Telemate v4.2x for DOS - Running Under Windows or OSX Tutorial


If you're like me, you've been searching for a decent telnet client that works as well with old BBS ANSI as well as maybe having a scripting language. Again, if you're like me, you've got a large library of scripts for older DOS based terminal programs like Telemate that you'd like to be able to use again. (As I'm typing this, I'm scripting the 1st Arena of Tele-Arena 5.6f on the beta test board for it). It took some digging, but I've come up with a way to make Telemate 4.2x run in Windows or OS X AND operate as a telnet client. (Crazy, I know, right?)

This tutorial is long winded and detailed. Those of you who are tech savvy may be able to breeze through this pretty quick, those of you that aren't can still accomplish the task if you follow the instructions carefully. I've geared this toward the most popular of the operating systems. Win XP/Vista/7 and OS X. This has been tested, personally, in WinXP x86, Win7 x64, and OS X Lion. You can likely get it to work in any Intel Mac OS or just about any flavor of Linux. This will also likely turn ANY DOS terminal program into a telnet application. So if you preferr Telix or Procomm Plus over Telemate, you should be able to make that happen with this tutorial. Ready? Me too!

Gathering Components

First step was to dig up my old Telemate disks. Here are two links, to two versions of Telemate. If you're lucky enough to still have your registration number, you'll be in good shape. I've provided links to v4.20 and v4.21 as the registration number are different depending on what version you had. I had v4.20. If you're not still lucky enought to have your registration number... Google is your friend. That's all I'll say.

Telemate v4.20 | Telemate v4.21

The other component you need is DOSBox. If you do any classic gaming (Doom, Duke3D, Wolf3D, etc...) you may already have this piece, but you can head over to to grab the latest version. I've included the latest versions below at the time of this writing. These version have been tested with this method and work:

Windows (XP/Vista/7): DOSBox0.74-win32-installer.exe (x86 version, but 100% working on x64 machines!)
OS X Users: DOSBox-0.74_Universal.dmg (Tested in Lion, should work on any Intel Mac)

Alright, here's a checklist. Make sure you've downloaded and saved:

1. A copy of Telemate v4.2x
2. Whatever flavor of DOSBox needed for your OS

Installation Instructions

STEP 1: Read the complete instructions before attempting any installation. Being familiar with "the next step" before it's time will help greatly.

I'm not going to go indepth on the installation of exactly how to install programs and such. This tutorial assumes that you're an old school BBS'er, and you've got basic skills to install programs, find and edit config files, and have a general understanding of how this works. You can contact me on my BBS if you need assistance, and I'll help where I can, but keep in mind this is free advice and I offer no warranty and am not responsible for any damage you may to do your system from screwing around with this sorta stuff. That being said, it's very easy to setup if you can follow directions... so here we go!

This next step is to install DOSBox for your OS.

Windows & OS X Users - DOSBox installation

The first step is pretty damn easy. Go to where ever you saved the install file, and double click DOSBox#.##-win32-installer.exe [or the .dmg file if you're a Mac user] (where #.## is the version number) and go through the install process [On OS X, just drag into your Applications folder]. Run DOSBox once and close it, this creates the blank config file. Once it's closed you need to configure two things. The first is the folder for your "DOS C: Drive" and the second is the modem. Depending on what your OS is the configuration file will be in one of these locations:

Windows XP: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\DOSBox\dosbox-#.##.conf
WinVista & Win7: {system drive}:\Users\{username}\AppData\Local\DOSBox\dosbox-#.##.conf
OS X Users: ~/Library/Preferences/DOSBox #.## Preferences/dosbox.conf
Remember, #.## will be the version number of DOSBox that you installed! The version I'm hosting here is 0.74.

Open that file in your favorite text editor (Win: notepad / OSX: Textedit will do) and make the following two changes:

Look for this section around line 199. You can search for "serial" to find it.
# serial1: set type of device connected to com port.
Once you find this section, change "serial1" and "serial2" to the following. Leave everything else in that section alone.
serial1=modem listenport 23
The next change you need to make to the config file is the automatic mounting of your "dos c: drive" folder. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the config file until you see this (you can search for "autoexec" to find it):
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.
Depending on your OS, you need to create a folder on your drive AND put one of the following lines here. Again this tutorial assumes "C:\dos" for Windows users and "~/Downloads/dos" for MAC OS X users. You can tailor this however you want:

For Windows users create a folder called "dos" in the root of your C: drive and add this to the DOSBox config file:
mount c c:\dos
For OS X users create a folder in your Downloads folder called "dos" and add this to the DOSBox config file:
mount c ~/Downloads/dos
We're almost there!! The next step is to uncompress the Telemate version you downlaoded into your "dos" folder that you created in the previous step. Best thing to do is create a folder called "TM" in the "dos" folder, and put the Telemate files in there. Once you've done that it's time to launch DOSBox. If everything was done correctly you should get something that looks like this:

Now, switch to the C drive and change to the TM directory:

Then type TM and hit enter, the first time you launch it you will get a "setup" screen. The only thing you should change is go to COM Parameter and change Baud Rate to 57600 (unless you're feeling nostalgic and want it to be slower!) once you've done that go all the way down to "End Installation" and choose "Save Setup." If it doesn't automatically launch into Telemate, just type TM and hit enter, it should launch Telemate.

Here's a screenshot of the seutp screen. You can get to this later by typing TMINST at the command prompt:

Once you launch Telemate, you should get a window like this. If you see the phonebook screen, just hit "ESC" to get to the terminal window.

The most important thing here is that you see "OK" repsonses after the "AT" commands issued to the "modem." Sometimes I see "ERROR" on the first command, but if you get an OK on the second, it's usually good to go. In fact, if you're getting responses at all, it means DOSBox is doing it's job and you're well on your way to doing some good old fashioned BBS'ing. Easiest way to get connected is to just type the dial command, but use a hostname instead of a phone number. If you can't remember the command is ATDT (number) and then hit enter. Below is an example of connecting to StarBase 21 with Telemate and this setup.

Final Notes

Another hint is if you have you're Telemate registration number, just type "TM /R" at the "C:\TM>: prompt and it will let you enter the information.

That's it. You're good to go! If you have any questions, e-mail me, Vector, on StarBase 21 BBS and I'll do what I can to help. A Tele-Arena script collection that was made available by "bhuga" on Github is linked below under the "Tele-Arena Stuff" section at the bottom of this web site. These scripts circulated amongst our group at The Point BBS back in the 90s. Feel free to hack them for your use, just give credit where it's due. You can configure Telemate how you like by going into the Options menu and changing what you like. I usually setup some macros, increase the scroll back buffer, etc... You can set up phone book entries if you like. Just have fun with it. If you come across anything exciting that makes this easier or better, e-mail me and I'll add it to the page. Huge Thanks goes out to the creator(s) of DOSBox. Without those programs, it certainly wouldn't be possible to accomplish this.

See you out there ... Vector

Other Useful Links

Tele-Arena Stuff: 5.6d-Gold Maps | Max Stats Chart | Telemate TA Scripts
TW2002 Stuff: SWATH | TWX Proxy | Classic TW Forums / TWGS | MicroBlaster
Telnet Clients: Telemate v4.2x (Vector's Favorite) | SyncTERM