Using a Terminal Program
This little section gives brief details, with screen shots, in connecting with a Terminal program as part of Troubleshooting a troublesome modem. Details of what to enter after connection are given within the other sections on the site.
So Why Are They Called Terminal Programs?
I don't know. Possibly because you can die of boredom whilst using one, or because they were "Terminal Emulation" programs (Terminals were the devices used to communicate with the original big-room mainframes & mini-computers). They were certainly the principal programs that were originally at the end of the communication line with a modem, although browsers, mail clients & FTP programs have taken over that role these days.
HyperTerminal® is the principal TP (Terminal Program, OK?) on the Windows® platform as it is provided FOC with the operating system. What follows uses HyperTerminal as the example & for screen-shots, but they all work in pretty much the same way.
ZTerm is probably the best-known Mac® TP - there is a link here if you need to d/l it.
Thanks to Christian Gobbe for pointing out that Minicom is a popular TP in Linux.
Installing HyperTerminal (Windows®)
If HyperTerminal is not within the menu structure this is how to load it:
open My Computer
open Control Panel
open Add/Remove Programs
click on Windows Setup page
press Details button
put a tick in HyperTerminal
press OK, press OK
[The system may ask for the Windows CD]
Restart the computer
Starting HyperTerminal (Windows®)
press Windows Start key
(& if Win98) choose Communications
press Windows Start key
Initial Dialog (Windows®)
The New Connection dialog (as at right) will appear.
Give the connection any name that you wish & press "OK".
Connect To Dialog (Windows®)
The Connect To dialog (as at right) is next.
If you wish to work with the modem OFFLINE:
under "Connect using" choose Direct to (your modem's communication port) & press "OK" then go here.
The modem's Com port is shown on the Diagnostics' page of Modems in Control Panel. If the Com port is not shown in HyperTerminal, just press "Cancel".
The difference between choosing the named-modem (“Motorola SM56 Voice Modem” in the example at right) & “Direct to COM 3” - or whichever port the modem is on - is between using TAPI & TSP (named-modem) or direct to hardware calls (direct to port). More information is here.
The country that you are resident in
Area Code (0845 - Freeserve's area code)
The area code for the ISP, BBS etc that you are dialling
Phone Number (0796699 - Freeserve's phone number)
The phone number for the ISP, BBS etc that you are dialling
Connect Using (Your modem)
If there is more than one instance of your modem in the drop-down box, & you have only one physical modem in the computer, go here
Connect Dialog (Windows®)
This is the final dialog before the modem will actually dial out to connect .
Phone number (don't worry about any spaces - it is normal Dialing Properties formatting)
The 'Dial' button will start the connect process.
the entry can be checked by pressing Modify.... If the number to be dialled is wrong, then there are wrong entries within Dialing Properties... (very common).
this is used with mobile computers when, for example, at Home or at Work
Getting to an "OK" Prompt
A modem needs to be in "Command Mode" to be able to send it AT-commands. This is demonstrated by an "OK" Prompt within the Terminal program. If any other prompt is present (usually an underscore or square block) the modem is not in Command-Mode.
To put it into Command Mode: (type) (<Enter> means press the Enter key)
+++ [wait a short while, then] ate1<Enter>
The first bit gets the modem's attention, & the second tells it to echo keystrokes to the screen, just in case it isn't doing this. If multiple keystrokes then follow looking like "aatt..." etc. then enter ate0<Enter> to switch echoing off. If nothing appears at all it is possible that the default is to not display results. Try atq0.