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:


NEW/CHANGED FEATURES:

  • 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.

IMPROVEMENTS

  • 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.

BUG FIXES AND STABILITY IMRPOVEMENTS

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

8 comments:

Stephen Hughes said...

Just to repeat my question from the last release of CoolTerm, is there any chance you can look at the port enumeration code as it is taking 2-3 minutes for CoolTerm to start up on my PC which has around a dozen Bluetooth COM ports.

I understand this is an issue with RealBasic but are you aware of this thread which may help:
http://forums.realsoftware.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=8076

Roger said...

Stephen,

CoolTerm v1.4.4 was compiled with the latest version of Xojo (formerly REALBasic), which, according to their company, should address this issue of hanging the app while the ports are being enumerated. Have you tried the latest version?

To do what the post on the REALBasic forums suggests would compromise the functionality of CoolTerm as this method simply shows a list of COM1..COM18, regardless of what is actually connected to the system, which is very user-unfriendly.

Stephen Hughes said...

Sorry for not spotting your reply sooner. Yes, I upgraded to 1.4.4 as soon as it became available and it takes as long as ever to enumerate the ports.

1.4.4 also seems less stable - I have to kill it with Task Manager 2 or 3 times a day and it also closes without an error message a similar number of times so I have to reopened it and wait 2 to 3 minutes for it to start up several times a day.

To be honest if there was another terminal program that did what I need then I'd not still be using it...

Roger said...

Sorry you're having issues. The problem with serial port enumeration was supposed to be fixed in the API I'm using. But I guess that's not the case based on your experience. Also, from your description of how the app closes without a message tells me that something I deeper under the hood over which I have no control is going wrong. Most higher level exceptions are handled by the app, and unhandled exceptions generate an error window with a stack dump for error reporting. Since this is not happening, I'm afraid there is nothing I can do until the underlying API gets fixed. Having to kill the app in task manager several times a day is also something that no other user has reported to me.
It would appear that there is something about your particular setup that CoolTerm is not quite compatible with.
I'm sorry I can't give you a better answer.

Stephen Hughes said...

That's OK, I understand that with COM ports you are often highly dependent on system level code.

I don't know if this is what makes the difference but I'm using Bluetooth - I use Coolterm to send firmware updates to some hardware I've designed via a Microchip RN42 Bluetooth module. Coolterm is the only program I've found that allows me to easily dump a text (.hex) file to the COM port.

I think the problems with crashing come when the link 'breaks' for whatever reason. Sometimes it is my fault - I power the hardware down and forget to disconnect and reconnect before transmitting. In that case Coolterm either locks - there appears to be no way to cancel transmission - or just dies completely.

The enumeration issue isn't helped as I'm now up to COM33 - each Bluetooth device paired with the PC adds two COM ports...

Would it be difficult to add an option where the COM port is specific (either on the command line or via a .stc file) and only that port is opened?

Roger said...

Stephen,

I may be able to provide a workaround to address your issue. We can discuss the details via e-mail. You can find my e-mail address on my website (http://freeware.the-meiers.org).

Nikita Reddy said...

Sir,
Your software was really cool. It showed me results for the first time I,ve used it but after sometime it showed me an error message. After that it is scanning serial port but on the main window of cool term it is showing that COM4 disconnected and not showing up any results. Could you please assist me an reply me ASAP

Roger said...

If the status shows "Disconnected" you will need to press the "Connect" button or select "Connect" from the "Connection" menu to re-connect.