Saturday, February 14, 2015

CoolTerm 1.4.5

CoolTerm 1.4.5 is now available for download and includes some feature enhancements as well as bug fixes. Here is what's new:


  • Added new option to handle Form Feed (FF, ASCII code 12) characters. When enabled, the reception of a FF character will clear the receive buffer and thus clear the screen.
  • Added new option to handle End Of Text (EOT, ASCII code 4) characters. Enabling this feature will prevent the display from updating until a EOT character is received, at which time the display is updated with the contents from the receive buffer.
  • Added code to present the user with the option to select a serial port if a loaded settings file includes an empty string for the port name. This allows the creation of generic settings files. 
  • [MAC] Additional retina support.


  • Code improvement to avoid ThreadAccessingUIException

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Books that mention CoolTerm

Did you know that there is a host of interesting books out there that mention CoolTerm? Here is a snapshot of what appears to be a growing list:
Rob Faludi was kind enough to send me a copy of his book to review a few years ago when it came out. It's a nice read and a good way to get hooked on XBee. I can also recommend Tom Igoe's book (to which Rob contributed as well), which I ended up buying for myself.
I obviously can't afford to buy all the books on this list, especially if it keeps growing as it has, but I would certainly like an opportunity to read them. So, if you're one of the authors of the books above and would like to make a contribution to the "CoolTerm Library" by donating a copy of your book (a signed copy would be nice :-)), I would appreciate it very much.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

CoolTerm 1.4.4

CoolTerm 1.4.4 is now available for download and includes a handful of feature enhancements as well as some bug fixes. Here is what's new:


  • Added feature that shows the path to the current capture file (if a capture is currently active) when the mouse is hovered over the serial port status label at the bottom left of the CoolTerm window.
  • changed Enter key emulation settings to use popup menu and added the option use a custom sequence to emulate the enter key.
  • Added additional font sizes to preferences dialog.
  • Added option to reduce the terminal refresh rate to once per second in order to reduce the CPU load on systems where power consumption is critical.
  • Added text the the built in help to explain that reducing the size of the receive buffer can be used to reduce CPU power consumption.
  • [MAC] Compiling for Cocoa from now on.
  • [MAC] Added basic retina support.


  • CoolTerm now properly remembers the last used folders (individually) for opening connection settings, capturing to text files, as well as sending text files.
  • Added DEL character (ASCII 127) to the routine that handles BS characters in ASCII view.
  • optimized code to reduce CPU load while sending text files.
  • stability improvement to the code of the circular receive buffer.


  • fixed code that could cause extended ASCII characters to sometimes be incorrectly translated from hexadecimal format to plain text.

Monday, September 02, 2013

CoolTerm 1.4.3

CoolTerm 1.4.3 is now available for download and includes a handful of feature enhancements as well as some bug fixes. Here is what's new:

  • Added preference setting to select the date and time format used for timestamps. The user can select between the SQL Date/Time format (YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS) or the format determined by the users local system settings.
  • Added options to choose the timestamp type and modified the code to fix an bug where the millisecond count and the Date/Time timestamp could get out of sync. It is now only possible to capture timestamps with millisecond resolution when selecting the relative timestamp format.

  • Made various stability improvements to the code that updates the GUI while data is being sent and received.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

CoolTerm 1.4.2

CoolTerm 1.4.2 is now available for download. It includes a number of improvements.

Here is what's new:

- Added options to set the initial state of RTS and DTR when the serial port opens. These options will only have an effect if the respective hardware flow control is not enabled.
- Changed the behavior of capturing received data to file when timestamps are enabled. Instead of appending a time stamp at every occurrence of CR and/or LF characters by default, it is now possible to specify the termination string at which to split the data. Furthermore, CoolTerm will now wait until the specified termination string is received until the data is captured to file.
- Added option to convert received data to hex before capturing to a capture file.
- Enabled the "Close Window" short cut for the "Send String" window.
- Added Alt+ENTER short cut for toggling between ASCII and Hex mode in "Send String"
- Added Connection/Reset menu item to provide a way to reset the port and unlock it if XOFF is active.
- Changed the behavior of the text file capturing with regards to the state of the port. It is now possible to start capturing before the port is opened. In addition, capturing is no longer stopped automatically when the port is closed. This allows for capturing to remain enabled even when the connection state of the port changes.
- Added code to allow canceling of a text file transmission in progress if XOFF is active.
- Added option to the connection settings (Misc. Options) to automatically close the serial port when the window is being closed without showing a warning if the port is still open.
- Updated the built-in help with information on all menu items.

- fixed bug that would cause a NilObjectException in the Xmit routine in cases where the serial port is still transmitting or is hung while the port goes out of scope. This hopefully fixes the crash bug some users have experienced on occasion.
- Fixed bug that caused the transmit line delay setting to not properly be saved to connection settings files.
- Made improvements to receive buffer code to avoid resource conflicts.
Windows only:
- Changed file association on windows to work even on systems where the current user may not have administrative privileges.

- Changed AppleScript commands to use unique terminal window IDs instead of the names when addressing windows.
- Added the following AppleScript commands
- WindowCount as integer
- WindowID(Index as integer) as integer
- WindowName(index as integer) as String
- IndexOfWindowID(ID as integer) as integer
- NewWindow as integer
- Quit
- ResetPort(ID as integer)
- FlushPort(ID as integer)
- BytesLeftToSend(ID as integer) as integer
- LastErrorCode(ID as integer) as integer
- GetCTS(ID as integer) as boolean
- GetDSR(ID as integer) as boolean
- GetDCD(ID as integer) as boolean
- GetRI(ID as integer) as boolean
- CaptureStart(ID as integer, FilePath as string) as boolean
- CapturePause(ID as integer)
- CaptureResume(ID as integer)
- CaptureStop(ID as integer)
- SendTextFile(ID as integer, FilePath as string) as boolean
- SendBreak(ID as integer)
- SetDTR(ID as integer, Value as boolean)
- GetDTR(ID as integer) as boolean
- SetRTS(ID as integer, Value as boolean)
- GetRTS(ID as integer) as boolean
- Added code to suppress error messages when CoolTerm is controlled by an AppleScript.
- Updated AppleScriptReadme.txt to reflect latest changes.

Version 1.4.x will be the last release of CoolTerm compiled as Universal Binary. Starting at version 1.5.x, CoolTerm will only be deployed for Intel based Macs.

Monday, November 21, 2011

CoolTerm 1.4.1

CoolTerm 1.4.1 is now available for download. This is a bug fix release that fixes some bugs that have popped up since the release of version 1.4.0. 

Here are release notes:

- Improved handling of exceptions if preferences or connection settings can not be read or written.
- Checking serial port for nil in the transmit thread to avoid NilObjectException exceptions. Not clear if this fixes the issue a few users have seen.
- Improved exception handling when serial port adapters are added or removed from the system while CoolTerm is running.
- Fixed a bug in the circular receive buffer that could cause an OutOfBoundsException when reading data.
- Improved handing of OutOfMemoryExceptions when attempting to set the receive buffer size to a value larger than the amount of memory available on the user's system.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Update: CoolTerm 1.4.0

I'm happy to announce the release of CoolTerm 1.4.0. This is a major release which includes many new features and improvements.

  • New Connection options window with multiple pages.
  • The connection options now display port information for the selected port.
  • It is now possible to change baudrate, byte format settings, and flow control settings while the port is open.
  • Added the option to specify additional baud rates via a "baudrates.ini" file. E.g. any baud rates that are known to be supported by the hardware that are not listed in the popup menu in the connection settings dialog can be added to a "baudrate.ini" file that resides in the same directory as CoolTerm.
  • Added the option to specify additional serial ports via a "ports.ini" file. E.g. any devices such as /dev/ devices on OSX and Linux that CoolTerm can not enumerate can be added to a "ports.ini" file that resides in the same directory as CoolTerm.
  • Added the option to add timestamps to data captured to text files.
  • Added a keyboard shortcut to connect/disconnect.
  • Added option to replace TAB key presses with a configurable number of spaces (default = 4).
  • Added option to enable/disable capturing of local echo of transmitted data in capture files.
  • Added an option to keep the capture file open while capturing is in progress (default) or close it after writing and re-opening when new data arrives. This allows other applications to read the capture file while capturing is in progress.
  • Added status LEDs for TX and RX to indicate activity related to sending and receiving data.
  • Added preferences option to disable all menu shortcuts (on Windows and Linux only) in order to allow sending CTRL characters via the terminal. On Mac, the keyboard shortcuts use the Command key and thus don't interfere with CTRL characters.
  • [MAC] AppleScript BETA: Added basic AppleScript handling for the most important terminal operations such as loading a settings file, opening/closing ports, and reading/writing data. The AppleScript functionality, while included in CoolTerm 1.4.0, is currently in public BETA , to allow a broader audience to beta test this feature and provide feedback. Refer to the attached "AppleScript ReadMe.txt" file for more details.
  • [LINUX] Making LINUX version (unsupported) available.

  • Made significant improvements to the code that processes received data, including changing architecture of the receive buffer to a circular buffer to improve efficiency and stability.
  • Made significant improvements to the code that transmits data, including changing the architecture of the data transmission to be more asynchronous in nature to improve the responsiveness of CoolTerm during transmission of large text files, particularly with XON/XOFF flow control enabled
  • CoolTerm now opens a progress window whenever the length of the text to be transmitted exceeds a certain threshold, and not only when text files are sent. 
  • Flow control settings are now displayed in the terminal window as part of the port configuration string. For XON/XOFF the state is displayed, i.e. XON or XOFF.
  • Added error messages to alert the user of errors that occur while attempting to open the serial port.
  • Added check to warn the user if multiple files are dropped onto the CoolTerm window.
  • "Send String" windows can now be resized.
  • It is now possible to send CTRL characters when the terminal is set to Line Mode.
  • Improved code for Line Mode to ensure that a pressed key is captured even if the command line didn't have the focus.
  • Changed behavior of the status LEDs to better reflect the state of the signals. A green LED turned on now means that a signal is "active", the LED turned off means that it is "inactive".
  • Changed the default state of DTR when a port is opened to "active" to conform with common practice, with the exception of Windows platforms when DTR flow control is enabled, in which case the default is "inactive" in order to avoid serial port errors.
  • Improved handling of file IO errors when sending textile or capturing received data to textiles.
  • Improved handling of file IO errors when reading and writing settings files.
  • Improved error reporting. Crash reports will now include information about all open terminals.
  • Slight change to the behavior during setting the break signal in that no characters are being read from the receive buffer. Received characters will be read after the break signal has been cleared.

  • Fixed a bug that would show an error message when the user chooses cancel in the capture file save dialog.
  • Fixed a bug that threw an exception when opening the connection settings on a system without serial ports installed.
  • Fixed a bug the displayed an error message when the user cancelled out of the "Send Textfile" dialog.
  • [WIN] Fixed a bug where the removal of a serial port adapter could cause an exception when starting a connection.
  • [MAC] Implemented a workaround for a known RB bug where the baudrates 3600, 7200, 14400, and 28800 baud would not be set correctly and default to 57600 baud instead.