Contents of the COMM.DOC file
I'm giving you something near and dear to my heart this month--
plus a little bit more. Over the past several years, my favorite
personal programming project has been a communications program.
Written in Turbo C, it's a TSR that occupies about 70K and that
performs file transfers in the background. I call it simply COMM.
I developed the software for my own use, but I didn't skimp on the
user interface. If you have a mouse, you can use it with COMM.
On-line help is available. Pull-down menus guide you when you need
them, but disappear out of sight when not in use. You get to use
the full screen for your communications sessions.
The program features a split-screen chat mode, a phone directory
that becomes a pull-down menu, a scroll-back buffer, a capture buffer,
and file transfers that operate in the background. You can transfer
files with the XModem, YModem, or Kermit protocols, or you can
choose to send or receive ASCII files "as is", with no error
When you load COMM, or when you pick the LOAD PHONE DIRECTORY
menu option, COMM reads a file named COMM.CFG. This configuration
file contains settings and parameters you specify, and it's
easily edited with a text editor or ASCII word processor. I've
included a sample COMM.CFG file for you. For a quick start, just
edit COMM.CFG to show the correct COM port and baud rate for your
modem, insert a phone directory entry, and fire up COMM.EXE. Press
Alt/Right-Shift to pop up the program. Choose the phone number to
dial from the pull-down menu, and you'll be online in no time.
You can put COMM.EXE, COMM.CFG, and COMM.HLP into any directory
called out by your DOS PATH statement.
I wanted macro keys for the phrases I type most often when I'm
online, so I programmed them into COMM. I also wanted to be able
to adjust the time slicing and transfer protocol timeout settings;
I programmed parameters for them. Screen colors, baud rate
(110, 150, 300, 600, 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600, 19200, or 38400),
modem command strings, COM ports 1 through 4, and lots of other
parameters--I wanted them too. You set any or all of these with
entries in the COMM.CFG file.
I used Turbo C 2.0 and MASM to write COMM. If you like exploring
source code to see how a program works, you'll have hours of fun
with COMM.C. TSR, mouse, communications, pull-down menu, X/YModem,
Kermit, and other techniques abound in COMM.
Remember I mentioned giving you a "little bit more?" To round out
this month's Corner, I'm also including a small communications
program written in BASIC, suitable for running under BASICA or
GW/BASIC. Only about 100 lines long, the program nonetheless
supports receiving files using the XModem file transfer protocol.
If you prefer BASIC programming to C programming, this one's for
Get connected to other people through a modem and this month's
software. You'll make my heart glad.