Contents of the TLXPCP15.DOC file
* TeLiX dialer for PC Pursuit v1.5 *
* ^ ^ ^ ^^ ^ ^ ^ *
* ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ *
* TLXPCP15.ARC *
* Copyright (c) by Charles Lee, January 1989 *
WHY? I started using (and registered!) Telix shortly after version
v3.1 came out and found that there was a void that existed when I
wanted a *good* PC Pursuit dialing script. There were scripts
available and a dedicated external dialer or two, but either they
didn't do things the way that I thought they ought to be done or
they didn't have the features that I wanted. So, I wrote version
1.0 of these scripts. After using them for a while, I decided to
share them. Then on December 30th 1988, PC Pursuit announced its
new pricing structure. Included in the new scheme of things was
a 30 hour usage cap (shudder). Unfortunately, the folks at
Telenet maintain that they have no way to give their users an
indication of how much time they have left for the month. That
is when I decided to revise my scripts to include two automatic
usage logs and an indication of cummulative monthly time. There
is no way I'm going to pay an hourly fee for going over 30 hours.
I'm not even sure that I'll keep PC Pursuit. I'll to see how
things are in February and then I'll decide.
FEATURES Almost all user interface to these scripts is done by pointing a
menu bar with the arrow keys (PgUp and PgDn now work in the city
menu) and hitting enter.
The city menu is easily updated. You merely change the contents
of a text file containing the city list. The script takes care
of the rest.
You can log on to your local PC Pursuit number at either 1200 or
2400 baud. The scripts make the adjustment to the dialing
directories for you.
You can tell the scripts to try to connect to as many cities as
you want. The dialing queue is deep enough that you can select
all of the PC Pursuit cities if you want. The dialer will keep
dialing until a connection is made. The next time you bring up
the dialer menu, all of the cities that you didn't connect to
will still be selected.
If one of the cities you select is not operating or is for some
reason not recognized, the dialer will automatically remove the
city from the queue and then continue dialing.
Ever make connection to a city only to find a bad modem there?
The dialer will recognize this situation and disconnect the city
for you. Then it goes back to dialing.
If you dial a city that you have never dialed before, the dialer
will detect that you don't have a .fon directory and it will
create one for you.
You can log into the Network Exchange the same way you dial into
one of the cities. The dialer is smart enough to deal with Net
Exch's nasty habit of disconnecting you after being connected for
only five seconds.
The scripts automatically maintain a log of all of your PC Pursuit
transactions. These are entered in a text file created in your
script subdirectory. Also, your Telix usage log is kept updated.
The options menu and the city menu include a display of your
cummulative monthly totals.
SHAREWARE Nope, this package isn't shareware or public domain. I own the
rights to it, but I'm distributing it for free non-commercial
use. However, Telix is shareware. If you're using it and
haven't registered it yet, please give it some thought.
Let me know what you think about these scripts, what features you
would like to see in future editions, what problems you've had,
and where you got your copy from. You can leave me a message in
the National Telix Echo or the National PC Pursuit Echo.
Alternatively, you can leave me a message on the Net Exchange. I
even check that periodically. Massage my ego a little bit.
CONTENTS This archive should contain the following files:
citydial.slt -- This is the script that handles the selection of
cities, and the city dialing procedures.
dialbbs.slt -- This is the script that handles dialing the BBS's
in the city that you are connected to.
cities.pcp -- Is the text file that contains the PC Pursuit City
mnemonics. This also has been updated since v1.0 of these
empty.fon -- This file is used as a template by citydial.slc to
create *.fon directories when they don't exist.
options.slt -- Most of the user interfacing to PC Pursuit is
done through this script. Using this to interface with these
scripts is essential for keeping the usage logs and cummulative
pcp1200.slt -- This is the script to connect to PC Pursuit at
pcp2400.slt -- This is the script to connect to PC Pursuit at
TLXPCP15.doc -- You're reading this one.
INSTALLATION To install the TLXPCP15 scripts do the following:
Please note that I'm assuming that you are familiar with DOS,
Telix, and know how to compile Telix scripts. If you aren't,
here is a fine opportunity to learn.
1. Make a subdirectory named "PCPFON" off of your Telix
directory. If your Telix directory is named "TELIX", you can do
this by typing the following:
2. Copy empty.fon into the pcpfon subdirectory.
copy empty.fon \telix\pcpfon
3. Copy cities.pcp into your script subdirectory.
copy cities.pcp \telix\script
4. Edit citydial.slt to include your PC Pursuit password and
user ID. These lines are the first two of the script. Make sure
that you don't hurt the grammar of these lines -- you'll confuse
the SALT compiler if you do. Also, if you don't like programs
that beep at you, change the tone strings to "n". This will
result in this script being quiet. These are the next three
lines of the script. The last user configurable variable allows
you to turn off/on the usage log. Compile citydial.slt and
place the resulting citydial.slc in your script subdirectory.
5. Edit the message tone string in dialbbs.slt to reflect your
taste. If you want a silent program, change this string to "n".
This string is located in one of the first lines of the script.
Compile dialbbs.slt and put the resulting .slc file into your
6. Edit pcp1200.slt and pcp2400.slt to contain your local PC
Pursuit phone numbers for 1200 and 2400 baud, respectively. You
may also want to edit the tone string in the first line of the
script to disable any beeps that may happen. This is done by
changing the "y" to an "n". Also, these scripts have a user
variable to turn off/on the usage log. Set it appropriately too.
Compile these scripts and place their resulting .slc files in
your script subdirectory.
7. Edit the tone string of options.slt if you want to disable
the noises that it can make. This is done by putting an "n" in
the place of the "y" in the first line of the script.
Options.slt also has the usage log varible that needs set
appropriately. As you did above, set it equal to "y" if you want
a usage log or "n" otherwise. Compile options.slt and put the
resulting .slc file into the script subdirectory.
8. Assign options.slc to one of your keys. I recommend one of
the keys near your arrow keys. This will make it more convenient
to use. You may need to make reference to your Telix manual to
see how to do this.
9. You may enter your local PC Pursuit numbers into your dialing
directory if you want. For the 1200 baud number, the linked
script would be pcp1200. Use pcp2400 for the 2400 baud number.
You must use 8 bits, No parity, and I recommend 2 stop bits.
This should complete the installation procedures for TLXPCP15.
USAGE Please read the following carefully. If something doesn't seem
to work the way it is expected, please re-read these instructions
again. Yeah, I know -- if all else fails, read the instructions.
I'm guilty of that too.
1. DIALING PC PURSUIT
The first thing to do when using TLXPCP15 is to dial your local
PC Pursuit number and connect to PC Pursuit. You can do this a
couple of different ways (See #9 above). You can dial the
Pursuit entry from your dialing directory or you can execute one
of the dialing scripts, pcp1200 or pcp2400. These scripts were
written so they can be used from the dialing directory as linked
scripts or as stand-alone scripts. I did this to allow users to
decide how they want to do it. Either way, you will get logged
on to PC Pursuit with these scripts. The scripts will make an
entry into your usage log detailing the time of log on if you
have this option enabled.
With TLXPCP15, the baudrate that you use doesn't matter. If you
used PC Pursuit at 1200 baud yesterday, you can use 2400 baud
today. "Why should it matter?", you ask. Well, if your dialing
entries in your Pursuit fon directories were made at 1200 baud,
your trying to dial a BBS when connected at 2400 baud would cause
confusion. To remedy this, you would have to go back to your fon
directory and change the entries from 1200 to 2400. Well, don't
bother. These scripts do it for you. It is almost transparent
to the user. I say almost transparent -- see the "**READ THIS**"
paragraph in #4 below. Problems may arise if you make entries
into the dialing directory after the baudrate conversion has
already taken place.
2. SELECTING CITIES
After getting logged on, the city dialer script is invoked. You
will see the city menu. Just use your up and down arrow keys
until you move the menu bar to the cities that you want to
select. PgUp and PgDn can be used to flip through cities in the
menu. Hit the space bar to select. Don't worry about selecting
too many cities, the dialing queue is very deep. At this release
of TLXPCP15, you have enough room that you can select all of the
cities if you want. The Net Exch entry is PC Pursuit's BBS, the
Network Exchange. I didn't make entries for the other direct
connect services you can get via PC Pursuit because I don't use
them. You are on your own here. After all selections are made,
hit and the dialer will start its work.
Note that the cummulative monthly total is displayed on this
3. CONNECTING TO CITIES
The city dialer script will continue to dial all of the entries
in the dialing queue until connection is made. If you have
selected a city that is not operating or for some reason is
unrecognized, the dialer will remove it from its dialing queue
for you and then continue dialing the rest of your entries. If
you get an unrecognized error, the script will recover by
allowing itself to time-out (in 10 seconds) and then continuing
on. Every time the dialer detects a busy city, a beep will
sound unless you compiled the citydial.slt script with the
busy_tone string set to "n". I did this so I could go away
from the computer and do something else and still keep an ear
on the script's progress. While the dialer is operating, you
can abort it by hitting the space bar. You may have to hit the
space bar a bunch of times to get the script's attention. This
is a function of where it is in the script. When a city is
connected, the connect tone sounds. You can shut this one off
too by changing the citydial.slt script.
4. THE BBS DIALER
After connection is made to the city, the script ensures that the
modem is in the Hayes mode and that the modem is functioning. If
you're unlucky enough to connect to a nonfunctioning modem, the
city dialer script disconnects the city and goes back to dialing.
When a functioning modem is detected, the dialing directory is
adjusted to whatever baudrate that you're connected at and then
is loaded into Telix. The usage log will be updated at this
point. Control then is passed to the BBS dialer. The directory
for the city that you are connected to is then placed on the
screen. You should create the dialing directories for each one
of the cities before you try to dial the city. You do this from
the Telix dialing directory menu. The naming convention is
example: MNMIN.fon is the directory name for MNMIN
After entering all of the BBS's for that city into your fon
directory, the fon directory must be put into your pcpfon
If you connect to a city and you don't have a dialing directory
already made, the BBS dialer will create an empty one for you.
When you put your BBS phone numbers into this directory, you
*must* ensure that you the baudrate you select for each entry is
the baudrate that you are connected. Otherwise, when you attempt
to dial the numbers, Telix will change its baudrate and things
will get confused. You will have to manually change it back.
This applies *whenever* you enter new numbers into a city fon
directory when you are already connected to that city. Be
You select the BBS's that you want to dial the way Telix normally
expects you to. Then you follow normal Telix procedures to start
the dialing process. Pressing will get you back to PC
Pursuit -- you need to envoke the options menu (see #5 below) if
you do this.
After connecting to a BBS, the BBS dialer checks to see if there
is a linked script to run and, if so, executes it. Then all
scripts are exited and you are back completely in control of
When you disconnect from the BBS that you dialed, you get back
to PC Pursuit. ****** At this point, you must bring up the
options menu. ***** This is done by pressing the key (you did do
this, didn't you?) that you assigned options.slc to.
**** Almost all interfacing with PC Pursuit must be done through
the options menu from this point on. **** Don't fall to the
temptation of bringing up the dialing menu by alt-d. You may
cause some headache if you have the autobaud detect turned on.
(If you do this, you may have to manually reset your baudrate to
whatever it was before you made your next BBS connection.) Play
it safe and use the options menu.
5. THE OPTIONS MENU
You make selections from the options menu by using the arrow keys
and hitting . The options are:
Goto BBS dialer -- Brings back the BBS directory menu. Use this
instead of alt-d and save yourself some confusion and headache.
Updates the usage log.
Goto City dialer -- Invokes the city dialer menu so you can
connect to a different city. Updates the usage log.
Disconnect city -- Logs you out of the city and back to the
Telenet prompt. Updates the usage log.
Log off of PC Pursuit -- Tells PC Pursuit to hangup. Also
reloads the default dialing directory. Updates the usage log.
Return to Pursuit Prompt -- Simply exits the options menu and
gets you back to the Telenet prompt.
Note that the cummulative monthly total is displayed on this
THE USAGE LOGS
These scripts create/maintain a usage log in your script
subdirectory (its name is usage.pcp and is an ascii file that
can easily be sent to the printer or viewed by any number of
means). This usage log keeps the type of information that
you may need to monitor your PC Pursuit expenses. It is pure
PC Pursuit interface information. Also, the telix usage log
(telix.use is the default name that Telix gives it) is kept
updated (if you have it turned on from the appropriate Telix
menu) with Pursuit information, your BBS names, connect times,
uploads, downloads, transfer rates and etc.
You may notice discrepancies in the baud rates and elapsed
times stored in the Telix usage log. Unfortunately, this
is caused by the way Telix stamps this information into its
usage log. This problem is minor as all of the other
information is handled correctly. All of the entries put
into usage.pcp (the PC Pursuit transaction log) are correct.
CUMMULATIVE MONTHLY TOTALS
The cummulative monthly totals are also kept in your script
subdirectory. The file name created is mtelapse.pcp. Stored in
this file are the cummulative seconds for the month. The totals
are calculated from the amount of time that you are connected to
a city -- this is the way that PC Pursuit has indicated that it
will do it. When the month is over, the files contents are
automatically copied into a file called lastmo.pcp and then the
counter starts over.
UPDATING THE CITIES
It seems that every time we turn around there is a change to the
cities that are Pursuitable. Either there are new cities, new
baudrates available, or mnemonic changes to be made. TLXPCP15
allows these changes to be easily made. Simply edit the file
named "cities.pcp" and incorporate the changes. Use a text
editor that uses pure ascii and you should have no trouble. The
format in cities.pcp is simple. For example:
The city is MNMIN. The baudrate is 1200. If you want to make
an entry for MNMIN that is 2400 baud just insert MNMIN/24 into
the file. Keeping the cities in some sort of order is up to you.
Also spaces in the file are not allowed. The same goes for blank
lines. Just look at the format of the file before you edit it
and you'll get the idea.
After editing cities.pcp, you need to delete queue.pcp from your
script subdirectory. This is the file that the city dialer
creates to keep track of your dialing queue. Since you have
changed the cities that are availible, queue.pcp is no longer
valid. Deleting it tells the city dialer that a new cities.pcp
With this release of TLXPCP15, the maximum number of entries
allowed into the cities.pcp file is 125. If the number ever gets
larger than this, you will have to edit the dialing arrays' size
in citydial.slt to something bigger than 1000 and recompile.
This isn't too hard to do.
DISCLAIMER Telix is copyrighted by Exis Inc.
PC Pursuit is a service of Telenet, a US Sprint Company.
I am not associated with either of these companies. They and
they alone are responsible for the performance of their products
Use of these scripts requires a built-in battery backed clock.
Proper operation of the usage log necessitates that the options
menu be used in every applicable situation. Use PC Pursuit and
then go back and see if the logs tell you what you expect. See
if you have the hang of things.
I make no warranties either expressed or implied as to the
suitability of TLXPCP15 for any applications.
If you are a programmer and you take a close look at the source
code provided, try not to laugh too hard -- I'm an electronics
engineer by profession. I realize that are better ways to
write some of the code here, but what the heck -- I wrote this
for fun. Some of the stuff written was written just to see if
it could be done that way.
This package is the result of my efforts to make my hobby a
little bit easier on myself. These scripts work great for me.
Unfortunately, I can't guarantee anything for your machine. The
only application they might be able to fill for you is to take up
space on your hard drive. I have done my best to debug them, but
no software package should ever be considered to be 100% bug
Feel free to distribute TLXPCP15 whenever and where ever you
like. Just upload TLXPCP15 in its complete, unmodified form and
we will all sleep better at night.