[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Procomm Plus for Windows

September 20th, 2010 by Benj Edwards

Procomm Plus for Windows Ad - 1995“PROCOMM PLUS: Totally Connected”

I used Procomm Plus for DOS during my early years of BBSing, although I called it “PC Plus” because of its shortened executable file name, “PCPLUS.EXE”. I never did migrate to Procomm Plus for Windows, although I remember salivating over it in a software store back when anything and everything modem-related exciting me.

“Terminal” for Windows 3.1 left a bad taste in my mouth, so I didn’t use a GUI-based terminal emulator steadily until the Windows 98 era. After using PC Plus for a few years, I switched to Telix (essentially a PC Plus clone), and one my friends swore by Telemate, which touted some advanced features for a DOS terminal program.

Ah; those were the days.

I’d be interested to hear about your terminal software experiences on all platforms. Hit me up in the comments below.

(P.S. If you’re interested in BBSing again, telnet to my BBS at cavebbs.homeip.net.)

[ From CompuServe Magazine, September 1995, p.47 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: What’s your favorite terminal emulation software of all time?

16 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Procomm Plus for Windows”

  1. Pedro C Says:

    I loved Procomm Plus. My favorite thing about it was the programming language, Aspect. I used to write little scripts for pulling files and mail from different BBSes.

  2. Moondog Says:

    I was also fond of PcPlus with DOS. Hyperterminal in Win95 took it’s place, and I didn’t bother getting the Win version of PcPlus. I worked as a contractor at a site where there was one user who would remote in to a mainframe from home, and they wanted someone to come out and install PcPlus for Windows on their home system. Instead, I showed them how to set up Hyperterminal, then they were wondering why no one else at the company ever thought of using it! I worked at another company where they were using PcAnywhere as a terminal program (instead of a full remote agent), and again, questioned why they paid money for a utility that Windows came with.

    My other favorite DOS utility was Fastlynx.

  3. Salzman Says:

    I used PCPLUS pretty frequently, but when BBS’s started supporting RIP graphics I jumped ship for it.

  4. Jay Says:

    Telemate was fantastic. It has a windows interface, and one of the windows you could open was an MS-DOS window. Because of that, it actually supporting multitasking. You could run an MS-DOS program in that window!

  5. SirPaul Says:

    Sadly, I never used any sort of BBSes. I didn’t know much about them until the last of the local ones died off… I dream of those days, wishing I could have hooked up my old TRS-80 (or slightly less old Atari 800XL) to a phone line and checking them out.

  6. s1500 Says:

    I remember using Telix & Telemate, but Terminate was the best one, having the greatest features of all the others.

    To think 20 years ago, being 14 years old I was able to remember many phone numbers & my password associated with them.

    Hyperterminal was a huge step backwards for usability.

  7. Daniel Says:

    I remember back in the day dialing into BBSes with my trusty old commodore 64c running a terminal program that support special Commodore Graphics modes/characters and a 2400 baud external modem connected via an RS232 to commodore adapter. Then I upgraded to an 8086 Toshiba T1000 and used Relay Gold, TELIX and then terminate on 3 1/2″ diskettes. I still remember those good old Kermit, XModem, Y-Modem, ZModem protocols used to download/upload files from/to BBSes and the University’s VAX system which I used to access the Internet using Lynx for VMS.

  8. Jay Says:

    I didn’t make much use of BBS-land until the later days when I was in college, apart from some very brief tinkering with 850 Express on my old Atari XE and a modem that never really worked.

    In college though I used Netterm 4, basically because it was what everyone else used and it ran nicely on Windows NT. Mostly to access the small and now apparently defunct BBS (Discordia) used by some current and former computer students. Fun times, and well and truly missed.

  9. arlandi Says:

    PCPLUS.EXE = “P”ro”C”omm PLUS (maybe…)
    i can’t remember if i have any fav terminal emulation back then (around 1994 if i remember correctly). i use anything that came with my modem and then some of the trial editions. it was the time when trying any new software was fun.

  10. Ant Says:

    I used both DOS and Windows version. I like Windows version too and it came with scripting and your own BBS too which I used. 🙂

  11. TimT Says:

    CCGMS for the Commodore 64 was awesome. There were plenty of terminal programs for the C64 but that was my favorite. I remember using Quantum-Link (precursor to AOL) and C-Net BBS systems on my Commodore 1650 (300 baud!) Modem. I still hope to get a little of that excitement everyday when surfing the net, but it just isn’t the same.

  12. Cody Says:

    Wow now this is a blast from the past. From what I remember at the time, this software was junk.

    I remember using Telix too (I think that’s for Linux, right) and @s1500 mentioned Terminate. That WAS one of the most awesome BBS programs ever available. I may be mistaken but it let you multi-task, downloading something with ZModem while using a word processor or even a rudimentary DOS shell.

    Not long after that I had upgraded to a 386 and so could use DESQview to do all my multi-tasking, and then I switched to Linux for a few years where you had virtual consoles and could do everything at once with no slowdown anyway.

    By the time I got back to Windows, BBSing was dead and the internet was here to stay, in all its (then) Mosaic glory!

  13. Stephen Monaco Says:

    Dear ProComm Fans,

    It’s wonderful to read about all the fond memories of ProComm / ProComm Plus.

    I was the VP of Marketing, co-CEO, and co-owner of Datastorm Technologies, Inc., and we had a great team that worked on ProComm.

    The original version of what became ProComm, was written in ’83 as a terminal emulation program by my best friend, (and later my business partner), Bruce Barkelew, while he was a computer science student at the University of Missouri – Columbia. Dialing in to the IBM mainframe from the apartment sure beat standing in line waiting to use the dumb terminal to submit assignments for Comp Sci courses.

    Thanks to all of you for your support of ProComm / ProComm Plus back in the day!


    Stephen Monaco

  14. Stephen Monaco Says:

    Dear All,

    …just saw the [Retro Scan of the Week] ad for the ProComm Plus “Totally Connected” marketing campaign. Had a great time with the conceptualization of that ad. By that point in time, ProComm Plus has over 70% market share and was the de facto standard data comm software for the PC. With that in mind, the concept was supposed to portray how ProComm was THE way to connect the proverbial Global Village.

    I came up with some iconic and readily recognized monuments from around the world to help carry the theme, and had the illustrator in our in-house ad agency do some rough examples of this concept.

    She nailed it!

    After a few tweaks and a lot of refining in Illustrator and Photoshop, we were ready to run the ads in all the computer trade mags, as well as in Rolling Stone, Playboy, Sports Illustrated, etc.

    What amazed me was the number of letters we received at Datastorm from all over the world. The letters from loyal ProComm users complained about how the famous monument in their country was not depicted in this ad; they expressed their upset and disappointment.

    We replied to these letters and thanked these people for their loyalty, and tried to help them understand the illustration was highly conceptual in nature and Datastorm didn’t mean to slight any country or their respective monuments.

    If you’re interested in the most famous ProComm ad – the one that received a tremendous amount of media coverage because of the pop culture phenomenon occurring at that time, (especially in the U.K.), check out the “Crop Circles” ad on my web site (URL below). This ad was even referred to in a television show about UFOs, etc., called “Sightings” which aired on Fox.

    Thank you for your support of ProComm!

    Stephen Monaco


  15. truth be told Says:

    The famous Crop Circle ad was conceived, designed, and produced by Dan Coronado and his design agency Three Guys Design of Kansas City. Steve Monaco was marketing director at Datastorm at the time and knew a good thing when it was presented to him and OK’d the production. The ad worked fantastically the world over. Dan realizes that his world class marketing ideas are “lifted” from time to time and are used to strengthen others books or resumes without credit. It’s been done many times before. The fact that Dan grew up in England and witnessed Crop Circles first hand played a major creative spark for the initial conception for the ad. Dan was also involved with Fontographer, Freehand, and FaxSTF and has moved his talents to many other disciplines. But, sometimes the truth needs to be told.

  16. Dave the DX Man Says:

    Was going thru some old floppy disks today and gues what found one with Paket_6 and Procomm also a Telix program, Ah they were great days back in the dream time. Way B4 the internet and IRLP and Echolink. We used to also talk a lot on the HF bands back then, but no one seems to want to do that any more.

    (Licenced 50 years in UK/Australia)

Leave a Reply