Visionary Software Technology, Inc.
(C) Copyright 1989,1990 Visionary Software Technology, Inc.
Table of Contents
Overview, Features & Hardware Requirements ........................ 2
Installation ...................................................... 3
Starting VIZterm .................................................. 4
The Opening Display ............................................... 5
Function Keys - Opening Display .................................. 7
The Connect Directory ............................................. 8
Modem Configuration ............................................... 9
External Protocols ................................................ 10
Making a Connection ............................................... 11
Overview, Features, & Hardware Requirements
VIZterm is a communications system which has been especially designed for easy serial and telecom-
munications with a variety of systems. VIZterm will allow you to communicate in terminal mode via
modem or by a direct connection at up to 115,200 baud.
Some of VIZterm's features are;
99 item connect directory
99 item external protocol directory (for use when calling public bulletin board systems)
Baud rates from 300 to 115,200 baud
Control of local echo back
Direct connect without a modem
Remote calling capability with a modem
ASCII capture for recording a session
ASCII upload with a terminating character
Concurrent printing of a session
Flagging of a default entry to be displayed upon start up
This software will run on an IBM PC or true compatible with at least 256K bytes of RAM and at least 1
serial port. A hard disk is recommended.
If you have a hard disk, use these steps to install VIZterm:
insert installation diskette in drive a:
copy a:*.* \viz
If you have a floppy diskette, use the DOS command 'diskcopy' to make a copy
of your diskette.
insert installation diskette in drive a:
diskcopy a: a:
follow instructions for switching diskettes
If you have downloaded VIZterm from a BBS, copy the files to the subdirectory of your choice.
Change to the Viz directory by typing 'cd \viz' and then type 'vizterm'. Remember to press
after each command.
VIZterm will attempt to find an active record when it is started. If there isn't a record marked as active,
VIZterm will use record number 1. The first time VIZterm is run, it will build some directory files. This
could take a few moments.
The Opening Display
The first VIZterm display is a view of the directory entry for the active record. For now, we will explore
each entry which appears on the display, Later, we will see how to enter and save other directory entries
and how to activate a different record.
Moving from field to field is accomplished by using the up and down arrow keys. Entries are changed by
pressing the space bar. With the exception of the Description and Phone Number fields, valid values will
be displayed each time the space bar is pressed. When changing the description and phone number press
the space bar and a small window will pop up allowing you to type over the current value. Whatever ap-
pears in the window when the enter key is pressed will be the value that is retained.
A short description of each field is in order (please see figure 1).
Description: Anything that will help you to identify this entry.
Com port: Serial port which will be used by this entry for communication. Must be 1 through 4.
Baud rate: Determined by the device you will be communicating with. From 300 to 115200.
Parity: Determined by the device you will be communicating with. Can be N or E.
Word size: Again, determined by the device attached to your serial port. Can be 8 or 7 bits.
Stop bits: Along with baud rate, parity, and word size must match the attached device. 1 or 2 is valid.
Echo back: When yes, this program will type your entries to the screen when you are connected to
another device. Do not use if the other device also has an echo or full duplex feature or you will see
two letters for every one you type.
Direct connect: Tells VIZterm that you are directly connected to another serial device. Will ignore the
phone number and modem connect commands even if they are entered.
Phone number: Number to dial out via modem. May contain modem dialing characters such as ',' for
After getting the values the way you want them, press the F3 key and they will be saved to the directory
number which appears in the top of the window.
Function Keys - Opening Display
The following provides a description of the active function keys for the opening display. In some cases, a
more detailed explanation follows later.
F1 will perform a check out on the chosen com port and inform you as to whether it is installed and
working correctly. If installed, the message 'Com # is installed' will flash for 3 seconds. Otherwise 'Com
# is NOT installed' will flash for 3 seconds.
F2 will initiate communications. If a phone number is present and 'Direct connect' is 'N', VIZterm will
attempt to call out via modem. Otherwise, a direct connection is assumed.
F3 will save the currently displayed record to the directory.
F4 allows you to configure your modem.
F5 will give you access to the directory. You may select a directory record to access, create and change.
F6 will flag the currently displayed record as the active record. The active record is used by the VIZ Con-
trol System to communicate with the A-Bus system. The active record is also the default record for the
F7 will retrieve the active record.
F8 allows you to define external file transfer protocols for use with other PCs or computers.
F9 allows you to change port addresses and interrupt assignments for your com ports.
Esc will exit from the program.
The Connect Directory
Unlike some other communications programs, VIZterm allows you to set different communications
parameters for each entry in your connect directory. These parameters determine which serial port is
used, what the communications parameters are, and whether the communications will involve a modem
or not. How to change these individual parameters has already been explained. This section will tell you
how to access the directory list.
Pressing F5 will pop up the directory window (see figure 2). You may enter any number from 1 to 99 to
access a directory entry, then press enter. The directory entry will now appear on the opening display.
You may use the
Pressing F4 will cause a small window to pop up and display modem control strings. In most cases, the
default strings will work for any Hayes compatible modem. In some cases, however, you may wish to
change a parameter.
The Initialization string is sent to the modem each time a call is made. Most communications programs
only send the string when the program is first started. But VIZterm makes sure that the modem is
responding correctly and that a reliable data link can be established before attempting to dial.
The Dial string is sent after the modem has correctly responded to the initialization string. This string
will be placed immediately before the phone number when dialing.
The Hang-Up string is the string that the modem uses to disconnect from the phone line. If some of the
parameters in the initialization string are incorrect, the hang up string may not work correctly.
You may press
be asked if you wish to 'Save (Y,N)?'. Pressing 'Y' will save the strings as they appear on the screen.
Pressing 'N' will leave them as they were before F4 was pressed.
Although the only internal protocol currently supported is ASCII capture and upload, a facility has been
provided that will allow you to use third party external protocols for binary file transfers. Many protocols
are available as public domain or shareware programs.
Most external programs can be used by any communications program which allows the user to 'Shell to
DOS' while connected. VIZterm supports this feature. In addition. VIZterm allows you to set up the
protocol command line from within VIZterm.
For example; you have an external Zmodem protocol. It is in directory \PROTO on drive C:. The com-
mand line for downloads is:
c:\proto\zmodem port 2 rz \download\FILENAME
Press F8 from the main display. The external protocol window will pop up and ask you to choose entry 1
through 99. Choose entry number 1. A smaller window will pop up allowing you to enter a description
and the command line to be executed. In the above example, FILENAME is a name which must be en-
tered before the download begins. Enter "" where the file name is to appear. You will then be prompted to
enter a filename at the appropriate time. You may use as many "" prompts as you wish except as part of
the first word, which would be the actual command.
Making a Connection
Pressing F2 will initiate a connection attempt. If a phone number is present, and direct connect is 'N',
then VIZterm will attempt to call out on an attached modem. Otherwise VIZterm will assume that you
are directly connected via serial cable.
After a connection is successfully made, you are in terminal mode (see figure 5).
Data sent by the device on the other end will be immediately displayed. Line 25 on your screen shows the
current configuration parameters and the status of ASCII capture and concurrent printing.
Pressing F10 will bring up a display of valid function keys (see figure 6).
F1 will clear the display
F2 will hang up the phone (if connected by modem) and exit the program
F3 will shell to DOS while maintaining the serial link
F4 will toggle ASCII capture on and off, prompting you for file name when toggled on
F5 will allow you to choose an external file transfer protocol (see figure 7)
F6 will toggle concurrent printing. Your printer must be powered on and on line
F7 will allow you to upload an ASCII file to the remote system.
If you attempt concurrent printing and your printer is not on line, you will not receive an error message.
The program will simply wait until the printer is on line before continuing.