Contents of the PCACCESS.DOC file
DOWNLOADING FILES WITH PCACCESS
PCACCESS does not require any additional data files for its operation,
so it can be started from any drive or directory. By putting
PCACCESS.EXE in a directory that is listed in your DOS PATH setting,
file transfers may be initiated from any target directory, eliminating
the need for you to enter a pathname when using the program.
The actual operation of PCACCESS is extremely simple. The
program uses the following command keys:
ALT-D - Starts the Auto-log-on sequence
ALT-L - Resends the Log-on sequence (in case of errors)
ALT-R - Starts Xmodem file transfer (receive only)
ALT-I - Places PCACCESS in Immediate Mode. This option does not
appear on the top menu.
ALT-C - Sends three Cancel characters (used after an error or
time-out). This option does not appear on the top menu.
ALT-X - Exits the program.
- Show current settings for port, ID$, Password$, etc.
- Shell to DOS or program
- Log input to file (no filtering for CR/LF)
- Abort when entering new system information
PCACCESS has one command-line option, I, which tells PCACCESS to
prompt for a utility name, immediately download the utility, and sign
off PC MagNet.
To begin the program, simply type PCACCESS (or PCACCESS i) and
press . PCACCESS will initialize the modem with the ATZ command
and give you a "Modem Ready" message. You then start the auto-log-on
process by pressing Alt-D. PCACCESS sends the modem an ATDT (for
tone, ATDP for pulse) command, followed by the phone number you
entered into the program. After the dialing commands and number have
been sent, the modem waits for a carrier tone from PC MagNet. Once a
successful connection has been established, the modem will then send a
"CONNECT" message back to PCACCESS. (The exact message may vary among
modem brands. If you experience difficulty, write the message down
and enter it exactly in place of the "CONNECT" shown in the Logon
subroutine part of the source text.) Upon receiving a "CONNECT"
response, PCACCESS continues the log-on procedure by sending the ID
and Password to PC MagNet.
Note that if you have trouble logging on and receive a Device
Error message or jibberish on the screen, you should simply try
dialing again. Sometimes it is difficult to log on. There
is no problem at this point from PCACCESS's end. It simply cannot get
Occasionally, because of network problems, bad telephone
lines, or just poor timing, the network may not respond to your
initial logon attempt. If it seems to be taking too long--more than
20 seconds or so--press Enter to break out of the log-on sequence.
Because you are still connected to PC MagNet and merely need to resend
the log-on, press Alt-L to retry. The second try will usually be
successful. Repeated messages from the network such as "Login
Invalid, try again," can mean that your ID or Password have not been
entered correctly. In that case, carefully check your spelling and
punctuation in the IDStr$ and Password$ variables.
A display of the PC MagNet logo and copyright notice, followed
by a number of messages and an opening menu, signal a successful log-
on. Navigating through PC MagNet is as easy as selecting an item from
the menu. Further, help is always available if the choice is not
obvious. First-time users are encouraged to experiment in the
practice forum, where no charge is incurred and where newcomers can
experiment with many of the finer points of PC MagNet and CompuServe.
To exemplify the procedure, we'll walk you through the download of a
short utility from the PC MagNet practice forum.
To get to the Practice forum from PC MagNet's main menu,
select choice 4, Forums. At the Forum menu select choice 5, Practice
forum. The first time you access a forum you must "join" it (PC
MagNet imposes no charge for this, though some CompuServe services do). To
join any forum, type JOIN at the exclamation prompt and answer the
prompt for your name. You're now a member.
After reading a short message from the SysOp (systems
operator), you enter the forum library by selecting 3, Libraries. A
very useful short course on PC MagNet is contained here in a file
called PCMAG.COM. The file is about 27K in length, and downloading it
will provide a good trial run for learning PCACCESS. (Once you've
successfully downloaded PCMAG.COM onto your PC, you simply run it to
create the text file containing the instructions.)
Downloading a file with PCACCESS is very easy. From the
library menu, select Download. When PC MagNet asks for the name of
the file to retrieve, type PCMAG.COM and press Enter. PC MagNet now
needs to know what downloading protocol you wish to use, so it
displays a list of available choices. Select Xmodem from the list and
press Enter. PC MagNet is now ready to send the file; it now waits
for PCACCESS to signal that everything is ready at your end to start
To enable PCACCESS's downloading facility, press Alt-R.
PCACCESS will now prompt you for a filename. Generally, you'll simply
enter the same name that PC MagNet uses, though you can substitute any
legal filename and may precede it, if you wish, with a drive and path.
Once the name has been entered, PCACCESS will acknowledge the protocol
that PC MagNet is using, and before you know it, you've begun to
receive blocks of data.
During the file transfer, no further action is needed: you
simply sit there, following the progress of the transfer by watching
the block number and total number of bytes received thus far. Because
the Xmodem protocol can send only complete blocks of 128 characters,
the size of the files you receive will always be a multiple of 128; if
the last block is shorter than 128 bytes, the transmitting program
will pad it up to 128 bytes with zeros. Although this is usually
harmless, it can be disconcerting to the uninitiated. If, for some
reason, the transfer must be cancelled, press Alt-C. PCACCESS will
first close the file on your machine and then send a termination
character to PC MagNet.
When the file transfer is completed PCACCESS signals with a
chime, displays the total number of blocks and bytes received, and
then returns to the main program. PC MagNet expects a carriage return
when the transfer is complete, so press Enter to confirm the transfer.
At this point you may select another file to download or continue
exploring the forum.
ALT-I, Immediate Mode, is very handy. It will automatically go
through the download process for you from any place you may be. Say,
for example, that you are browsing through files or you read a message
and it mentions some program you would like to have. Without the need
to go through various menu stages, simply press ALT-I, provide the
filename, and PCACCESS does the rest.
Again, when you decide to log off, don't forget to enter BYE
at one of the exclamation prompts, or you'll inflate your PC MagNet
bill unnecessarily. Pressing Alt-X will then take you back to the DOS
Using the Alt-I command-line option tells PCACCESS to prompt
you for a filename. No further action is required on your part. Once
the file name is entered, PCACCESS goes directly to work downloading
the file. Once downloaded, PCACCESS immediately exits. This option is
useful for absolutely minimizing the amount of time spent on PC MagNet.