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Comms Link Manual, Chapters 4-5

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4

CONNECTING TO ANY COMPUTER

This chapter describes how Comms Link may be used to connect to any computer which has an RS232 port. Although the IBM PC/XT/AT and compatibles fall into this category and everything in this chapter does apply to these computers, you are better off using the facilities which are available when the supplied Comms Link PC software is used, as described in the previous chapter.

Before you can use Comms Link to transfer files between the organiser and your computer, you will need communications software for your computer. That communications software should support one or preferably both of the following services:

  • Terminal emulation with the ability to upload and capture files
  • XMODEM file transfer
  • These services may be provided by a specialised communications program or as part of an integrated software package. As an alternative to the first item above, and if the operating system on your computer is sufficiently advanced, you may be able to configure the serial port and to copy to and from the serial port using the operating system commands.

    THE RS232 PORT

    Check that your computer has an RS232 port. The term "serial port" is often used, and means the same thing.

    If your computer does not have an RS232 port as standard, you may be able to buy one from your dealer as an add-on or a plug-in "card".

    Having established that you have an RS232 port on your computer, you need to check the type of connector on the RS232 port.

    The Comms Link cable is terminated with a 25 pin D-type female connector which will plug into the corresponding male connector (see figure 4.1).


    Figure 4.1 MALE and FEMALE Connectors

    If the RS232 on your computer has a 25 pin female connector, you will need an adaptor which has a 25 pin male connector at each end. Such an adaptor, which converts a female connector to a male connector, is called a "gender changer" and is widely available. Psion supplies a suitable adaptor under the name "Printer Adaptor", as many printers require an identical adaptor when connecting to the Organiser.

    If the RS232 port is not a 25 pin D-type connector of either gender, you will need an adaptor, specific to your computer, which converts its RS232 to a 25 pin D-type male connector. Psion produce a range of adaptors (including one for the Apple Macintosh), one of which may be right for your computer. Otherwise your dealer may be able to supply a suitable adaptor or make up an adaptor for you. The Comms Link cable presents the same interface as a modem, and a cable which is suitable for use between your computer and a modem will also be suitable for connecting to Comms Link. The required pin assignments for the Organiser are given in an appendix at the back of this manual.

    When you have an appropriate connector to make the physical connection between the Organiser and the other computer, plug the two together. The next job is to set up the communications software at each end of the Comms Link cable.

    SETTING THE COMMUNICATIONS PARAMETERS

    Before communication can take place with the other computer, various communications parameters must be set at both ends of the communications link.

    You should have fitted the Comms Link cable to the Organiser as described in the Introduction to this manual. This will add a new item, COMMS, to the top-level menu.

    Select COMMS from the top-level menu and you will be presented with the COMMS menu which contains the following options:
    TRANSMIT Transmit a file or procedure
    RECEIVE Receive a file or procedure
    SETUP Set up communications parameters
    TERM Enter terminal mode
    AUTO Run the automatic setup facility
    CAPTURE Enter capture buffer menu
    BOOT Load and run a program stored on the PC

    USING SETUP

    Select the SETUP option from the COMMS menu and you are presented with a list of communications parameters. The list is arranged with the name of the parameter on the left of the line and the current setting on the right. Use the UP and DOWN cursor keys to scroll up and down the list.

    The SETUP parameters and the things they set are as follows:
    BAUD Baud rate
    PARITY Parity
    BITS Number of data bits
    STOP Number of stop bits
    HAND Handshaking
    PROTOCOL File transfer protocol
    ECHO Local or remote character echo
    WIDTH Forced line length
    TIMEOUT Time allowed waiting for connection
    REOL Receive end of line character(s)
    REOF Receive end of file character(s)
    RTRN Receive translate character(s)
    TEOL Transmit end of line character(s)
    TEOF Transmit end of file character(s)
    TTRN Transmit translate character(s)

    To edit a parameter value, first select the parameter using the UP and DOWN keys. The selected parameter is indicated with the right arrow symbol after the parameter name. Change the selected parameter either by pressing RIGHT and LEFT to select a value from a list of values or by pressing EXE and then by entering a value. Which method you use depends upon which parameter you are changing. This is described below under the relevant parameter heading.

    Pressing ON/CLEAR sets the selected parameter to its original value.

    Most of the SETUP parameters are relevant to communications with a computer. The parameters you are unlikely to be concerned with are ECHO, WIDTH and TIMEOUT. If you do need to use or change them, they are described chapter 6, "The Comms Menu".

    BAUD

    The BAUD parameter specifies the Baud rate. This is the rate at which data is transferred between the Organiser and the computer and it must be set to match the Baud rate on the communications program you are using.

    If you are connecting the Organiser direct to the computer, rather than via a pair of modems, the BAUD parameter should be set to 9600 (the highest value).

    If you are connecting to the computer via modems, the BAUD parameter must be set to the Baud rate at which the modems are set to operate. If the modems are operating over a dial-up line, the Baud rate will typically be either 2400, 1200 or 300.

    When BAUD is selected, press RIGHT and LEFT to change its value.

    The Baud rate specifies the data transfer rate in bits per second. Dividing it by 10 gives the approximate transfer rate in characters per second.

    PARITY, BITS AND STOP

    When data is sent down the RS232 line, it is sent one bit at a time (rather than a character at a time) and the PARITY, BITS and STOP parameters specify how each character is converted into a pattern of bits. You do not have to understand what these parameters mean (see chapter 7 if you are interested) but, as with BAUD, they have to match the corresponding parameters set by the communications program which you are using.

    All three parameters are changed in the same way as for BAUD, by pressing RIGHT and LEFT.

    The STOP parameter sets the number of stop bits and may be set to 1 or 2.

    The BITS parameter specifies the number of data bits in each character and may be set to 7 or 8.

    The PARITY parameter determines whether each character includes an additional bit (the parity bit) and, if so, what the rule is for its value. When used, the parity bit normally represents a simple form of error checking. Although the PARITY parameter may be set to five different values, MARK and SPACE are rarely used.

    Since you have the freedom to modify PARITY, BITS and STOP on both sides of the link, you can use any values you like. We recommend that you use the Comms Link default values:
    PARITY NONE
    BITS 8
    STOP 1

    Note that some manufacturers include the parity bit in their definition of the data bits. This means that they would call seven data bits and a parity bit eight data bits.

    HAND

    The HAND parameter controls the handshaking methods to be used by the Organiser. Handshaking (also called "flow control" or "buffer control") is a means by which either end of the communications link can pause and restart data transmission from the other.

    The Organiser supports three different kinds of handshaking; XON/XOFF, RTS/CTS and DTR. Each of these may be enabled or disabled.

    DTR handshaking is only suitable for printers so, for Organiser to computer communications, either XON/XOFF or RTS/CTS handshaking should be used, particularly when XMODEM file transfer is not being used. The choice may be made by hardware limitations on the computer; for example, the Apple Macintosh does not support RTS/CTS handshaking. If the Organiser is connected to the computer via modems, RTS/CTS handshaking only operates between the Organiser and the modem and XON/XOFF handshaking should also be used to provide "end to end" handshaking.

    The XMODEM file transfer protocol does provide its own flow control and will operate when the HAND parameter is set to NONE. When the Organiser is connected directly to the computer, RTS/CTS handshaking is still recommended as the file transfer will be more efficient.

    Press the RIGHT and LEFT cursor keys to change the value of the HAND parameter. When HAND is set to NONE, no handshaking takes place. When HAND is set to ALL, all three handshaking modes are enabled. Otherwise one or two are enabled, as suggested by the value.

    See chapter 6, "The Comms Menu", for more details on the handshaking methods.

    PROTOCOL

    The PROTOCOL parameter selects the file transfer protocol which is used by the TRANSMIT and RECEIVE commands and should either be set to NONE or XMODEM (use LEFT and RIGHT to change the setting).

    The XMODEM protocol provides the better file transfer service, since it includes error checking, but can only be used if your communications program supports XMODEM file transfer. Error checking is a significant advantage when the transfer occurs over dial-up lines, using modems.

    Using PROTOCOL set to NONE provides a more primitive file transfer with no error checking.

    REOL And TEOL

    REOL and TEOL stand for Receive End Of Line and Transmit End Of Line. They both define the ASCII sequence of characters which define an end of line. During file transfer, TEOL is sent at the end of transmitted data records and procedure lines and REOL is used to recognise the end of received data records and procedure lines.

    You should set both REOL and TEOL to the line terminator which is used by text files on your computer. TEOL and REOL would normally be set to a combination of <CR> (ASCII 13) and <LF> (ASCII 10) and it is likely that the default value of <CR><LF> is correct for your computer.

    To change TEOL or REOL, press EXE when TEOL or REOL is the selected parameter and enter the new value by typing the ASCII code of the new terminator followed by pressing EXE again. If the required terminator contains two characters rather than a single character, enter the ASCII codes of the two characters, separated by a comma.

    REOF And TEOF

    REOF and TEOF stand for Receive End Of File and Transmit End Of File. They both define the ASCII sequence of characters which define an end of file when using file transfer.

    The REOF sequence is used by the Organiser to recognise an end of file when receiving a file using the RECEIVE command. The TEOF sequence is sent by the Organiser to signal an end of file to the communicating device when transmitting a file using the TRANSMIT command.

    The correct values for REOF and TEOF depends on the computer and the communications software. However, it is likely that the <SUB> (ASCII 26), default value of both REOF and TEOF, is correct for your computer. Setting REOF and TEOF to NONE may be appropriate for file transfers which use the XMODEM protocol.

    REOF and TEOF are set in the same way as for REOL and TEOL, described above. To set REOF or TEOF to NONE, press EXE a twice without entering a value.

    RTRN And TTRN

    RTRN and TTRN stand for Receive Translate and Transmit Translate.

    See chapter 6, "The Comms Menu", for more details on the handshaking methods.

    RTRN and TTRN provide the means to translate any character to another character or to remove a character on input and output respectively. When RTRN or TTRN is set to NONE (the default), no translation occurs. When set to only one character, that character is removed. When set to two characters, the first character is translated to the second character.

    RTRN and TTRN are typically used to translate <TAB> characters in data files, which separate adjacent fields in a record, to a more convenient field delimiter for use on the computer.

    For example, to convert <TAB>s to a comma and vice versa, set TTRN to translate <TAB> to comma (ASCII 44) by pressing EXE when TTRN is the selected parameter. Then type: 9,44 EXE

    Now select RTRN to translate comma to <TAB>. Press EXE and type: 44,9 EXE

    Initially, RTRN and TTRN are set to NONE and no translation occurs.

    LEAVING SETUP

    After setting the above parameters to your satisfaction, exit SETUP by pressing MODE to enter the SETUP menu. A menu containing the lowing items is presented:
    EXIT Exit SETUP keeping any changes
    ABANDON Exit SETUP discarding any changes
    EDIT Return to the parameter list to continue editing
    SAVE Save the current SETUP
    LOAD Load a previously saved SETUP
    DIR Read the directory of saved SETUPs
    ERASE Erase a previously saved SETUP
    RESET Reset to the default SETUP settings

    Select EXIT from this menu and you will be returned to the COMMS menu. However, you may wish to select the SAVE option first, to save your setup to a file. The values can then be restored at any time in the future by using the LOAD command.

    SETTING UP THE OTHER COMPUTER

    Run the communications program on the other computer as described in the user documentation and set the corresponding communications parameters to the values you have chosen for the Organiser.

    TESTING THE LINK

    When setting up a connection between the Organiser and another computer for the first time, it is a good idea to first enter terminal mode on the two machines to check that communication is working as it should.

    Select TERM from the COMMS menu on the Organiser and enter terminal mode (or its equivalent) in the communications software on the other machine.

    Type a few characters at each end of the connection and ensure that they are appearing correctly on the screen of the other machine. If this is not the case, you have probably set the communications parameters incorrectly and you may wish to use the AUTO command in the COMMS menu to check the basic communications parameters BAUD, PARITY, BITS and STOP.

    The AUTO command cycles through all combinations of BAUD, PARITY, BITS and STOP (omitting only MARK and SPACE parity) transmitting a line of text for each combination. The text contains a message which identifies the four parameters so that if the computer receives the text without corruption, you can read the correct values of the parameters to use in SETUP.

    While the program is running, the Organiser display continuously shows the combination of the parameters which is currently being transmitted. Press ON/CLEAR to abort AUTO when you are satisfied that you have the correct values, then enter these using SETUP. If you leave AUTO running, it will return to the COMMS menu when it has tried every combination.

    TRANSFERRING FILES

    Having achieved basic communications between the Organiser and the computer, you may now use the TRANSMIT and RECEIVE options in the COMMS menu to transfer files between the two computers.

    When you select either RECEIVE or TRANSMIT, the screen will show:
    FILE PROCEDURE  

    This is a small menu, from which a selection can be made in the usual way. Select FILE to receive or transmit a data file and PROCEDURE to receive or transmit a procedure file.

    Data Files

    Data files consist of a number of records where each record may be split into fields. Records contain up to 254 characters and fields are delimited by the <TAB> character (ASCII 9). Each data file record corresponds to a line within the text file on the PC.

    If, when receiving a data file, the incoming file contains lines longer than 254 characters, they are split into records of that length with the remainder of the line being written to successive records. Normally, a new record begins whenever the REOL sequence is detected. Incoming <TAB> characters will divide the records into separate fields. Alternatively, the <TAB> characters may be generated by the RTRN option as was described earlier.

    An Organiser data file record may not be empty. Any received blank lines are saved as a record containing a single space character (ASCII 32).

    Procedure Files

    When procedure files are transmitted using the TRANSMIT command, only the source is transmitted. When procedure files are received using the RECEIVE command, a file is created which contains the source only (i.e. no object). You have to translate the procedure (using the TRAN option in the procedure editor under the PROG menu) before you can run a received procedure.

    The first line of a procedure consists of a procedure name followed by a colon and optionally followed by the procedure parameters. When procedures are created under the top-level PROG command, the procedure file name will match the name on the first line. When you receive a procedure, however, the file name may not match the name on the first line.

    It is the procedure file name which is significant when you invoke a procedure in an OPL program, not the name which appears on the first line. (When you edit a procedure on the Organiser, the name of the fist line is changed. if necessary to agree with the procedure file name.) When receiving a procedure, you should be mindful of the significance of the file name when choosing it.

    FILE TRANSFER WITH NO PROTOCOL

    When transferring files between two computers with PROTOCOL set to NONE, you should initiate the RECEIVE end before the TRANSMlT end. Otherwise, if the TRANSMIT begins before the other computer is ready to RECEIVE, part of the start of the file may be missed.

    RECEIVE

    Before starting the process of sending the file from the other computer, prepare the Organiser to receive the file.

    Select RECEIVE from the COMMS menu and then select either FILE or PROCEDURE.

    If you select PROCEDURE. the screen will show the prompt:
    RECV A:         

    Press the MODE key to change the device shown, if necessary. You may now type in the name of the file which is to take the received data. The file name must, as usual, be no longer than eight characters. If you have previously specified a file name in file transfer, that name will be given as a default.

    If you specify a file name which already exists, the display will show:
    A:FNAME EXISTS  
    DELETE Y/N

    where FNAME is the procedure file name which was specified. If you press N, you are returned to the previous screen and may now type in a different file name or press ON/CLEAR to abort the transfer. Press Y and the old procedure will be deleted and replaced by the incoming file.

    When using RECEIVE and after selecting FILE, the screen will show the prompt:
    RECV A:MAIN     

    The default file name will be MAIN unless you have previously specified a file name in file transfer, in which case that name will be given instead. You can either accept the default or press ON/CLEAR to clear the input and type another name in.

    If you select the FILE option and you specify a file name which already exists and which contains data, the display will show:
    ERASE APPEND    

    This is another small menu. If ERASE is selected, the incoming file will replace the old data file of that name and its original contents will be lost. If the file being erased contains a large number of records, this may take some time. If the APPEND option is selected, the data in the incoming file will be appended to the original file.

    You may now send the file from the other computer. Depending on the communications software you are using, the process may be called TRANSMIT or SEND, or some other name. Refer to the user documentation for the communications software for details of sending files.

    Select the appropriate command to send the file then type the name the file is stored under on the other computer.

    Data is displayed on the screen as it is received. At the higher Baud rates, this will not be readable but it will indicate that data transfer is taking place. The RECEIVE command terminates when the REOF sequence is received. Pressing ON/CLEAR at any time aborts the transfer, saving all the information so far received. This is useful if you have not been able to set the communications program on the other computer to send an REOF sequence.

    TRANSMIT

    Before starting the process of sending a file from the Organiser, prepare the other computer to receive the file. Depending on the communications software you are using, the process may be called RECEIVE, CAPTURE, DOWNLOAD, or some other name. Refer to the user documentation for the communications software for details of receiving files.

    To capture the file as it arrives from the Organiser, you will have to enter a name for the incoming file. When you have given the file name and the computer is ready to receive all incoming data to that file, you can send the file from the Organiser.

    On the Organiser, select TRANSMIT from the COMMS menu and then select either FILE or PROCEDURE.

    If you select PROCEDURE, the screen will show the prompt:
    SEND A:         

    Press the MODE key to change the device, if necessary, and enter the name 0 the file which is to be transmitted. If you have previously specified a file name in file transfer, that name will be given as a default.

    If you select FILE, TRANSMIT offers the default file name MAIN (used by the top-level menu commands FIND and SAVE):
    SEND A:MAIN     

    The default file name will be MAIN unless you have previously specified a file name in file transfer, in which case that name will be iven instead. Press EXE to accept the default or press ON/CLEAR to clear the input and enter another name.

    If the file is not found, a FILE NOT FOUND message will be displayed.

    Transmitted data is displayed on the screen as it is transmitted. At the higher Baud rates, this will not be readable but it will indicate that data transfer is taking place.

    When all the file data has been sent, the TEOF sequence is transmitted and the command terminates. Pressing ON/CLEAR at any time aborts the transfer.

    At the other end of the connection, the corresponding file capture should terminate when the Organiser sends the TEOF sequence. If not, and the other computer is still waiting for more data to add to the file, you have probably set TEOF incorrectly.

    XMODEM FILE TRANSFER

    To use XMODEM file transfer, the PROTOCOL parameter must be set to XMODEM.

    RECEIVE

    To send a file from the other computer to the Organiser, set the other computer to send a file (selecting the appropriate XMODEM command and giving the name of the file on the other computer) and set the Organiser to receive using the RECEIVE command in the COMMS menu. With XMODEM file transfer, you can set up each end in either order.

    Select RECEIVE from the COMMS menu and then select either FILE or PROCEDURE.

    If you select PROCEDURE, the screen will show the prompt:
    RECV A:         

    Press the MODE key to change the device shown, if necessary. You may now type in the name of the file which is to take the received data. The file name must, as usual, be no longer than eight characters. If you have previously specified a file name in file transfer, that name will be given as a default.

    If you specify a file name which already exists, the display will show:
    A:FNAME EXISTS  
    DELETE Y/N

    where FNAME is the procedure file name which was specified. If you press N, you are returned to the previous screen and may now type in a different file name or press ON/CLEAR to abort the transfer. Press Y and the old procedure will be deleted and replaced by the incoming file.

    When using RECEIVE and after selecting FILE, the screen will show the prompt:
    RECV A:MAIN     

    The default file name will be MAIN unless you have previously specified a file name in file transfer, in which case that name will be given instead. You can either accept the default or press ON/CLEAR to clear the input and type another name in.

    If you select the FILE option and you specify a file name which already exists and which contains data, the display will show;
    ERASE APPEND    

    This is another small menu. If ERASE is selected, the incoming file will overwrite the old data file of that name and its original contents will be lost. If the file being erased contains a large number of records, this may take some time. If the APPEND option is selected. the data in the incoming file will be appended to the original file.

    After completing the RECEIVE dialogue, the screen will initially show:
    Connecting      

    When the XMODEM program on the other computer starts to transmit the file, the screen will change to:
    Received nn     

    where nn indicates the number of blocks successfully received. If all goes well, the block count will steadily increase until a RECEIVE OK message is displayed. At this point, press any key to continue.

    The following messages may also be shown:
    Error in nn An error was detected when receiving block nn
    Duplicate nn Received a duplicate of a block already received
    Failed in nn A fatal error was detected

    The RECEIVE command terminates when the file is received successfully or if a fatal error occurs.

    TRANSMIT

    To send a tile from the Organiser to the other computer, set the other computer to receive a file (selecting the appropriate XMODEM command and giving the name of the file to be created on the other computer) and set the Organiser to transmit using the TRANSMIT command in the COMMS menu. With XMODEM file transfer, you can set up each end in either order.

    Select TRANSMIT from the COMMS menu and then select either FILE or PROCEDURE.

    If you select PROCEDURE. the screen will show the prompt:
    SEND A:         

    Press the MODE key to change the device, if necessary, and enter the name of the file which is to be transmitted. If you have previously specified a file name in file transfer, that name will be given as a default.

    As with RECEIVE. selecting TRANSMIT then FILE offers as a default the file name you have most recently specified in file transfer. If it is your first file transfer operation the default file name MAIN is offered:
    SEND A:MAIN     

    Press EXE to accept the default or press ON/CLEAR to clear the input and enter another name.

    If the file is not found, a FILE NOT FOUND message will be displayed. If the file exists, the screen will initially show:
    Connecting      

    Provided that the XMODEM program on the other computer has been set up to receive a file, the screen will change to:
    Sending nn      

    where nn indicates the number of the block currently being sent. If all goes well, the block count will steadily increase until a SEND OK message is displayed. At this point, press any key to continue.

    The following messages may also be shown:
    Resending nn Resending an unacknowledged block
    Failed in nn A fatal error was detected

    USING MODEMS

    In principle, there is no reason why the Organiser and the other computer should not be connected over a dial-up line using a pair of modems. However, in practice, this may be inconvenient because when PROTOCOL is set to either NONE or XMODEM, you have to type on both the Organiser and the other computer when performing a file transfer. (Compare this with the unattended file transfer which is available when PROTOCOL is PSION, as described in the previous chapter.) Since you obviously cannot type on both machines yourself, you would normally need an accomplice who would enter the necessary commands for you at the other end.

    Because XMODEM is error correcting, you should use XMODEM file transfer if possible.

    To connect the Comms Link cable to the modem you will need a Modem Adaptor. These are available from Psion. Alternatively, if you want to make one up yourself, or have one made for you, the wiring details may be found in an appendix at the back of this manual.

    Organiser bar.

    5

    TERMINAL EMULATION

    This chapter describes how TERM and CAPTURE in the COMMS menu may be used to access electronic mail and other dial-up services In this role, the Organiser is emulating a terminal.

    For terminal emulation, the Organiser does not seek to compete with devices with full displays and you should not normally use Comms Link terminal emulation in situations where you could use a purpose-built terminal or a desktop PC with terminal emulation software. However, in contrast to a PC, the combination of an Organiser Comms Link and a portable modem can be carried with you, for accessing electronic mail services when you are away from your desk.

    The facilities within Comms Link terminal emulation are more advanced than a simple terminal provides. Comms Link terminal emulation includes the ability to capture data from the buffer (within the internal memory of the Organiser). Data within the buffer can then be manipulated with a set of associated commands. This makes it possible for you to log on to an electronic mail system, view your mail with the capture buffer in operation and then log off again. When you are "off-line" you may edit the capture buffer, which contains a 'transcription' of the on-line session, and remove any unwanted system messages or prompts. You may then save the mail item as a file or a procedure. Alternatively, you may leave the capture buffer data exactly where it is. Then, at a later time, when you return home or to the office perhaps, you may send the contents of the capture buffer to a printer or to your desktop PC.

    You do not have to capture data before you use the capture buffer editor. You may, for example, prepare a mail item or telex in the capture buffer, log on to a system when you are able to get to a telephone and then transmit the pre-prepared message.

    In this chapter it is assumed that you are already familiar with the process of using a modem and logging on to the electronic mail (or other) system from a terminal or a desktop PC.

    CONNECTING UP

    Any modem you use will almost certainly have a D-type, 25 pin female connector. To connect the Comms Link cable to the modem you will need a Modem Adaptor. These are available from Psion. Alternatively, if you want to make one up yourself, or have one made for you, the wiring details may be found in an appendix at the back of this manual.

    SETTING THE COMMUNICATIONS PARAMETERS

    Before attempting to log on to the system, various communications parameters should be set using the SETUP option from the COMMS menu.

    You should have fitted the Comms Link cable to the Organiser as described in the Introduction to this manual. This will add a new item, COMMS, to the top-level menu.

    Select COMMS from the top-level menu and you will be presented with the COMMS menu which contains the following options:
    TRANSMIT Transmit a file or procedure
    RECEIVE Receive a file or procedure
    SETUP Set up communications parameters
    TERM Enter terminal mode
    AUTO Run the automatic setup facility
    CAPTURE Enter capture buffer menu
    BOOT Load and run a program stored on the PC

    USING SETUP

    When you select the SETUP option, you are presented with a list of communications parameters. The list is arranged with the name of the parameter on the left of the line and the current setting on the right. Use the UP and DOWN cursor keys to scroll up and down the list.

    The SETUP parameters and the things they set are as follows:
    BAUD Baud rate
    PARITY Parity
    BITS Number of data bits
    STOP Number of stop bits
    HAND Handshaking
    PROTOCOL File transfer protocol
    ECHO Local or remote character echo
    WIDTH Forced line length
    TIMEOUT Time allowed waiting for connection
    REOL Receive end of line character(s)
    REOF Receive end of file character(s)
    RTRN Receive translate character(s)
    TEOL Transmit end of line character(s)
    TEOF Transmit end of file character(s)
    TTRN Transmit translate character(s)

    To edit a parameter value, first select the parameter using the UP and DOWN keys. The selected parameter is indicated with the right arrow symbol after the parameter name. Change the selected parameter either by pressing RIGHT and LEFT to select a value from a list of values or by pressing EXE and then by entering a value. Which method you use depends upon which parameter you are changing; see below, under the relevant parameter heading.

    Pressing ON/CLEAR sets the selected parameter to its original value.

    BAUD

    The BAUD parameter specifies the Baud rate and must be set to match the Baud rate on your modem.

    It is not possible to set a different rate for transferred data and received data on the Organiser. If you wish to communicate with a split speed host (e.g. using the V23 7511200 standard) you should use a modem which buffers the data and presents a single speed at the RS232 interface.

    When BAUD is selected, press RIGHT and LEFT to change its value.

    PARITY, BITS And STOP

    When data is sent down the RS232 line, it is sent one bit at a time (rather than a character at a time) and the PARITY, BITS and STOP parameters specify how each character is converted into a pattern of bits. You do not have to understand what these parameters mean (see chapter 7 if you are interested) but their values should match the corresponding parameters used by the host and you should set these parameters to the equivalent settings that you use when you connect using a PC.

    All three parameters are changed in the same way as for BAUD. by pressing RIGHT and LEFT.

    The STOP parameter sets the number of stop bits and may be set to 1 or 2.

    The BITS parameter specifies the number of data bits in each character and may be set to 7 or 8.

    The PARITY parameter determines whether each character includes an additional bit (the parity bit) and, if so, what the rule is for its value. When used. the parity bit normally represents a simple form of error checking. Although the PARITY parameter may be set to five different values, MARK and SPACE are rarely used.

    Note that some manufacturers include the parity bit in their definition of the data bits. This means that they would call seven data bits and a parity bit eight data bits.

    HAND

    The HAND parameter controls the handshaking methods to be used by the Organiser.

    The Organiser supports three different kinds of handshaking. XON/XOFF, RTS/CTS and DTR. Each of these may be enabled or disabled. Press the RIGHT and LEFT cursor keys to change the value of the HAND parameter. When HAND is set to NONE. no handshaking takes place. When HAND Is set to ALL, alt three handshaking modes are enabled. Otherwise one or two are enabled. as suggested by the value.

    DTR handshaking is only suitable for printers and, when using terminal emulation via a modem, HAND should be set to XON+RTS. RTS/CTS handshaking operates between the Organiser and the modem and XON/XOFF handshaking provides "end to end" handshaking.

    See chapter 6, "The Comms Menu", for more details on the handshaking methods.

    PROTOCOL

    The PROTOCOL parameter selects the file transfer protocol which is used by the TRANSMIT and RECEIVE commands and should be set to NONE when using terminal emulation (by using the RIGHT and LEFT cursor keys to change the value).

    ECHO

    In terminal emulation, characters corresponding to the keys being pressed are transmitted to the host and characters which are received are displayed on the Organiser screen (and optionally saved in the capture buffer).

    When ECHO is LOCAL, transmitted characters are also displayed (and recorded in the capture buffer if capture is enabled).

    Usually, the host will echo characters as they are typed and ECHO should be set to HOST. If the host does not echo its input, ECHO should be set to LOCAL so that you can see what you type. Press the RIGHT and LEFT cursor keys to change the value.

    If ECHO is set to LOCAL and the host is also echoing its input, you will see each character displayed twice. Set ECHO to HOST to remedy this.

    WIDTH

    In terminal emulation, the WIDTH parameter is used to force an end of line (as if the REOL sequence had been received) when the received line length becomes greater than the number of characters specified.

    Setting WIDTH to 16, the width of the Organiser display, will cause lines longer than 16 characters to be continued on new display lines rather than scrolling the display horizontally.

    The WIDTH parameter is one of the parameters which are not set by pressing the RIGHT and LEFT keys. To change WIDTH, press EXE when WIDTH is the selected parameter and enter the new value by typing the number followed by pressing EXE again. Note that the keyboard will automatically be in numeric mode.

    The maximum WIDTH that you can specify is 250.

    TEOL

    TEOL stands for Transmit End Of Line. During terminal emulation, pressing the EXE key transmits the TEOL sequence. The TEOL sequence is also sent to terminate each line when transmitting a file.

    By default, TEOL is set to <CR><LF> which is almost always inappropriate for terminal emulation and you should set TEOL to <CR> ASCII 13, the Carriage Return character). It is very important that you set this parameter, otherwise you will almost certainly be unable to log on to a remote system.

    To set the TEOL character, first press the UP or DOWN cursor keys until TEOL is the selected parameter. Press EXE and type:

    13 EXE

    The top line will now show the TEOL character as <CR>.

    REOL

    REOL stands for Receive End Of Line. During terminal emulation, when the REOL sequence is received, the display continues on a new line (and the screen scrolls). When receiving a file, REOL is used to recognise received data records and procedure lines.

    You should set REOL to the sequence which is sent by the host at the end of each line. This would normally be a combination of <CR> (ASCII 13) and <LF> (ASCII 10), which is the default value of REOL.

    To change REOL, press EXE when REOL is the selected parameter and enter the new value by typing the ASCII code of the new terminator followed by pressing EXE again. If the required terminator contains two characters rather than a single character, enter the ASCII codes of the two characters, separated by a comma.

    REOF And TEOF

    REOF and TEOF stand for Receive End Of File and Transmit End Of File. They both define the ASCII sequence of characters which define an end of file when using file transfer.

    The REOF sequence is used by the Organiser to recognise an end of file when receiving a file using the RECEIVE command.

    The TEOF sequence is sent by the Organiser to signal an end of file to the host when transmitting a file using the TRANSMIT command, or when transmitting the capture buffer.

    The correct values for REOF and TEOF depends on the host and the software which it is running, but it is likely that the default values of REOF and TEOF will be correct.

    REOF and TEOF can be set in the same way as REOL, described above. To set REOF or TEOF to NONE, press EXE twice after selecting the parameter.

    RTRN And TTRN

    RTRN and TTRN stand for Receive Translate and Transmit Translate.

    RTRN and TTRN provide the means to translate any character to another character or to remove a character on input and output respectively. When RTRN or TTRN is set to NONE (the default), no translation occurs. When set to only one character, that character is removed. When set to two characters, the first character is translated to the second character.

    RTRN and TTRN are typically used to translate <TAB> characters in data files, which separate adjacent fields in a record, to a more convenient field delimiter for use on the host.

    For example, you might wish to convert a <TAB> on the Organiser to a comma on the PC, and vice versa. To do so, set TTRN to translate <TAB> to comma (ASCII 44) by pressing EXE when TTRN is the selected parameter and entering:

    9,44 EXE

    and select RTRN to translate comma to <TAB> by pressing EXE when RTRN is the selected parameter and entering:

    44,9 EXE

    Initially, RTRN and TTRN are set to NONE and no translation occurs.

    LEAVING SETUP

    When the above communications parameters have been set to your satisfaction, press the MODE key and a menu containing the following items is presented:
    EXIT Exit SETUP keeping any changes
    ABANDON Exit SETUP discarding any changes
    EDIT Return to the parameter list to continue editing
    SAVE Save the current SETUP
    LOAD Load a previously saved SETUP
    DIR Read the directory of saved SETUPs
    ERASE Erase a previously saved SETUP
    RESET Reset to the default SETUP settings

    Select EXIT from this menu to return to the COMMS menu. You may, if you wish, select the SAVE option first, to save your setup to a file. The values can then be restored at any time in the future by using the LOAD command.

    You are now ready to use the TERM option to log on to the system.

    TERM

    Selecting the TERM option in the COMMS menu enters terminal emulation. If your modem has auto-dial facilities, you would normally type the number to dial from the Organiser keyboard and wait for the modem to indicate that the call has been connected. Otherwise dial the host manually and switch the modem to data when you hear the whistle of the modem at the other end. When you have a connection (the "carrier" indicator on your modem will have lit up), press EXE repeatedly until you see the expected system prompt and log on to the system in the normal way.

    If all seems to be working but the host mysteriously will not accept your log on, check that you have changed TEOL to just <CR>, as described above.

    As data is sent by the host, the lower display line scrolls horizontally if the line length exceeds 16 characters. When an end of line sequence (as set by the REOL parameter) is received or if the line width (as set by the WIDTH parameter) is exceeded. the display scrolls vertically showing the first 16 characters of the line in the upper display line. Either a horizontal or a vertical scroll delay is applied to give you a chance of viewing the data received. You can disable horizontal scrolling by setting the WIDTH parameter to 16. Comms Link terminal emulation does not process any escape codes.

    Selecting the TERM option in the CAPTURE menu. has the same effect as selecting TERM in the COMMS menu except that displayed characters are recorded in the capture buffer (in the internal memory of the Organiser) and that the scroll delays are switched off. The CAPTURE command is described later in this chapter.

    In terminal emulation, the SHIFT, CAP and NUM keys allow the usual full range of upper and lower case letters, numbers, operators and punctuation to be produced. However, the cursor keys behave differently to normal.

    The LEFT and RIGHT cursor keys operate like shift keys.

    The LEFT cursor key acts like the CONTROL key on a PC keyboard, enabling you to send the control characters such as <SUB>, or CONTROL-Z (ASCII 26) for end of file, <DC3>, or CONTROLS (ASCII 19) for pause, <DC 1>, or CONTROL-Q (ASCII 17) for continue and so on.

    The RIGHT cursor key acts a "special" shift key which allows you to send characters which cannot normally be typed on the keyboard. The additional characters which are made available by the LEFT and RIGHT cursor keys are shown in a table in the next chapter, in the section on terminal emulation.

    The DOWN cursor key pauses the display and the UP cursor key starts the display again. You will not lose any data provided you are using handshaking.

    To exit terminal emulation and return to the COMMS menu, press ON/CLEAR. You will not lose any data when you exit and re-enter terminal emulation, provided you are using handshaking.

    Except for <NUL> (ASCII 0) and <TAB> (ASCII 9), received characters below ASCII 32 are displayed as ^A for ASCII 1, ^B for ASCII 2, ^C for ASCII 3 and so on. All received <NUL>s and are discarded. A received REOL will scroll the display, and is then discarded. A received REOF is also discarded. If you see the same control characters at the beginning or end of each line this may indicate that you have set REOL incorrectly. Received <TAB> characters (which are used to delimit fields in data records) are displayed using a special <TAB> graphic (a diagram of which is shown in the terminal emulation section in the next chapter). Any received REOF characters will be discarded.

    During terminal emulation (when using the TERM command in the COMMS menu or in the CAPTURE menu), in addition to responding to key presses, the Organiser must always be able to receive characters from the host. Because of this, the Organiser cannot employ its usual power conserving technique of switching off the ports when waiting for a key press. Unless you are using a Mains Adaptor, you should avoid leaving the Organiser for long periods within terminal emulation.

    FILE TRANSFER

    You may use the TRANSMIT and RECEIVE commands from the COMMS menu in conjunction with terminal emulation to upload data to a host and capture data from it.

    When you select either RECEIVE or TRANSMIT, the screen will show:
    FILE PROCEDURE  

    This is a small menu, from which a selection can be made in the usual way. Select FILE to receive or transmit a data file and PROCEDURE to receive or transmit a procedure file.

    Data Files

    Data files consist of a number of records where each record may be split into fields. Records contain up to 254 characters and fields are delimited by the <TAB> character (ASCII 9). Each data file record corresponds to a line within the text file on the PC.

    If, when receiving a data file, the incoming file contains lines longer than 254 characters, they are split into records of that length with the remainder of the line being written to successive records. Normally, a new record begins whenever the REOL sequence is detected. Incoming <TAB> characters will divide the records into separate fields. Alternatively, the <TAB> characters may be generated by the RTRN option as was described earlier.

    An Organiser data file record may not be empty. Any received blank lines are saved as a record containing a single space character (ASCII 32).

    Procedure Files

    When procedure files are transmitted using the TRANSMIT command, only the source is transmitted. When procedure files are received using the RECEIVE command, a file is created which contains the source only (i.e, no object). You have to translate the procedure (using the TRAN option in the procedure editor under the PROG menu) before you can run a received procedure.

    The first line of a procedure consists of a procedure name followed by a colon and optionally followed by the procedure parameters. When procedures are created under the top-level PROG command, the procedure file name will match the name on the first line. When you receive a procedure, however, the file name may not match the name on the first line.

    It is the procedure file name which is significant when you invoke a procedure in an OPL program, not the name which appears on the first line. (When you edit a procedure on the Organiser, the name of the fist line is changed, if necessary, to agree with the procedure file name.) When receiving a procedure, you should be mindful of the significance of the file name when choosing it.

    RECEIVE

    To receive data from a host, use the TERM option and type a command which would display the data you want to receive followed by the REOF sequence. Before pressing EXE to enter this command on the host, hold down the RIGHT key and press S to send an XOFF character to the host which will pause the output until you are ready to receive it. Now press EXE to complete the command for the host to send the file. The host is still paused for the moment, so it will not send any data. Press ON/CLEAR to get the COMMS menu, select RECEIVE from the COMMS menu and then select either FILE or PROCEDURE.

    If you select PROCEDURE, the screen will show the prompt:
    RECV A:         

    Press the MODE key to change the device shown, if necessary You may now type in the name of the file which is to take the received data. The file name must, as usual, be no longer than eight characters. If you have previously specified a file name in file transfer, that name will be given as a default.

    If you specify a file name which already exists, the display will show:
    A:FNAME EXISTS  
    DELETE Y/N

    where FNAME is the procedure file name which was specified. If you press N, you are returned to the previous screen and may now type in a different file name or press ON/CLEAR to abort the transfer. Press Y and the old procedure will be deleted and replaced by the incoming file.

    When using RECEIVE and after selecting FILE, the screen will show the prompt:
    RECV A:MAIN     

    The default file name will be MAIN unless you have previously specified a file name in file transfer, in which case that name will be given instead. You can either accept the default or press ON/CLEAR to clear the input and type another name in.

    If you select the FILE option and you specify a file name which already exists and which contains data, the display will show:
    ERASE APPEND    

    This is another small menu. If ERASE is selected, the incoming file will replace the old data file of that name and its original contents will be lost. If the file being erased contains a large number of records, this may take some time. If the APPEND option is selected, the data in the incoming file will be appended to the original file.

    When the RECEIVE command starts, it sends an XON and the host starts transmission.

    Data is displayed on the screen as it is received. At the higher Baud rates, this will not be readable but it will indicate that data transfer is taking place. The RECEIVE command terminates when the REOF sequence is received. Pressing ON/CLEAR aborts the transfer, saving all the information so received. This is useful if you have not been able to persuade the host to send an REOF sequence.

    TRANSMIT

    To send a file to a host, use the TERM option to enter terminal emulation and type to the host in the normal way. At the point where the software on the host is expecting you to type in the data, press ON/CLEAR, to return to the COMMS menu, select TRANSMIT from the COMMS menu and then select either FILE or PROCEDURE.

    If you select PROCEDURE, the screen will show the prompt:
    SEND A:         

    Press the MODE key to change the device, if necessary, and enter the name of the file which is to be transmitted. If you have previously specified a file name in file transfer, that name will be given as a default.

    As with RECEIVE, selecting TRANSMIT then FILE offers as a default the file name you have most recently specified in file transfer. If it is your first file transfer operation the default file name MAIN is offered:
    SEND A:MAIN     

    Press EXE to accept the default or press ON/CLEAR to clear the input and enter another name.

    If the file is not found, a FILE NOT FOUND message will be displayed.

    Transmitted data is displayed on the screen as it is transmitted. At the higher Baud rates, this will not be readable but it will indicate that data transfer is taking place.

    At the other end of the connection, the corresponding file capture should terminate when the Organiser sends the TEOF sequence. If not, and the other computer is still waiting for more data to add to the file, you may have set TEOF incorrectly. However, you can always re-enter terminal emulation to type the sequence which indicates to the host that the data is complete.

    An alternative way of capturing data and of sending data is to use the CAPTURE command, which is described in the next section.

    CAPTURE

    Selecting the CAPTURE command presents a menu of commands which are associated with the capture buffer. The CAPTURE menu contains the following items:
    TERM enter terminal emulation with capture enabled
    EDIT enter the capture buffer editor
    SAVE save capture buffer data to data file or procedure
    TRANSMIT transmit the data in the capture buffer
    CLEAR clear the capture buffer

    To exit from the CAPTURE menu back to the COMMS menu, press ON/CLEAR while the CAPTURE menu is displayed.

    SAVE, TRANSMIT and CLEAR will only operate when the capture buffer contains data. A BUFFER IS EMPTY message will be displayed if this is not the case.

    TERM

    Selecting TERM in the CAPTURE menu (just press EXE) enters terminal emulation with the same effect as selecting TERM in the COMMS menu except that displayed characters are recorded in the capture buffer and that the scroll delays are switched off. Pressing ON/CLEAR returns to the CAPTURE menu.

    Using TERM under CAPTURE can rapidly consume your free memory and you should not be too casual about leaving large amounts of data in the capture buffer or you may find that various operations on the Organiser will fail with an OUT OF MEMORY message.

    If the Organiser runs out of memory while data is being captured, terminal emulation is aborted and an OUT OF MEMORY message is displayed. Press SPACE to exit to the CAPTURE menu. You may take the opportunity to release some memory (for example, by deleting some or all of the data in the capture buffer) before returning to terminal emulation. Provided that handshaking is in use, you will not miss any data in the meantime.

    EDIT

    Selecting EDIT enters the capture buffer editor which lets you view and modify the contents of the capture buffer. If you select EDIT from the CAPTURE menu before you have captured any data, the screen will show:
    CAPTURE:        

    The capture buffer is empty, and you may enter text into it. EDIT behaves almost identically to the procedure editor under the top-level menu PROG command. The UP and DOWN cursor keys scan through captured lines; the LEFT and RIGHT cursor keys move the cursor within a line; ON/CLEAR deletes a line; EXE splits a line at the cursor position; DEL and SHIFT DEL delete left and right respectively and key presses corresponding to printable characters insert at the cursor position.

    The differences are that received <TAB> characters are displayed with a special <TAB> graphic and that the MODE key returns to the CAPTURE menu.

    The EDIT command can also be used to prepare data "off line" for subsequent transfer to a host, but remember that Comms Link must be plugged into the Organiser while you use any facilities under the COMMS menu.

    The capture buffer will hold as much data as the free memory of the Organiser can hold.

    SAVE

    When you have some data in the capture buffer, you can save it to either a data file or a procedure file.

    When SAVE is selected, the screen displays a menu containing the items FILE and PROCEDURE, and things proceed exactly as if you were preparing to receive a file or procedure from another computer or a host, as described above.

    After the SAVE is carried out, the data will still be in the capture buffer. If you intend to save the contents of the buffer to the internal memory of the Organiser, the buffer must not occupy more than half of the available free memory of the machine, otherwise when attempting to save the contents of the buffer, an OUT OF MEMORY message will be displayed and the SAVE will be abandoned.

    TRANSMIT

    The TRANSMIT option in the CAPTURE menu behaves in the some way as TRANSMIT under the COMMS menu except that it transmits the contents of the capture buffer without prompting for FILE or PROCEDURE or for a file name on the Organiser.

    TEOL, TEOF and TTRN are all applied to the transmitted data. See the sections on these parameters, earlier in this chapter.

    CLEAR

    The only way the contents of the capture buffer can be cleared is by either deleting each line individually from within the EDIT option, or by using the CLEAR option. When you select CLEAR from the CAPTURE menu, you will be prompted to confirm that you wish to clear the buffer.

    If there is data in the buffer and you exit from the COMMS option altogether, and even if you remove the Comms Link plug and software from the Organiser, the capture buffer will still remain intact. This means you can download some data, say from an electronic mail service, then disconnect, unplug the cable and return home or to the office, to print out the contents of the capture buffer.

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