Introduction to Kermit


Using Kermit with Your Home Computer

Kermit is a program that allows your computer to communicate with other computers regardless of what type it is. As long as both computers are utilizing Kermit, they are able to communicate with each other. Queens College freely distributes Kermit to all students. It is available at the PC Labs in the New Science Building, Room A135. All you need is a home computer and a telephone modem interfacing your phone line and computer.


Obtaining Kermit

As stated above, Kermit can be obtained from the PC Labs in the New Science Building, Room A135. All you need is your own floppy disk. The software is distributed at no charge. Speak with some one at the help desk. They will either make the disk for y ou or let you know how to do it yourself on one of the computers in the PC Labs.


Loading Kermit on Your Home Computer

When you get your copy of Kermit home you should print out the two readme files contained on the disk. The file names are README.1ST and README.2ND. The files will give you all the information that you need for installing kermit on your computer. The installation program of Kermit walks you through installing. It asks for all the information that you need to set Kermit up with your computer.


Using Kermit with VAX/VMS

Kermit will enable you to use your home computer to emulate a terminal as if you were on campus. You will be able to perform all the functions you normally would, just in the convenience of your own home. During the regular school term VAX runs 24 hours a day. With the exception of a system failure, you can connect any time you wish. Using the menu that the home version of kermit provides, you are able to automatically dial in to Queens College.

When you do get connected to the college you will be asked for a destination. You should respond either VAX or VMS. The system understands both to mean the same thing, that you wish to connect to VAX/VMS. Once that has been done, you will be asked for your USER ID. Type it in at the prompt and hit the ENTER key. You then will be asked for your password. Type in the password and again hit the ENTER key. If it is your first time logging in to the system, your initial password is your student ID number.

After you have done this you will then see what you would normally see on a terminal or PC at school. You are all set to perform all the operations you would use at the university on the VAX/VMS system.


Basic file transfer operations

Two basic operations that you can perform with Kermit are uploading and downloading files. Other than the basic communications aspect of Kermit, the transfer operations are most likely the most important for you as far as performing work. The following process needs to be followed to perform file transfers with Kermit.

Assuming that you are already connected to VAX/VMS you can
initialize kermit on the VAX by typing in KERMIT. The $ prompt
that is the norm in VAX/VMS now should read KERMIT-32> for it's
prompt. If it is not exactly as typed here, the prompt should be
very similar indicating that Kermit is active.

Now that VAX/VMS is in the Kermit mode you are able to transfer
files between your home computer and VAX. You need to know the
types of files that are going to be transferred between the two
computers. The two types are ASCII and BINARY. An ASCII file
is any pure text file. Word processor files should not be considered
pure text files. They usually contain binary formatting characters
within them. Unless you saved your work to an ASCII or text
option in your word processor, it is safe to assume that they
are not ASCII files. A binary file is an executable program or
image files .wav etc. You need to be able to make the
distinction. If you are going to transfer ASCII files, the
default transfer setting in Kermit is for ASCII. If you are
transfering binary files you need to type in the command that will
set it for binary, SET FILE TYPE BINARY.

At this point you can now set control of the VAX directory that
you are working under the control of your home computer. Type in
the command SERVER. The screen now will display instructions to
you on how to turn control over to the home computer . The keys
you need to press to do this are ALT X. Your home computer now
is in control. At the bottom of your screen is now the Kermit
command prompt that is seen whenyou first started Kermit prior to
logging on to VAX.

To download a file all you have to do is type in the command
GET FILENAME.EXT, where FILENAME is the name of the file you want
and .EXT is the files extension. A screen will appear showing you
the status of your downloading process. By default the file
being downloaded will be placed in the Kermit directory of your
computers hard drive.

To upload a file to the VAX you have to be a little specific as to
the file you want to upload. To send a file you would need to
indicate where in your home computer the file can be found. To
do this you would type SEND C:\MYSUBDIR\MYFILE.EXT. C:\ is the
hard drive root directory, MYSUBDIR\ is the subdirectory the file
is in and MYFILE.EXT is the file you are sending to VAX. If you
do not specify where the file is located on your computer, you
will get a file not found message. When you do it properly, you
again will get a file transfer status screen. When it
finishes sending the file, kermit will give you a completed message
on the status screen.

To return control to VAX after you have completed your operations,
you just have to type in FINISH at the prompt. then type in
CONNECT. The last screen that you saw on VAX will again be
visible. At this point type in EXIT. The $ prompt will return
and VAX/VMS is the operating system you are working under now.


Logging Off and Disconnecting

When you are finished using VAX, you need to log off. To log off of the VAX/VMS operating system, you need to type in the command LOG. After you have typed in and entered LOG, you will be returned to the login screen by default of the QCNET system. After you log out you are always allowed to log right back in if you want or choose one of the other systems if you have the account. To disconnect from the system, you would have to type in ALT X. You now have the Kermit prompt at the bottom of the screen . Type and enter the command HANG in order to hang up the phone line. You will be given a message that the phone connection was disconnected. To get out of the Kermit program type in EXIT. The program terminates and returns to the computers default prompt or shell.

Kermit Help

Kermit has a command help screen that will give a brief description of helpful commands that you can use with it. To get the help screen all you have to do is type a question mark at the kermit command prompt. The help screen will allow you to learn the other useful things that Kermit can do that are not covered in this chapter. Even if all you need to know is contained in this document, it is recommended that you look at the help screen just to get an idea of the other functions that can be performed with Kermit.


This document was written by Louis Bianchi. We owe many thanks to the feedback provided by Bert and the students of CS101. More specific details about this document are available.


Please send suggestions and further details to:

Dr. Bon K. Sy
Queens College/CUNY
Department of Computer Science
Flushing, NY 11367
USA
Voice: (718)-997-3500 x-3477
Fax: (718)-997-3513
E-mail: bon@bunny.cs.qc.edu