12 - The User Serial Port

The emulator can maintain an emulated ACIA at $E006/$E007, working through a comm port of the user's choice, at a number of common baud rates. Port, baud rate, and use status are saved in the .ini file.

Control of this emulated ACIA and the associated comm port is via the Serial menu. There you have the option to turn the feature on with Use Serial, which comm port (1-4), and what baud rate (110 to 14400).

If you quit the emulator with Use Serial selected, the next time the emulator starts it will attempt to open the serial port you were last using. If it cannot open the port, an error dialog will appear. This can happen as a result of having another application using the serial port. You can elect to continue without the serial capability, or you can terminate the application causing the conflict and using the menu item Use Serial, re-try to obtain the port. Or you can choose a different comm port, if you have more than one available.

If the emulator fails to obtain the comm port, and you do not take action to re-obtain the comm port, when you quit the program it will remember that it did not have an open comm port and it will not attempt to open any comm port the next time it is started.

12.1 - HOST.CMD

As of release 1.41, HOST.CMD in included in the emulator distribution. HOST.CMD is a communications tool that is intended to use the emulator's terminal as the terminal for a real FLEX system connected to the serial port.

HOST.CMD has a text capture facility that can be used to transfer text files from the remote system into the emulator. On a P133, 9600 baud transfers captured from LIST.CMD have been loss-free.

Once HOST.CMD is started, you are in direct serial communication with the remote system. If you press ctrl-z, you are prompted to Quit, Move, or Open file. If you quit, you're back in the Emulator's FLEX. If you enter Move or Open, you'll be prompted for a filename. Enter a good filename, and you're back at the remote system. If you used Move, then the HOST command will send "LIST filename" to the remote system for you, and all subsequent output will be captured to the file (under the emulator's FLEX) you specified. Open doesn't ask for a LIST, it just opens the capture session. Now if you press ctrl-z an addtional prompt (Close) is presented. If you close, you are returned to the remote system.

If capture was open already, as a result of a Move or Open command, and you enter another Move or Open command, the previous capture file is closed and the new one is opened. This allows for reasonably quick multiple transfer operations.

Note that files captured in this way will usually need a little bit of editing. Using LIST.CMD, I have had to remove the trailing "+++" and a leading "LIST filename", which is fairly painless. I moved the entire source code for Rockball (RB.CMD) from my GIMIX machine to the emulator this way without any problems, about 180k of source.

12.2 - MODEM09.CMD

On disk 0, you will find the MODEM09.CMD utility command. This provides some minimal serial I/O capability, including, I think, some file transfer capabilities. Refer to Appendix B for details.

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