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Table of Contents

                         RCP/M GUIDE
   A users guide to the operation of remote CP/M systems.
                        Jon Schneider
                  Sysop - Rio Grande RCP/M
                         RCP/M GUIDE                        
                      Table of Contents


1.00 NULLS 2

1.01 THE LOG-ON 2





2.03 WHAT'S IT DO ? 13

2.04 HOW DO I GET IT ? 17



3.00 GLOSSARY 24


                         RCP/M GUIDE                        
   When logging onto my first RCP/M system (Seneca, when it was

still in El Paso), I was confronted with a system that was totally alien to me. My only contact with bulletin board systems until then had been with Compuserve and some local BBS's that were menu driven.

   Since I was totally lost, I decided that it would be best to

find some documentation on the operation of RCP/M's before logging on again. If you have attempted to find such documentation, you are well aware that it is not readily available (I never did find any).

   Over the next year or so,  I became familiar with the proper

operation of RCP/M's, and am now running my own. I have been watching new users as they attempt to use my system, and it is evident that many users do not know how to properly operate the system. Even those that can eventually get what they need could operate in a more effective manner.

   It  is with these thoughts in mind that I have written  this

users guide. There are many different BBS packages in use on the various RCP/M's, but many of them have the same command structure for the basic functions, and almost all of the utilities available for use in CP/M are operated in the same manner. I have attempted to cover as much as I can without being too specific in regards to the implementation of the particular system you will be using.

   I  hope that this users guide will make the transition  into

the world of RCP/M's much less frustrating for you than it was for me. Please feel free to pass this document on to anyone who is new to telecommunications, and let others have the chance to learn how to operate with a minimum of effort and frustration.

                                      Jon Schneider
                                      Sysop - Rio Grande RCP/M
                                      El Paso, TX 915-592-4976

Introduction Page 1

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        

1.00 NULLS

   On the majority of the RCP/M's that you will find, the first

thing that you will be confronted with is the number of nulls prompt. The usual reply will be 0, but some terminals, when operating at 1200 baud, will have a tendency to drop characters from the leftmost portion of the screen. This is caused by the terminal's inability to move the cursor fast enough to the left of the screen after receiving a carriage return. As the remote terminal is still moving the cursor, the host system begins transmitting the characters that make up the next line.

   This  lack  of speed will result in one or  more  characters

being lost. To eliminate this problem, nulls can be sent after a carriage return, allowing the cursor to return to the far left. The best way to determine the correct number of nulls is to increase it by one until the problem of lost characters is eliminated.

1.01 The Log-on

   After correctly setting the number of nulls,  the next  step

is to log onto the system with your name. Some systems expect the first and last names to both be entered on one line, and others will prompt for them seperatly. Pay close attention to this, as you must log onto the system with the EXACT same name each time, or the system will think you are a new user.

   Most  systems will prompt you for the city and state if  you

are logging on for the first time, so if you get this prompt, and you have been on the system before, then you did not log in with the same name as you did previously. Abort the call, and call back using the correct name.

   If the system has determined that you are logging on for the

first time, you will be asked to enter a password. Be sure to pay attention to the minimum or maximum number of characters allowed, and since some systems are case sensitive, be sure to make note of the case you used (upper or lower).

   You will more than likely next receive a new users file that

will give some of the do's and don'ts of the system, and the steps that are necessary to become a validated member. READ THIS FILE, as you won't see it on your next log-on.

   Most RCP/M's use a tiered system of access.  A new user will

probably only be able to read the messages, and leave a parting comment to the sysop. Validated users will be able to leave messages, and if it is requested, have access to CP/M. You must leave the required information before the sysop will validate you, so be sure to see what the sysop requires.

The BBS Page 2

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        
   Most sysops will NOT leave you a message letting you know if

the access level you requested has been granted, so the only way to ascertain if it has been is to attempt the function that you requested. If the function is still not available, then access has not yet been granted. Try again in 24 hours, and if still not validated, leave another message to the sysop.

   I  have  included a sample log-on session below for  a  MBBS

system. Most are similar in nature.

How many nulls do you need? (0-9)? 0

Rio Grande RCP/M
Micro Bulletin Board System ™
(MBBS 3.0 05/04/85 - © 1983 Kim Levitt)

(ctrl-S or S pauses/ctrl-C or C aborts/ctrl-X or X skips)

Online since March 22, 1985
         (This would be the systems log-on message)

What is your FIRST name? JOHN

   and your LAST name? DOE

Scanning users file…

Hello JOHN DOE, welcome to Rio Grande RCP/M…

Is your name spelled correctly? Y

Where are you calling from? (City, State)? El Paso, TX

Please enter a logon password (60 chars. max):

(Use any characters except controls, end with return. Enter return only if you wish no password. Password does not echo.)

Password? ############

Please re-enter password now to verify it has been received correctly.

Password? ############

On next log on, this password will be required, so please don't forget it!

Logging JOHN DOE to disk…

The BBS Page 3

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        

You are caller # 554

  Total # of log-ons: 1

Current highest msg #: 44

Active # of messages: 25

Building message index…

   This  RCPM system is set up mainly to support the CP/M user,

and to operate it effectively, a knowledge of CP/M is required. If you are not familiar with CP/M, it is recommended that you not request access to CP/M. If you haven't used it before, you would be completely lost.

   If  you are interested in having access to the CP/M  portion

of this board, leave a parting comment to the Sysop with your name, address, phone number, type of computer, and type of termi- nal program you are using.

   If you are only interested in access to the BBS,  just leave

your name and phone number. The BBS portion of this board is very easy to use, and no knowledge of CP/M is required.

                                      Jon Schneider - Sysop

NOTE: The operator of this system assumes no responsibility for the information contained in and/or distributed via this system. This is an open-access communications system and is provided as a public service to the community. All messages and files which are placed on this system are the responsibility of the contributor. Only public domain software and messages relating to public access systems and computer hobbyists are allowed to remain on-line, but the system operator cannot be held liable for any illegal activities conducted via this system. Users are cautioned not to use this system for such activities or they will not be allowed access.

No MAIL waiting for you.

Use 'S;NEW' to scan 18 message(s) added since your last log on.

05/13/85 4:23 PM [mins on: 1, mins left: 29]

MBBS Function (A,B,C,E,G,H,K,M,N,P,Q,R,S,T,U,W,X or ? for menu)?

The BBS Page 4

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        

1.02 The Main Menu

   After a successful log-on, you will usually see a summary of

the message file, and then the main menu. The main menu is usually a series of letters for the various functions, and almost all will give a detailed list if the '?' is typed at the prompt.

   If  you are not familiar with the functions of a  particular

BBS, be sure to save the menu in the ASCII save buffer of your terminal program for print out and referral. Another useful function that is usually available is H for HELP, and it should also be saved to your buffer for later referral.

   The  following listings will show the menu functions of some

of the more popular RBBS packages.

MBBS Function (A,B,C,E,G,H,K,M,N,P,Q,R,S,T,U,W,X or ? for menu)? ?

(ctrl-S or S pauses/ctrl-C or C aborts/ctrl-X or X skips)

MBBS Functions:

A = Auto wrap toggle K = Kill message S = Scan messages B = show Bulletins M = '[More]' toggle T = Talk with sysop C = exit to CP/M N = set # of Nulls U = Upper/lower case E = Enter message P = change Password W = Welcome message G = Goodbye (hangup) Q = Quick summary X = eXpert mode toggle H = show Help file R = Read message ? = print this menu

; = separator used to enter multiple commands & data on one line NEW, MAIL, TAGGED, 'search' = words useable as message 'numbers'

(Use HELP, WELCOME message and BULLETINS for more information.)

(NOTE: password required for CP/M access, but a clue is given.)

The BBS Page 5

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        


Major Functions supported (Capital letters on command line):

      C = Exit to CP/M        E = Enter message
      F = List subject files  G = Goodbye (disconnect)
      K = Kill message        R = Read message
      S = Quick summary       N = Read New messages

Minor Functions supported (Small letters on command line):

      b = Retype bulletins    m = Show status of messages
      p = Change password     t = Toggle bell prompt
      u = List user file      w = Retype welcome
      x = eXpert user mode

Two subcommands are supported in support of major commands K,R & S:

      + = Lists following a message number operates on all messages
          the user is authorized pausing appropriately between them
  • = Performs the same operation without pausing (for use with

hardcopy devices

Commands may be strung together, separated by semicolons. For example 'R;123' retrieves message number 123. For forward sequential retrieval, use '+' or '*' after message number. N is equivalent to R;#+.

Software exchange is done under CP/M using the XMODEM program (for intelligent transfer) or the TYPE fn.ft command (simple ASCII listing).

Functions supported: by RBBS vers. 3.7

<B> Bulletin File <C> Chat with SYSOP <E> Enter Message * <G> GO 'Leave the system' <F> Feedback for SYSOP <N> News and information <R> Read Message <S> Scan message base <K> Kill Message * <U> Users file (Valid Members) <T> Toggle BELL <L> List last callers * <W> Welcome Message <P> Password Change <J> Jump to CP/M <X> X'pert User <H> Help

* Special function requirements Verified users only

Repeated Ctrl-K's abort, Ctrl-S pauses Messages are Private unless addressed to ALL

For Sequential retrieval (not scanning), use '+' after message #. For example, R;10+ reads message #10 and all that follow, a Ctrl K can be used to 'SKIP' to the next message in this mode.

The BBS Page 6

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        
          K-NET 84 (tm) RBBS Module Commands

<A> - display READ-ME file. <L> - List system users. <C> - Exit to CP/M. <M> - Message file status. <E> - Enter message(s). <N> - display NEWFILES file <G> - Goodbye (log-off). <P> - Page Sysop (CHAT). <H> - HELP, display menu. <R> - Read message(s). <K> - Kill a message. <S> - Scan message file. <?> - Display this menu. <V> - Video mode for Kaypro/MEX.

             <?> - Display this menu.

Use "S" to quick scan the message file.

S;1 = Scan ALL     S;NEW = Scan only new msgs since last logon.

You can Read the messages in several different ways:

  R;1;R;5;R;9   Read msgs 1,5, and 9 (no pause between msgs).
  R;1+          Read msgs in forward sequential mode (pause).
  R;NEW         Read new msgs since your last logon (pause).
   A few of the commands available require further explanation,

and different letters may be used for the same commands on different boards, so be sure to list the menu for the system you will be using.

   EXPERT USER TOGGLE:  This is used to toggle the command line

prompts to much shorter prompts, such as "Command:". If you are familiar with the system, this will save you time.

   TOGGLE  BELL:   Many  systems  will ring the  bell  on  your

terminal every time they expect user input. If you find this annoying, just toggle the bell off with this function.

   ENTER MESSAGE:   This function will vary greatly from system

to system, and it will be necessary to read the help file for the one that you are using. Some will support Word Star like line editing (RBBS 4102), while others will require retyping the entire line to be edited.

   The  rest of the functions are pretty much self-explanatory,

so no further detail is necessary. The rest of this users guide will be devoted to operation while in CP/M (usually entered by typing 'C' from the function prompt).

The BBS Page 7

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        


   The real power of a RCP/M is in it's database.  Many systems

are running hard disks, some up to 150MB. That is a huge amount of software, and it is usually separated into different drive and user areas. For those not familiar with user areas, they are the number you will see after the drive letter, such as 'A2>' or 'D5>'.

   If  you  are use to the standard Console  Command  Processor

(CCP) that CP/M uses, you have been receiving only a drive letter as the command prompt. If you ever changed user areas, you had to use the USER command. Even while in a user area other than 0, you still only received a drive letter for the prompt, with no indication a what user area you were in.

   Most RCP/M's have replaced the standard CCP with one of  the

popular replacements, ZCPR, ZCPR2, ZCPR3, NZCPR, or EZCPR. These packages will allow you to change drives and user areas at the same time, and will show the both the drive and user area in the prompt.

   Another difference between the standard CCP and one of  it's

replacements is in the way commands are handled. The sysop will define what is called a search path for the user. This means that the user can be logged onto any drive and user area, and if the command he desires lies in any of the drive/user area defined in the search path, the command will be executed, without the operator having to prefix the command with the drive/user area, or be logged into the drive/user area where the command resides.

   Most  sysops will define the search path as "Current  Drive,

Current User", then "Drive A, User 0". All of the commands that are available to the user are then placed on drive "A0:" The easiest way to find out what commands are available to you is to do a directory of drive "A0:", and any file with the extension ".COM" is an available command.

Listed below is a directory of a typical RCP/M's drive "A0:"


Time on system is 10 minutes

Drive A0: files: 16 space used: 184k (2056k free) -ROOT . 0k | LDIR .COM 8k | TYPE .COM 8k 05/11/85.DQR 32k | LUX .COM 8k | WHATSFOR.COM 8k BYE .COM 8k | MAP .COM 8k | WHATSNEW.COM 8k CHAT .COM 8k | MBBS .COM 48k | XMODEM .COM 8k DIR .COM 8k | RDIR .COM 8k | FILE .COM 8k | SECTION .COM 8k |

Once in CP/M Page 8

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        
   If you were logged onto this system,  the only commands that

would be available to you are those with the .COM extension. Several of the commands (DIR and TYPE) appear to be the same as the standard CCP's resident commands, but in reality, they are enhanced versions of the commands, with the resident versions disabled.

   You  will  also  notice that two of the files are  not  .COM

files, '-ROOT' and '05/01/85.DQR'. You will usually find the first file in a directory has a '-' in front of it, and occupies 0k of disk space. This is the name of the particular directory that you are logged onto.

   In this case,  you are logged onto the 'ROOT' of the system,

where all the commands reside. The other file is a squeezed master directory, made on the date listed. I will explain what a squeezed file is later in this guide.


   One of the first things you must learn how to do,  once  you

have entered CP/M, is to find out where you want to go, and how to get there. The two commands that facilitate this are SECTION and MAP. There are others used on some systems (ones using ZCPR3 in particular), and they will be covered also.

SECTION: This command has two functions, one is to list the available sections, and the other is to move to the section desired. If the command SECTION is typed by itself, you will get the following display.



Type "SECTION ?" for detailed list

    of available sections.

Type "SECTION <section-name>" to log

    into a particular section.
   As  you can see,  a listing of all the  sections  (directory

names) is supplied, and if a more detailed explanation of what each section contains is desired, you can type 'SECTION ?'. All that has to be done to log onto the section that you are interested in is to type the command 'SECTION <section-name>.

Once in CP/M Page 9

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        



   You are now logged onto drive 'C2:',  and are in the section

dedicated to miscellaneous files. The same basic procedure is followed with the command PWD. After typing the PWD command, a listing of available sections is shown. To log onto that section, all that is necessary is to type the sections name at the command prompt, followed by a semicolon.

A0>MISC: C2>

   The  command GO functions in much the same way  as  SECTION.

Another way to move around is with the command MAP.


MAP v1.02, 03-01-1985

A0: = ROOT | A1: = UTIL | A2: = ZCPR | A3: = DBASE A4: = TELECOM | A5: = MODEM | A6: = NEWIN | A7: = HELP

B0: = TRSDOS | B1: = LANG | B2: = PCMSDOS |

C0: = WS | C1: = KPRO | C2: = MISC |

D0: = SYSLIB | D1: = TANDY | D2: = TEXT |

Use SECTION to log into the area by name

   You  now  have the option of using SECTION to log  into  the

directory that you want (if SECTION is available), or logging onto the drive/user with its actual drive designation. If you are using the system for the first time, it would be wise to capture the information supplied from these utilities in your text buffer for later referral.


   There  are very few systems that do NOT use Super  Directory

(SD) as the directory command, so that is the program that will be covered in detail. The command DIR by itself will invoke the following display.

Once in CP/M Page 10

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        


Time on system is 22 minutes

Drive A4:  files: 19  space used: 952k  (1824k free)  

-TELECOM. 0k | MBYE35 .LBR 96k | RDIR13 .LBR 24k GO .ASM 24k | MBYE36 .LBR 80k | SD98 .LBR 80k LDIR13 .LBR 16k | MBYEMOD .001 8k | SECTION2.AQM 8k MAP .AQM 16k | RBBS .LBR136k | TYPEL36 .LBR 24k MBBS29 .LBR136k | RBS4102B.LBR104k | WHATSNEW.LBR 24k

   More  information  is  supplied  with SD  than  is  normally

obtained with the standard CCP's resident command. The size of the file is listed, and the listing is alphabetized. The size of the file as shown by DIR may not necessarily be the same size that will be occupied once it is on your disk. This is dependent on the size of the allocation blocks of the drives that the file is on.

   SD  has  many options available,  and I will cover the  more

useful ones. All options must be supplied after a '$' at the end of the command . I will give several examples to give you a general idea.

   A - Show all user areas
   D - Show all drives
   L - Give a directory of a Library file
   N - No paging (no MORE prompt)
   4 - Give a 40 column display
   6 - 64 column
   8 - 80 column (usually the default)

DIR $AD - Will show a directory of all drive and user areas. DIR $ADLN - Will show a directory of all drive and user areas,

            including directories of all library files, and
            will give a continuous display without the 'MORE'

DIR RBBS.LBR $L - Will show a library directory of the file

                  RBBS.LBR (assuming you are logged onto the
                  drive/user where the file resides).

DIR RBBS.LBR $AD - Will search all drive/user areas, and show

                  where the file RBBS.LBR is located.

DIR RBBS*.* $AD - Will search all drive/user areas for any file

                  which contains RBBS as the first 4 letters,
                  and show where they are located.
   If at any time you wish to abort the directory program, type

^C, and it will terminate. There are many more options available, but they are usually accessible only to the sysop, so they won't be covered.

Once in CP/M Page 11

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        
   Another directory program that is available is RDIR,  and it

is used to ascertain the time necessary to download a file. It will usually co-exist with DIR, and will automatically determine the baud rate that you are logged on at.


-TELECOM. 0k 0:00 | GO .ASM 24k 10:04 MAP .AQM 16k 5:55 | MBBS29 .LBR 136k 81:32 MBYE36 .LBR 80k 45:18 | MBYEMOD .001 8k 2:18 RBS4102B.LBR 104k 62:09 | RDIR13 .LBR 24k 13:09 SECTION2.AQM 8k 4:55 | TYPEL36 .LBR 24k 11:18 XM-MBYE .DQC 8k 1:55 | XMDM106 .LBR 96k 59:00

A4» Files: 19 Used: 952k Free: 1824k Time: 8:59:40 at 300 baud

   In the example shown above,  the file 'GO.ASM' would take 10

minutes and 4 seconds to download at 300 baud.

   There  is  one  more commonly used  directory  program,  but

before it is covered, a short explanation of library files is in order. As far as CP/M is concerned, a library file is handled as one file on the disk, but it will actually contain many separate files, and include its own directory. The individual files can be extracted from the library, and then used in the manner that they were originally intended.

   The  reason for libraries is beyond the scope of this  users

guide, but the utilities and documentation for them are available on most all RCP/M's, and many of the system commands will support them. The one that will be covered now is LDIR, and it is nothing more than a program that will show the directory of a library file (like DIR $L did).

A1>LDIR VF150 (note that the extension .LBR is not needed)

LBR directory for VF150 .LBR: (size in k)

VF150 .DQC 4k | VF150 .COM 12k

   This  is a small library file,  and in actual practice  they

can contain 100 entries or more. Usually all the files necessary for a particular application will be contained within one library. Without libraries, RCP/M's would not be able to hold near the amount of software that they do now. It also makes it easier to obtain all the files necessary for one application, as you will only need to perform one file transfer, rather then several.

Once in CP/M Page 12

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        

2.03 WHAT'S IT DO ?

   Now that you know where the files are, and how to get there,

you need to be able to find out just what the file does . Many of the file names for CP/M programs are cryptic, to say the least, and unless you are familiar with it, you have no idea what its function is. This is where the TYPE command comes in.

   TYPE is usually the program TYPEL,  and it, like SD, is much

more versatile than the standard CCP resident command. Only certain files can be TYPE'd, so now is a good a time as any to cover the standard file extensions, and what they mean. All of those listed directly below can be TYPE'd.

   BAS - Basic language source code.
   TXT - A standard format text file.
   CCC - 'C' source code.
   DOC - A documentation text file.
   WS  - A Word Star formatted text file.
   PAS - Pascal source code.
   ASM - Assembly source code.
   MAC - Assembly source code for MAC.
   DIR - A directory listing.
   HLP - Help file.
   If the second letter of the extension is 'Q',  then the file

is a SQUEEZED file, and it must be handled differently. For example, if a file has the extension .BQS, it is squeezed basic source code, and .WQ means it is a squeezed Word Star formatted text file.

   Squeezing is a method used to compress a file,  and after  a

file has been squeezed, it will take up less disk space. A file that has been compressed in this manner is not usable until it has been UNSQUEEZED, but TYPE will allow you to view it, as it knows that the file has been squeezed by the 'Q' in the extension, and will handle it accordingly.

   There  are  many files that cannot be TYPE'd,  and the  more

common ones are listed below. If a file type you are interested in is not contained in either of these extension lists, go ahead and try it, as the most damage that can be done is usually to mess up your display by sending video control codes.

UN-TYPEable file extensions.

   COM - Command files.
   LBR - Library files (individual members CAN be TYPE'd).
   REL - Relocatable object code.
   OBJ - Object code (usually a COM file).
   OVL - Overlays.

Once in CP/M Page 13

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        
   To  TYPE a file,  just enter the command TYPE  filename.ext,

for example;


TYPEL v3.3 © ESKAY 07-07-84 (DEMO.TXT)

This is a short demo of a text file as typed by this program.


   To TYPE a file from within a library, enter the command TYPE

LBR-FN MEMBER-FN.EXT. For example, if the library is named RBBS.LBR, and the file in the LBR was RBBS.DQC, enter the command 'TYPE RBBS RBBS.DQC'. Notice that the LBR extension was not necessary, as TYPEL assumes that if two filenames are supplied as arguments, then the first filename is a LBR.

   The  sysop  has the option of limiting the number  of  lines

that TYPEL will display before aborting, and this is sometimes done to avoid having the system tied up by someone TYPE'ing a very long text file. By reading the first few lines, a user can usually determine if he wants the file, and if he does, other methods are available to obtain it.

   One other type of file is usually found on RCP/M's and  they

are there for the express purpose of being TYPE'd. They usually have a filename like -READ.ME or README.NOW. These files are short text files that contain information that is important, and should be read by the user.

   If the command TYPE is entered with no parameters,  you will

receive a short help file that is built into the program. It will show the various options that are available.


TYPEL v3.3 © ESKAY 07-07-84

TYPEL v3.3 universal single-file lister Usage;

      TYPEL [du:]fn[.ft] [fn.ft]


      TYPEL MDM722 MDM722.IQF     types member file in LBR
      TYPEL TEST.AQM              types normal file
      TYPEL F4:TEST.BQS0          accepts ZCPR drive/user
      TYPEL FOO.ASM $N            $N option=not paging
      TYPEL BAR.ZOT $L            $L option=LST: device

If 1 argument is supplied, single file is typed. If 2 arguments, TYPEL assumes first arg is type LBR and attempts to type LBR member.

Once in CP/M Page 14

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        
   To reiterate,  the method used to find out what a file  does

is to locate either within the LBR directory, or on the same drive/user area, a DOC or text file, or the source code, and TYPE the file. You should be able to ascertain the purpose of the file within the first few lines of the selected text file.

   There is another utility that makes finding out what a  file

is for much easier, but it is fairly new, and is not yet popular. It is one of the best programs available for RCP/M usage to come out recently, and I hope that it gains wide acceptance. It's WHATSFOR, and can be implemented on any system that is running XMODEM104 or later.

   If  you type the command 'WHATSFOR' with  no  parameters,  a

complete listing of the database will be supplied, including a short description of each file. As large as some RCP/M's are, this file can be quite lengthy, but since the last files entered into the database are the first listed, you only need to read the first entries to find out what the newest programs added do, and then abort the rest of the listing with a ^C.

   If you supply a parameter to the WHATSFOR command,  the file

descriptions will be searched for matches with the parameter, and only those matching will be printed. For example,


WHATSFOR - copyright 1985 by Irvin M. Hoff - 02/22/85 [type ^S to pause, ^C, ^X or ^K to abort, ? for help]

wait a moment…


 A public domain spreadsheet.

—————————— [End of listing]


   You  could then use the command 'DIR CHALK.LBR $AD' to  find

out which drive/user area the file was located on. There are several options available for parameters, and entering the command 'WHATSFOR ?' will display the built in help file.

Once in CP/M Page 15

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        


WHATSFOR - copyright 1985 by Irvin M. Hoff - 02/22/85 [type ^S to pause, ^C, ^X or ^K to abort, ? for help]

wait a moment…

 Examples of how to use:
 If no string is included, all the file is shown.  A '|' allows
 numerous strings to be used at the same time.  '?' is used for
 "any character at this position".  A '\' fakes a line feed and
 looks only at the start of the filename line.


   There  is another fairly new RCP/M utility called  WHATSNEW,

and when used in conjunction with WHATSFOR, provides a very quick method of finding out what the latest uploads are, where they are located, and what they do.

   WHATSNEW  is  utility that will print out a listing  of  the

uploads portion of the XMODEM log file, showing all recent uploads, where they are located, the time it took to upload, and who uploaded it. For example;


WHATSNEW Type ^S to pause, ^C, ^X or ^K to abort

wait a moment…

D/U Filename Size Speed Date Time Uploaded by

A06: MBBS30 .LBR 150k 1200 bps 05/08/85 05:00 BILL ZUMWALT A06: MXO-MDM2.AQM 5k 1280 bps 05/05/85 17:10 SYSOP A06: VF150 .LBR 15k 1200 bps 05/05/85 14:21 GRANT SMITH A06: SDL30 .LBR 5k 1200 bps 05/05/85 14:17 JOHN DOE A06: LU8643 .DQC 7k 1200 bps 05/05/85 07:26 JANE SMITH A06: LU8643 .EXE 24k 1200 bps 05/05/85 07:23 BILL ZUMWALT

   After  you examined the WHATSNEW log file,  and have decided

that one of the files appears interesting, or you have no idea what it does, use WHATSFOR. If you wanted to find out what the file MBBS30.LBR was, you would enter the following command;

Once in CP/M Page 16

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        


WHATSFOR - copyright 1985 by Irvin M. Hoff - 02/22/85 [type ^S to pause, ^C, ^X or ^K to abort, ? for help]

wait a moment…


 A BBS package that needs MBYE to run under. It is the BBS that
 this board is running. One of the nicest packages currently

[End of listing]


   As  you may have noticed,  I did not have to type the entire

file name and extension for WHATSFOR to find the description. If there were any other file descriptions that contained the string MBBS30, their descriptions would have been listed.

   These  utilities makes any RCP/M system much easier to  use,

and it's amazing how little they are utilized by most callers. If you are in the habit of calling RCP/M's long distance, then they can save you a considerable amount of time and money. If the system you use does not have these utilities online, try to talk the sysop into making them available.

2.04 HOW DO I GET IT ?

   Now  that you what the file does,  where it is located,  and

that you want it, you need to find some way to get it onto your disk. All of the systems that I know of use the same program to transfer files, XMODEM. It is very simple to operate, but gives new users more problems than any other.

   There  are only a few options available,  and a list of them

can be obtained by entering the command 'XMODEM' with no parameters, as shown in the next example.

Once in CP/M Page 17

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        


Time on system is 17 minutes.


Uploads files to A6: (1696k free space is available) Private files to D14:

++ Examples of valid options ++ XMODEM S B1:HELLO.DOC to send from a named drive/area

XMODEM L CAT.LBR CAT.COM to send a file from a library XMODEM L CAT CAT.COM (.LBR extent may be omitted) XMODEM R HELLO.DOC to receive a file from you XMODEM RP HELLO.DOC to receive in a private area

XMODEM A to show areas/available space for uploads

(the "C" in RC or RPC receives via checksum rather than CRC) (If you use R, it will switch from CRC to checksum mode after 5 retries)


   There are two ways to initiate a transfer TO you.  Use the S

parameter for normal files, and the L parameter for a file within a library. Be sure that you are either logged onto the drive/user area where the file resides, of specify it as part of the file name as shown in the above help file.


Time on system is 8 minutes.

XMODEM v106 File open: 30 records (4k) Send time: 2 mins, 18 secs at 300 bps To cancel: use CTRL-X numerous times

(Now is the time to do whatever your terminal program requires)


   After receiving the previous message, the file transfer must

be started from your end. How this is done is dependent on the terminal program that you are using. For example, if you are using MEX, you would enter a ^J, followed by E. You would then be in the command mode, and from the command prompt you would enter the command 'RT KSMED.BAS'. This tells MEX to start a file transfer, it will be receiving the file, its to be named KSMED.BAS and to return to terminal mode when finished.

Once in CP/M Page 18

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        
   When the file transfer is complete,  you will be returned to

the drive/user prompt, and the file will be on your disk. The procedure to follow for uploads is very similar, except you use either the R or RP parameter. The RP parameter is for uploading a file to a private area for the sysop, where other users will not have access to it. The procedure for MEX on a file upload would be almost identical to procedure followed for downloading, except the command 'ST' would be entered from the MEX command prompt.


Time on system is 28 minutes.

XMODEM v106 (CRC is enabled) File will be received on A6: 1696k free space is available File open - ready to receive

(This is the time to do whatever your terminal program requires)


   XMODEM versions 104 and higher have built in support for the

WHATSFOR utility. If this feature has been implemented, after the upload is completed, you will be prompted for a description of the file. This description must be 7 lines or less, and is the description that other users will see when using WHATSFOR.


   There  are several more standard commands,  but they are all

simple to use. They will be covered in the following text.

   CHAT   - Used to page the sysop, and 'chat' with him.
   RBBS   - Used to enter the BBS.  To re-enter without relogging
            on, type RBBS P (sometimes will be MBBS).
   BYE    - Used to log-off the system.
   LUX    - A library utility used to log into a library file,
            contains its own documentation.
   TOS    - Time on system.
   FILE   - Used to locate the drive/user area a file is on.

Once in CP/M Page 19

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        
   LUX is a library utility that allows "logging on" a  library

file, and performing many of the standard RCP/M operations on an individual library member. To invoke LUX, just type the command LUX, followed by the library's filename. For example;


LUX v4.2 as of 07-Oct-84

LUX directory for NULU11F1.LBR

MLOAD23 .COM 3k : NULU11 .DQC 34k : NULU11 .NOT 1k NULU11F1.COM 16k : NULUTERM.AQM 3k : NULU11F1.ASM 2k

This file contains 6 members in 445 active sectors for a total of 56k

[ in LUX CTRL-C to exit, HELP for menu ]


   You  are  now  logged onto the  library  NULU11F1,  and  can

perform many functions on the libraries individual members. To obtain a short HELP menu, just type HELP from the LUX command prompt.


You are presently attached to a library file with the LUX utility. These are the available commands:

LUX filename - Attach to another LBR file LUX du:filename - Attach to LBR file on specified du: DIR, D, or SD - Display attached library members FILES - Display other .LBR files on this du: TYPE filename.typ- Display ASCII file contents CHEK filename.typ- Run CHEK on requested member CRCK filename.typ- Run CRCK on requested member SEND filename.typ- Sends a library member file XMODEM S filename.typ- Same as SEND command CHAT - Chat with SYSOP (if available) BYE - logs off the system TIME - Displays date and current time NEW (WHATSNEW) - List of new files on-line HELP - Displays this menu

[ in LUX CTRL-C to exit, HELP for menu ]


Once in CP/M Page 20

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        
   If  you wanted to 'TYPE' one of the members of the  library,

you would only need to invoke the command TYPE fn.ext, for example;

[ in LUX CTRL-C to exit, HELP for menu ]


LUXTYPE ^S pause, ^C aborts, ^X skips to next file

Listing of member file: NULU11.NOT


Please let me know if you work with libraries that have in excess of 200 members. I am seriously considering some future NU( upgrades that would limit the maximum library size to somewhere

                  (I aborted with a CTRL C)

[ in LUX CTRL-C to exit, HELP for menu ]


   It  should  be noted that when you invoke  the  DIR  command

while in LUX, you will obtain a directory of the library, not the currently logged drive/user area. To obtain a directory of the drive, invoke the command 'FILES'. This will give a directory of all library files on the currently logged disk. For example;


Time on system is 07 minutes

Drive A1: files: 26 space used: 584k (2056k free) @ .LBR 8k | DU-V89 .LBR 48k | LOGALL .LBR 8k BISH111 .LBR 24k | DUPUSR2 .LBR 8k | MLOAD24 .LBR 32k BROWSE .LBR 16k | EDFILE .LBR 24k | NSWP207 .LBR 32k BU14 .LBR 72k | EDIT11 .LBR 16k | NULU11F1.LBR 56k COMPARE .LBR 8k | FBAD59 .LBR 32k | PRINT23 .LBR 8k DIF .LBR 32k | FINDU11 .LBR 16k | PROBE12 .LBR 24k DIRREP1 .LBR 16k | LISTT15 .LBR 8k | PSET13 .LBR 24k

[ in LUX CTRL-C to exit, HELP for menu ]

A1:NULU11F1.LBR⇒CTRL-C entered

         >> exiting LUX - standby


Once in CP/M Page 21

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        
   You  can also perform xmodem transfers of individual members

while logged onto the library, and you do not have to exit LUX to perform them. The syntax for the transfer will differ from a normal xmodem library member transfer, so be sure to read the help file.

   Another useful utility available on some systems is  'FILE'.

It is used to locate a particular file(s) in the database, and is easier to use than the 'DIR $AD' option. For example, to locate all files that begin with the characters "MB";


FILE v21 - ^X to abort searching…



   CHAT is a command used to page the sysop, and will allow the

sysop and the user to communicate by entering text at their keyboards. For example;


CHAT v42 Hold on, SYSOP ….. Will page operator, use ^C or ^X to abort.


Ringing: …

Operator is available, please go ahead… (Use ^C or ^X to exit and return to CP/M)

This is a demo of CHAT.


   I believe that covers most of the common RCP/M utilities. If

you read this manual carefully, you should be able to operate effectively on any system.

Once in CP/M Page 22

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        


   If  you are attempting to use a utility on a file,  and  are

advised that the file does not exist, make sure that you are logged on the the drive/user area where the file is located, or specify the drive/user in the appropriate location in the utilities parameter.

   If  you are logging onto a system for the first  time,  have

your ASCII save buffer toggled on for the session so that you can read the important files offline, and can familiarize yourself with the system commands and layout.

   Always try to locate and download a system directory so that

you can browse through it at your leisure, and plan your next session in advance.

   When  you  leave a message in the BBS,  try not to  use  all

upper or lower case, as that makes it difficult for others to read.

   Some RCP/M's have an input time-out feature where the system

will drop you if there is no input from you for a set amount of time (around 2 minutes). If you are interrupted during a session, and don't want to be dropped, just hit 'space', 'return' every 30 seconds or so. Don't do this for too long, as you are unnecessarily tying up the system.

   If  you are not a reasonably fast typist,  don't request  to

CHAT with the sysop, as it is very annoying to sit and wait while the user hunts and pecks the keyboard and can only type one line per minute.

   Most  of  the utilities will give a listing of what  control

characters to use to skip, pause, or abort when they are invoked. A general rule is that ^S will pause and restart, ^X will skip, and ^C will abort. Some of the utilities will allow either the control sequence or the letter by itself.

   If you see a command that is available, and do not know what

it does, try invoking it with no parameters, or with a '?' as the parameter. That will usually display the utilities built in help file (if one is available).

   Before  attempting to upload a file,  make sure that it does

not already exist on in the database. For example, if you wanted to upload a file called 'FINDBIOS.OBJ', enter the command 'DIR FINDBIOS.* $AD'. If the file is anywhere on the disk, it will be located. If the utility WHATSFOR is available, it could also be used.

   If  you  have logged onto a system at 1200  baud,  and  have

problems with line noise, log off, and call back at 300 baud. If you wanted to download a file, wait till the problem clears up, and try again at 1200 baud.

Once in CP/M Page 23

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        
                      GLOSSARY OF TERMS

BAUD - A number that represents the speed of a communications

link between two computers. Most common are 300 and 1200. Some
newer systems support 2400 baud. The higher the baud rate, the
quicker the data is transferred.

BBS - Bulletin Board System. The program that allows the entering

and reading of messages and bulletins.

BDOS - The Basic Disk Operating System. This portion of CP/M is

the same for all computer systems running CP/M.

BIOS - Basic Input Output System. This is the part of CP/M that

is customized for each computer.

BYE - The core program of a RCP/M that allows the computer to

operate as a remote terminal. Also is the command used to
log off the system.

CCP - The Console Command Processor. The part of CP/M that

handles user commands, and loading of programs.

CHAT - A command to page the sysop.

CHECKSUM - Another (older) error checking protocol. Less accurate

than CRC.

CP/M - Control Program for Micro computers. The operating system

under which most RCP/M's run.

CRC - Cyclic Redundancy Checking. An error checking protocol used

by the latest terminal programs. Replaced the Checksum method.

DATABASE - The term often used to refer to the collection of

programs contained on the systems assorted drive/user areas.

DIR - A command to display the contents of a drive/user area.

EXTENSION - The letters following the '.' in a file name. No more

than three letters long.

FILE - A specific collection of data, stored on a disk or other

media, referenced by a specific name.


I/O - Input/Output

LDIR - A command to display the directory of a library file.

MAP - A command available to print out a map of the drive/user

areas of the system you are logged onto.

Glossary Page 24

                         RCP/M GUIDE                        

MEX - A very powerful and popular public domain terminal


LIBRARY - A file type that contains two or more files within one

file on the disk.

LUX - A utility program to operate on libraries.

OPERATING SYSTEM - An organized collection of techniques and

procedures used for operating a computer.

PWD - Another utility to show available sections in a database.

RCP/M - Remote CP/M. The name given to the systems that allow

another computer with a modem to operate the system as though
he were seated at the console.

RBBS - Remote Bulletin Board System. Also a command to return to

the BBS from CP/M (sometimes MBBS).

RDIR - A command to display a directory of a drive/user area,

showing the time needed to download the files.

SECTION - A command used to display the database sections that

are available to a user, and to move from area to area.

SQUEEZE - A method of file compression.

SYSOP - SYStem OPerator. A term used to refer to the person that

operates a particular RCP/M.

TPA - Transient Program Area. The amount of free memory available

for programs.

TYPE - A command to display the contents of an ASCII file to the


WHATSFOR - A command used to search a descriptive database file,

and show matching file descriptions.

WHATSNEW - A command to show information on the latest database


XMODEM - A command to initiate the transfer of files between to

computers, complete with error checking and correction.

ZCPR - A public domain replacement for CP/M's standard Console

command processor (CCP).

Glossary Page 25

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