Data Bits (DATABIT) 370 9832 (VA)
*Number of public node is from memory (I subscribe to the private one)
and may not be accurate.
The files should also work with ProComm 2.4.2, since the ASPECT script
language of PCPLUS is really a superset of the CMD language used by the
earlier program. Just replace the <^M> carriage return characters with .
I've also provided two batch files for use with the DSZ version of ZMODEM.
ZMODASPD (for downloads) and ZMODASPU (for uploads) are variations on Bob
Blacher's ZMODEM-U and ZMODEM-D batch files, which are in his archive
PRCM-DSZ.ARC. My versions are customized for my subdirectory setup and add
the command EXIT, which allows them to be used in script files and to return
control to PCPLUS after they execute.
ZMODASPD.BAT takes the filenames from the host board, so you needn't enter the
names when downloading. You must enter the names of the files you are
uploading with ZMODASPU.BAT, however.
I keep my uploads in C:\UP, my downloads in C:\DN, and my PCPLUS program files
in C:\PR. You should edit the two batch files to conform to your setup, as
well as the SENDFILE commands in some of the script files.
There is a third batch file, CALL.BAT. I link three ASP files. The first
file (without a prefix) simply calls the dialing directory number. If
connected, it executes the logon file, with the prefix Q. The logon file, in
turn, executes the download/upload file, with the prefix X, if one is
available, or returns control to you if not.
Having separate dialing and logon command files allows me to use the logon
files whether I use the dialing directory or call the number from a batch
file. For an example of how to call a number from a batch file, see CALL.BAT.
The script files are annotated, so you should be able to adapt them without
too much trouble. Please note that the upload/download scripts
(X--------.MAT) have the extension MAT (for matrix). When you want to use
one, copy it as follows:
Copy .mat .asp
Edit the ASP version.
Customizing the files
All places where you will have to insert your own information are marked with
asterisks (********.ARC, etc.). Edit the files with an ASCII text editor such
as PCWrite, QEDIT, or (shudder) EDLIN. Use typeover mode and delete whatever
left-over asterisks you don't need. (Be careful not to delete punctuation
marks, the ^M command, or opening or closing quotes, or the script file will
stop dead in its tracks when you go to run it.)
Here is what you will have to do to customize the files:
1. Insert your dialing directory number where indicated in the
dialing command files (no prefix).
2. Insert your first name, last name, password, and other information
as indicated in the logon files (prefix Q). Also change the
"C:\DN\.LOG" pathname in the LOG OPEN command to whatever
drive or path you use for logs.
3. Change the "C:\up\.ARC" lines in the MAT files which use
the SENDFILE upload command to the drive or path where you keep your
4. Edit the paths in the batch files as needed. "C:\dn\" is my
default download directory, "C:\up\" is where I keep files to be
uploaded, and "C:\pr\" is the subdirectory for my PCPLUS program
files. Change them to suit your own needs.
If you are using floppy drives, I recommend that you store your log files on
your program disk in drive A (if there is room) and that you use drive B for
your download/upload files. The reason is that log files can get quite long.
(Be sure to copy or erase the logs after each session if you do this.)
I am presuming that you are using ZMODEM (DSZ) wherever possible, as your
default file transfer protocol, and YMODEM in other cases. (I use XMODEM for
Deathstar only because I have had problems with YMODEM on that board). If
not, download the current version and put the executable file (COM or EXE) in
the same drive or directory as your PCPLUS program files. Don't worry about
mastering DSZ for now (unless it has been changed so radically that the batch
files won't work). Download Blacher's PRCM-DSZ.ARC file if you want to know
more about how to use it with PCPLUS.
Using the MAT files
After you've customized them, all you should need to do is copy them to an
.ASP extension when you're planning a session and enter the appropriate
The beginnings and ends of the download and upload modules for each MAT file
are marked. If you need more than one of a particular module for a session,
use your editor's block copy feature. (As an alternative, you could copy the
modules to X--------.DN and X--------.UP files and plug them in as needed.)
If you DON'T need a particular module, be sure to delete it or things will get
out of synch.
1. The logon files assume that you don't want to enter or read messages or
bulletins, but that you do want a list of at least some new files if that
listing is part of the board's logon sequence. (Unfortunately, most of them
don't have a way of bypassing the "read new bulletins?" prompt if it should
appear. When one does come up, it will throw things out of sync. Log all
your calls and edit in a bypass with an "IF" command when this happens. See
QGOOSENS.ASP for an example.)
2. For downloading, you must be certain that a particular file is on the
board and that you have entered its name correctly. Always work from the most
up-to-date list possible, since some sysops will delete an older version of a
program as soon as an updated one comes along.
3. For uploading, you must be certain that the board does NOT have the file.
The best way to do this is to use the board's locate or search feature when
you are going "live" (not using a script file) and then upload the files as
soon as possible (like that night).
If you use CATS to catalog your archive files (and I recommend it highly),
there is another alternative, since CATS keeps the files in a one-line format
very similar to that of BBS lists. Download the BBS list, use your editor to
globally change <.ARC> to < ARC> in your BBS listing (CATS replaces the
period with a space and aligns the file extensions), and run a program called
MAT on both lists. Use the BBS list as the control list and your list as the
second list. MAT will show you which of your files are not on the BBS list.
In some cases, I have built in GOTO commands in the event that the board gives
you any prompt other than the one to proceed with the upload. However, I have
not tested the GOTOs as of yet, and they may not work. If they give you
trouble, delete the following lines ("n" means a number or letter):
Cautions and recommendations
I've made every effort to make these files as error-free as possible, but a
script file will not work, at least in PCPLUS, unless everything is accurate
and every command that the script language needs is present.
If you enter a filename incorrectly, the host computer will send back a prompt
that the script file is not expecting. The script file will wait 30 seconds
(in most cases) for the prompt it is expecting and then continue AS IF IT HAD
RECEIVED THE EXPECTED PROMPT. The host computer will then receive the WRONG
responses and act accordingly.
Similarly, things get out of whack when sysops change the prompts, or when
some additional prompts kick in (as when there are new bulletins, for
When the sysop changes the prompts, you have no choice but to redo your script
files. Most of the changes and problems occur in the logon sequence.
This is why I recommend that you ALWAYS log your calls. The log will show an
almost-complete record of your call and the TRACE ON command at the beginning
of each file will show you what your script file was doing at any point in the
call. (You may want to delete the TRACE ON commands once you feel comfortable
with your scripts, as it does clutter up a log file.)
Log each call even if you are using the PCPLUS record feature. The reason is
that this feature will only record prompts and responses when you type in the
response. It will NOT record one crucial prompt--the one that tells you to
start the transfer--because your response is to hit the PgDn or PgUp key to
get to the download or upload file transfer menu. However, the log WILL
record the prompt (although not your menu selection, etc.)
On the other hand, logs will NOT show a prompt which is wiped from your screen
by the host-computer software after you enter your response. "Press Enter to
continue" is a typical one. The record feature WILL record this, however.
The bottom line is that you need to use both features in combination when you
wish to generate a new script file.
Aborting a script file
To abort a PCPLUS logon or download/upload file at any time, press ESCAPE.
You'll get a prompt asking you to confirm that you want to exit the file.
This will return you to manual control.
Dialing-command files will open the dialing directory. To abort a
dialing-command file, just press ESCAPE as you would normally to get out of
the directory, then press ALT-C to clear your screen of the trace information.
I hope you find these files useful.
If you have any problems, questions, or suggestions, leave a message on this
board or give me a call at home after 9 p.m. or on weekends.
1-703-481-6776 (Herndon, Virginia)