KittyCat! Comm

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The "about" window in KittyCat! Comm 1.0. Clicking on the cat picture causes the window to "meow" on systems with audio capabilities

KittyCat! Comm was a bulletin board system (BBS) communication program for Windows 3.1 with ambitious plans. The vision was to support traditional text-based BBS systems and RIPscrip graphics along with arbitrary data exchange between remote programs and BBS-driven SLOS scripting. This project was abandoned shortly after I started using the Internet and TCP/IP; they made KittyCat! Comm obsolete.

The implementation supports multiple telephone numbers per BBS, inter-program communication using the dynamic data exchange (DDE) mechanism in Windows, ANSI text and RIPscrip graphics rendering in its console, and a partially-implemented MeowModem file transfer program. Almost every part of the system has cat-themed names, such as its KittyDDE application programming interface (API).


Dialing Directory

The dialing directory was implemented using minimized multiple document interface (MDI) windows, which appear as icons with a title underneath on Windows 3.1. This was meant to make BBSes appear as programs as they did in the Windows Program Manager. In Windows 95 and later versions, minimized MDI windows appear as small title bars with control icons, making the dialing directory's user interface appear drastically different.

The dialing directory as it appears on a Windows 3.1 system
The BBS options page, which appears when a BBS is double-clicked on or "restored" via MDI
The dialing directory as it appears on a Windows 95 system
The properties page for a BBS. The horizontal scrollbar navigates through the BBS's telephone numbers
The modem strings configuration dialog box
The serial device and modem properties page
Output from the KittyDDE diagnostics tool

Terminal Console

The terminal console appears after a successful connection to a BBS is made. It can also be launched while KittyCat! Comm is not running, which puts the console into local-echo mode. Support for ANSI and partial support for RIPscrip exists in the implementation, though Zmodem file transfer support was never finished. Some of the console code was reused in ScreenWindow.

ANSI text
Console preferences dialog box. The default 20-color palette in Windows 3.1 did not include a good brown color, so this console implements its own in its palette and calls it TrueBrown
RIPscrip graphics test
The "about" dialog box