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TOPIC: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start
#1039
Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
I am running Absolute Telnet 3.65 under Windows 98 SP 1. I had the identical behavior with A.T. 3.50 and 3.63.

I establish a PPP connection to my ISP with MS Dialup Networking. I start A.T. in order to log into a Linux shell account on the ISP's server. I have a shortcut icon on the desktop pointing to a .tnt file. When things work, they work correctly, and I am happy.

Unfortunately, they do not always work. Sometimes I click on the icon and A.T. does not seem to start, even when I have no other applications running. Nothing happens. If I then try to start, say, Windows Explorer, it will not start, either. Ctl-Alt-Del shows a task for A.T. running, but nothing is happening. If I cancel the task, one of two things happens. 1) After a time I get the screen to cancel the A.T. task. When I cancel it, Explorer then starts, and the A.T. task cancels. 2) On the other hand, sometimes trying to cancel A.T. will in fact start it, and I get the usual login screen from my ISP. If I reject the Windows cancellation, all is well, I can login to the server, and Explorer also starts in a window, which I then close.

This behavior of A.T. failing to start even though the task list shows it is completely unpredictable. I can usually eventually get it started after fiddling with cancellations, but it is a nuisance. I am happy with A.T. except for this annoying bahavior.

[ February 09, 2005, 12:30 PM: Message edited by: Brian T. Pence ]
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#1040
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
Paul,

I hope I can help work through this issue, but I have a few questions first...

1. When AbsoluteTelnet doesn't start, is there an item on the TaskBar for it?

2. How often would you say this is happening? Multiple times a day, daily, weekly?

3. Do you run any firewall software on your PC?

4. Do you run in a single-monitor or multi-monitor configuration?

5. How long do you wait before cancelling the App? Have you tried waiting an extended period of time to see if it will eventually come up? While this is still not acceptable behavior, it could still provide a clue as to why this is happening.

6. When you say that sometimes cancelling the app starts it, do you mean you actually hit the button to terminate the app, or that Absolute actually starts operating just before you hit the final 'kill this app' button?

Thanks for your help!

Brian
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#1041
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
...My replies interpolated:

1. When AbsoluteTelnet doesn't start, is there an item on the TaskBar for it?

...No.

2. How often would you say this is happening? Multiple times a day, daily, weekly?

...Probably two or three times a week (i.e., two or three times out of ten).

3. Do you run any firewall software on your PC?

...Yes. Norton Personal Firewall.

4. Do you run in a single-monitor or multi-monitor configuration?

...Single monitor.

5. How long do you wait before cancelling the App? Have you tried waiting an extended period of time to see if it will eventually come up? While this is still not acceptable behavior, it could still provide a clue as to why this is happening.

...I have never pulled out a stopwatch, but I have probably waited a minute or two. Sometimes it eventually comes up and sometimes it doesn't.

6. When you say that sometimes cancelling the app starts it, do you mean you actually hit the button to terminate the app, or that Absolute actually starts operating just before you hit the final 'kill this app' button?

...Just before I hit the final button, i.e., just as Win presents the message box to end the task or to cancel the operation, A.T. will sometimes come up. This is after using the Ctl-Alt-Del sequence in WIn98 to bring up hte taks list. For me, "coming up" is connecting to the ISP server and presenting the shell login screen.
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#1042
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
Are you doing telnet, SSH1, or SSH2 connection to your shell account?
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#1043
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
Telnet.
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#1044
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
I know you said the error is unpredictable, but can you force it to happen by repeatedly starting and exiting Absolute?
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#1045
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
I've never tried. Usually when I start A.T. I do it to establish a telnet session with my ISP and leave it at that. Sometimes a session will go on for an hour and a half, and many days I do it only once. I can try it, although it will be a day or two before I can get to it. (Friday is always busy for me.)
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#1046
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
Give it a try when you get a chance. Knowing how to reproduce the problem is 95% of fixing it.

Brian
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#1047
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
Paul,

I'm theorizing about a possible cause of this problem.... In version 3.50, I added a feature that numbers each AbsoluteTelnet window with a unique session number. To do this, I first enumerate the open windows to see what the MAX session number is and then add one for the new session.

My theory is that some other hung window (from some other hung or waiting app) is causing the window enumeration to hang. The reason I'm going down this path is that there are only a few things that occur prior to creation of the window (and the line item in the task bar). This is one of them, and it has the potential to be affected by interactions with other windows and programs.

It's even possible that Explorer is not being hung waiting on Absolute, but that both Absolute and Explorer are hung waiting on some other resource! Have you ever noticed Explorer hanging without AbsoluteTelnet even having started?

It's possible that if you always start Absolute, then Explorer, you've made an assumption that Explorer is hung waiting on AbsoluteTelnet. For awhile, try running them the other way... Explorer and then Absolute. See if Explorer will hang first. Do this for a couple of days, or as long as it takes to convince yourself that it does or does not go both ways.

Does this usually happen after a fresh reboot or have you noticed it also at random durations after a boot?

Did you ever try a version prior to 3.50?? If so, did you notice this problem there?

Your feedback and assistance is greatly appreciated!!

Brian
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#1048
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
I'm theorizing about a possible cause of this problem.... In version 3.50, I added a feature that numbers each AbsoluteTelnet window with a unique session number.

...I noticed that. Usually the A.T. session number is (1). However, I recall on one occasion seeing (2). That was some time ago, and I do not remember the circumstances. I don't think I had another A.T. session running, as I only use it for one purpose: to login into my Linux shell account on the server. It ordinarily works very well for that one task I have for it, and therefore I have been satisfied enough with the product that I have been willing to spend my money on it.

Have you ever noticed Explorer hanging without AbsoluteTelnet even having started?

...Not that I can recall. But my memory is not as good as it used to be.

It's possible that if you always start Absolute, then Explorer, you've made an assumption that Explorer is hung waiting on AbsoluteTelnet. For awhile, try running them the other way... Explorer and then Absolute.

...I can try that.

Does this usually happen after a fresh reboot or have you noticed it also at random durations after a boot?

...It most often happens after I have had Win98 up for some time (I always shut it down at the end of the day) and doing various things, the only thing of importance using the same PPP connection is having run Mozilla 1.7.2 earlier. (I keep Mozilla minimized to the system tray after I close it for the "fast startup.") HOWEVER, the hang sometimes occurs almost first thing after a fresh reboot or initial power-up and Windows load. It just seems to be more common after I have been running a while. (And, for whatever it's worth, I can run A.T. and Mozilla at the same time over the same PPP connection, although I do not ordinarily do so.)

Did you ever try a version prior to 3.50?? If so, did you notice this problem there?

...The first version I used was before 3.50, but I do not recall the version number. However, I do not *remember* the problem occurring before 3.50. (That's not to say that it didn't happen, but if it did, I don't remember it.)

....I still will not have the opportunity to try these other things until later. I just noticed some email notifcations that you had made further replies and jumped back.
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#1049
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
Paul,

Based on my theories in a previous post, I've recoded the feature I mentioned. I use a less error-prone method of doing the same thing (using EnumWindows() instead of FindWindow()) in the Windows API.

I still haven't been able to reproduce the error, so I'll need you to give the new code a try. Let me know when you get a chance...

http://www.celestialsoftware.net/telnet/AbsoluteTelnet3.77.exe

Thanks a bunch!

Brian
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#1050
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
I downloaded the new version, but I am tight on time for the next day or two, so it may be Wednesday before I can get to it. Please refresh my memory. Do I install over the top of what I already have, or do I de-install the old version first?
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#1051
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
Paul,

No hurry. Just install it and use it as you normall would. I know from the erratic nature of the problem that it may take a few days of clean runs before we're convinced that this new version is any different or better. Also, be sure to start explorer first before you start Absolute to see if explorer is haning on Absolute or both explorer and Absolute are hanging on something else...

Just install it over top of your previous version!! No muss, no fuss.

Before you do, though, you may want to try and see if you can recreate the error by stopping and starting AbsoluteTelnet (3.50 or similar) very quickly. If you can, then try doing the same thing with 3.77 to see if the problem is gone.

Brian
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#1052
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
I started to install 3.77, but the process failed. It had gone only a short way until it aborted with the error message that the source file is corrupt.

[ February 16, 2005, 07:54 PM: Message edited by: Paul O. Bartlett ]
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#1053
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
What is the size of the file you downloaded?

Brian
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#1054
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
AbsoluteTelnet3.77.exe 2,226,531 bytes.
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#1055
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
I just remembered something that might or might not be relevant. My computer is old, a Pentium Pro 200MHz 64MB RAM, running Windows 98 SP 1 with all MS critical updates current, although the problem occurred much earlier seemingly without reference to the MS updates.

Because of the small (by today's technology) RAM, the disk works a lot, aparently while Win is swapping in and out. I can hear it and see the disk activity light.

When A.T. starts normally, I can hear the disk working for several seconds, see the indicator for dialup networking showing data transfer to and from the host, and then get the login screen from the host. However, when the failure to start occurs, which is the subject of this thread, the disk works very briefly and then stops, much more quickly than a normal start, even though the Win98 taks list shows an entry for A.T.
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#1056
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
You're right. That file was somehow corrupted, possibly in my original upload.

Try this one:

http://www.celestialsoftware.net/telnet/AbsoluteTelnet3.78.exe

Also, your description of how the application appears to sit and wait very soon after a brief amount of disk activity is consistent with my theory of the hang at startup. This type of hang would have begun at version 3.50 and (assuming I'm correct) be fixed in 3.77 and 3.78.

The theory goes like this... There is a Windows function 'FindWindow()' that I use to find other running instances of Absolute in order to calculate the Session number for the title bar. FindWindow() has a nasty habit of sometimes hanging when there is another hung window or process (belonging to any other app). Some other window is probably hanging, which causes AbsoluteTelnet to hang at startup.

One possible reason Explorer is also hanging is that it may also use the FindWindow() function and be subject to waiting on the same hung window of the other application.

In version 3.77 and above, I've removed the FindWindow() function and replaced it with EnumWindows() function which is much safer to use and will not hang itself when enumerating windows.

The FindWindow() issue repeatedly comes up in programming discussions where a programmer wants to limit only one copy of the application to run at a time. The issues are similar to our situation, though. You need to first see if any copies of the app are running. If so, you need to do something special.

This may be more detail than you want, but I'm providing it here in case it may be useful to anyone else who happens to come by.

Let me know how it goes!
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#1057
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
I appreciate the explanation. I am no Windows expert, but I do have some programming experience, so the explanation is welcome. I was able to download the new version, but I won't get it tested tonight. My PPP connection to the server has been cranky this evening, and that would throw off any testing.
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#1058
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
No problem.

About how long after you start using it do you think it will take for you to know for sure that the problem is (or isn't) gone?

B
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#1059
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
Give me three or four days. Some days I use A.T. only once; some days twice. Because the failure to start was not happening every time, it may need several times to check. A short time ago 3.78 started without any problem.
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#1060
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
Last evening (I haven't used it yet today) I did have a partial lockup with 3.78. Usual configuration: MS Dial-Up Networking active; Mozilla (1.7.2) in the system tray but not open; task scheduler active; Norton Personal Firewall running; Norton System Doctor in the system tray. I clicked on the .tnt file to start 3.78, and I got the failure to start which has been the subject of this thread. Then I started Windows Explorer (I use a shortcut icon on the desktop). As soon as Explorer opened, then A.T. finished starting and worked normally. I keep forgetting to open Explorer first, because that would be contrary to my usual operating style.
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#1061
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
Ok,

Sad to hear that, but here's another test....

I've created another version of Absolute, this time with some extra debug information applied around the area of the program's startup.

To view the debug information, you'll need to install DebugView from sysinternals:

http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/freeware/debugview.shtml

When DebugView is running, AbsoluteTelnet will generate output similar to the following:

[Absolute] Entering WinMain()
[Absolute] Determine Max Session
[Absolute] Entering InitApplication
[Absolute] Registring Application class
[Absolute] Registering Screen class
[Absolute] Registering hidden class
[Absolute] Create notification thread
[Absolute] Return from InitApplication
[Absolute] Create mutex
[Absolute] Loading RichEDIT Library
[Absolute] Loading accelerators
[Absolute] Allocating memory for scrollback
[Absolute] Creating main window
[Absolute] Parsing command line arguments

Ok, so here's the plan.... Run things as you do normally. The next time you run AbsoluteTelnet and it hangs, immediately start DebugView (keep a shortcut handy on the desktop or wherever) Now, once AbsoluteTelnet resumes execution and displays the main window, we'll see where it begins in the log... If the first debugMessage we see is 'creating main window', we'll know that the hangup occurred somewhere on or after 'allocating memory for scrollback'

Follow?
Let me know if this isn't clear.

You can download AbsoluteTelnet w/debug here:

http://www.celestialsoftware.net/telnet/AbsoluteTelnet3.80.exe
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#1062
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
The instructions are clear enough, although I admit that I am not overwhelming enthusiastic about running debugging software that I know nothing about. In any case, it would be a bit before I can get to that much. (I have only a slow dialup connection, among other things, and a class I am taking is soaking up some of my time.)

[ February 23, 2005, 07:54 PM: Message edited by: Paul O. Bartlett ]
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#1063
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
sysinternals is a very reputable site. They've been around almost as long as Windows itself. Lots of cool stuff on that site. DebugView *can* be a little large, I know.

The DebugViewer isn't a debugger itself. It just gives you (the user) the ability to see debug information from any programs you might be running. Not all programs produce debug information, of course. Normally, debug code is left out of the retail-level products because it tends to bloat and slow the code down. For this installation of AbsoluteTelnet, I've left some of the debug information in so we can find where in AbsoluteTelnet the error is occuring.

After you install 3.80 and DebugView, you can continue on as you have normally. You don't need to run DebugView until after you experience a lockup. Once you notice AbsoluteTelnet hanging, immediately run DebugView and capture the messages that occur when Absolute continues. It's where AbsoluteTelnet begins in the log, then, that will lead us back to the source of them problem.

I know this is a pain in the neck, and I'm glad you've hung in there!!

Brian
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#1064
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
OK. I have them downloaded. I will do a virus scan on them and see what I can do in the next few days.
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#1065
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
I downloaded, virus-scanned, and installed A.T. 3.80 and DebugView. What I have done so far is to start DebugView minimized to the system tray and logging to a file. Then I have started A.T. So far I have not had a lockup. However, there is a new wrinkle which might point to some unknown cause in my own configuration. I recalled that something like this happened at least twice before but didn't give much attention to it at the time.

I have Norton SystemWorks 2002 installed. On a frequent basis I run LiveUpdate, which is a subscription service to keep virus signatures and other security software current. This afternoon I started SystemWorks and clicked on LiveUpdate as I have so many times before. The disk worked briefly and stopped. Time goes by. Nothing happens. As soon as I open Windows Explorer from a desktop icon, LiveUpdate finishes its initialization and starts up. This is just the behavior of A.T., so it might be some unknown factor in my own setup. However, I will continue the logging process to see if it gives any hints.
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#1066
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
Finally I have a lockup to report. I started DebugView as I mentioned above and then went to start A.T. 3.80. The disk whirred briefly and stopped. Some seconds went by. Nothing. (Usually if A.T. is going to start normally, the disk will keep going until A.T. connects with the server and displays the login screen.) I opened Internet Explorer, and A.T. finished starting. I went through the normal login to the remote host and then stopped DebugView. Here is the log file:

[\I8P9D0]
00000000 0.00000000 [Absolute] Entering WinMain()
00000001 0.05189920 [Absolute] Determine Max Session
00000002 0.06584480 [Absolute] Entering InitApplication
00000003 0.07696720 [Absolute] Registring Application class
00000004 0.07732960 [Absolute] Registering Screen class
00000005 0.07746560 [Absolute] Registering hidden class
00000006 0.07757760 [Absolute] Create notification thread
00000007 0.07864640 [Absolute] Return from InitApplication
00000008 0.07869040 [Absolute] Create mutex
00000009 0.07879520 [Absolute] Loading RichEDIT Library
00000010 0.09529120 [Absolute] Loading accelerators
00000011 0.09538480 [Absolute] Allocating memory for scrollback
00000012 0.14580480 [Absolute] Creating main window
00000013 19.61354560 [Absolute] Parsing command line arguments
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#1067
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
As soon as I open Windows Explorer from a desktop icon, LiveUpdate finishes its initialization and starts up. This is just the behavior of A.T., so it might be some unknown factor in my own setup. It could be a system-wide hang, or it could just be a programming glitch common to both programs. I won't be able to tell which until we isolate the problem a bit further....

The log file you provided is *perfect*. The time index tells me exactly where to look next. I've built a new version that adds some additional debug info around the area we are looking at. It should isolate the issue for us even further....

Download the new version here

Let me know when you get a chance to try it.

Brian

[ February 28, 2005, 10:10 AM: Message edited by: Brian T. Pence ]
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#1068
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
I donwloaded the version, but as I have mentioned, the lockups come sporadically and unpredictably, so it might be several days before anything turns up. In the log that I posted, the final interval includes the "think time" before I decided that the program was not starting and opened Explorer.
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#1069
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
I'm a patient man. Good information is worth waiting for. It's not holding me up on anything else.

I added addition debug information in-between those last two steps. The new version will give us more detail about where the hang time occurs.

bRIAN
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#1070
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
I finally had a lockup with v3.81 on Win98. As before, I had my dialup PPP connection running. I started DebugView and clicked on the .tnt shortcut on the desktop. Whir. Nothing. I tred to open Windows Explorer, but that wouldn't start. Then I opened a small text editor (metapad) from a desktop shortcut, and both A.T. and Explorer started. Here is the log:

00000000 0.00000000 [Absolute] Entering WinMain()
00000001 0.06083280 [Absolute] Determine Max Session
00000002 0.07307200 [Absolute] Entering InitApplication
00000003 0.07521360 [Absolute] Registring Application class
00000004 0.07555520 [Absolute] Registering Screen class
00000005 0.07569040 [Absolute] Registering hidden class
00000006 0.07579840 [Absolute] Create notification thread
00000007 0.08332400 [Absolute] Return from InitApplication
00000008 0.08336880 [Absolute] Create mutex
00000009 0.08347760 [Absolute] Loading RichEDIT Library
00000010 0.38993040 [Absolute] Loading accelerators
00000011 0.39003360 [Absolute] Allocating memory for scrollback
00000012 0.43370880 [Absolute] Creating main window
00000013 0.44863200 [Absolute] In wm_create
00000014 0.44876080 [Absolute] Leaving wm_create
00000015 0.44884080 [Absolute] Window created
00000016 0.44892480 [Absolute] Initialize Ole Library
00000017 0.47563520 [Absolute] Initialize components
00000018 23.18711920 [Absolute] Initialize statusbar
00000019 23.18910960 [Absolute] Initialize toolbar
00000020 23.30423600 [Absolute] Initialize scrollback
00000021 23.37648000 [Absolute] Initialize factory
00000022 23.38439120 [Absolute] Parsing command line arguments
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#1071
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
Thanks, Paul.

That log speaks VOLUMES to me. When we started looking at this, I had strong ideas as to where this would lead, but so far, I have been proven wrong. The information you have provided, though, has guided me toward a solution. It may take a few more attempts, however, to home in on the culprit.

Here's the next iteration that will get us closer to our solution:

http://www.celestialsoftware.net/telnet/AbsoluteTelnet3.82.exe

Thanks again,

Brian
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#1072
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
OK, I got it. However, I am just starting the process of migrating to a new ISP. (My old one is unilaterally changing the terms of service.) That means that I may not get to the new version right away, and as always, the lockups don't happen every time.

Incidentally, I will want to put a desktop shortcut on the desktop for a new .tnt file for the new ISP. (I will still be logging into a shell account.) I haven't tried it yet, but can I just start A.T., load the oldname.tnt, make appropriate changes, save it as newname.tnt, and create a shortcut for that?
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#1073
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 9 Months ago  
Let me know when you get some results.

Creating new .tnt files is easy and there's lots of ways to do it. You absolutely can do it the way you said. Load oldname.tnt, change a few things and save as newname.tnt. Also, you can just copy the oldname.tnt file in Windows and begin modifying the copy.

To create a brand new file, you can right-click (on the desktop, for example) and choose New->AbsoluteTelnet connection file and start fresh.

Brian
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#1074
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 8 Months ago  
Paul,

Any word on additional debug info?

Brian
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#1075
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 8 Months ago  
Wouldn't you know, the only time I have had a hang I was in a big hurry and forgot to start DebugView? So I don't have any new information yet.
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#1076
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 8 Months ago  
No problem. Let me know when you get something concrete. I have some pretty strong suspicions again, but I've been known to be wrong. ;-)

That debug from that last version will tell the tale.

Brian
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#1077
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 8 Months ago  
I finaly had a partial hang with A.T. in my usual configuration. I say "partial" in this sense: I clicked on the .tnt shortcut on the Win98 desktop. Whir goes the disk and then stops. I wait patiently, and eventually A.T. finishes initializing and contacts the host for the shell login. So eventually it did finish starting on its own. Here is the DebugView Log:

[\I8P9D0]
00000000 0.00000000 [Absolute] Entering WinMain()
00000001 0.01786640 [Absolute] Determine Max Session
00000002 0.03563600 [Absolute] Entering InitApplication
00000003 0.03761200 [Absolute] Registring Application class
00000004 0.03797600 [Absolute] Registering Screen class
00000005 0.03810800 [Absolute] Registering hidden class
00000006 0.03821920 [Absolute] Create notification thread
00000007 0.04471440 [Absolute] Return from InitApplication
00000008 0.04476080 [Absolute] Create mutex
00000009 0.04488000 [Absolute] Loading RichEDIT Library
00000010 0.31118240 [Absolute] Loading accelerators
00000011 0.31128320 [Absolute] Allocating memory for scrollback
00000012 0.35964960 [Absolute] Creating main window
00000013 0.37813680 [Absolute] In wm_create
00000014 0.37827920 [Absolute] Leaving wm_create
00000015 0.37836160 [Absolute] Window created
00000016 0.37845200 [Absolute] Initialize Ole Library
00000017 0.40031280 [Absolute] Initialize components
00000018 0.42304560 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000019 0.43939280 [Absolute] Getting ipcode
00000020 19.47543920 [Absolute] Done getting ipcode
00000021 19.47620560 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000022 19.47625120 [Absolute] Initialize statusbar
00000023 19.47848240 [Absolute] Initialize toolbar
00000024 19.52596880 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000025 19.52602160 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000026 19.60954320 [Absolute] Initialize scrollback
00000027 19.95854720 [Absolute] Initialize factory
00000028 19.97175280 [Absolute] Parsing command line arguments
00000029 20.99342880 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000030 20.99347360 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000031 20.99352080 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000032 20.99356080 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000033 21.36297680 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000034 21.36302480 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000035 21.40450880 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000036 21.40456320 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000037 21.49661040 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000038 21.49666000 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000039 21.50543680 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000040 21.50548480 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000041 21.50775760 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000042 21.50780560 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000043 21.54312960 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000044 21.54318080 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000045 21.55890240 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000046 21.55895200 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000047 21.59309760 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000048 21.59314800 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000049 21.63111920 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000050 21.63117280 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000051 21.68825840 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000052 21.68831040 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000053 21.71365760 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000054 21.71370800 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000055 21.78810720 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000056 21.78816240 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000057 21.82690640 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000058 21.82695600 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000059 23.65860960 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000060 23.65866240 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000061 37.69799360 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000062 37.69804960 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000063 37.70208240 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000064 37.70212880 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000065 37.81778560 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000066 37.81783760 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000067 37.82282640 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000068 37.82287360 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000069 37.93850000 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000070 37.93855120 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000071 37.94307920 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000072 37.94312880 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000073 38.04920480 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000074 38.04925280 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000075 38.05166560 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000076 38.05171040 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000077 38.12706880 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000078 38.12711920 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000079 38.13172400 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000080 38.13177200 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000081 41.14713760 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000082 41.14718960 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000083 41.15280240 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000084 41.15285200 [Absolute] Done Checking
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#1078
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 8 Months ago  
Bingo!! That's it!

At startup time, Absolute tries to get it's own IP address, to use later. It seems that in your case, this is causing the app to hang and delay startup. I've never seen this happen, but I can't argue with the evidence. After some careful review, I've removed the offending portion of code. It appears that it was a part of some older sections of code that are mostly unused these days.

I've released version 3.84, which should cure your problem. You can download it and try it here:

http://www.celestialsoftware.net/telnet/AbsoluteTelnet3.84.exe

Try it for a few days and let me know how it goes.

Thanks!

Brian
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#1079
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 8 Months ago  
OK, I've downloaded v3.84, but it will probably be Wednesday (23rd) before I can get to it. (Tuesdays tend to be busy.) As I have mentioned all along, the A.T. hangs seem to come along more or less randomly. At least, I've never been able to see a pattern to them. Considering that many days I use A.T. only once, it may be several days before we have any idea on anything.

You didn't say whether to run DebugView with v3.84, so I will try it to see whether anything shows up. I have had two interesting experiences, if you want to call them that, with DebugView itself. Twice the product has not started. (I start it from the Run command line to log to a RAMdisk.) When I ended the task through the Task Manager and tried to start it again, Win98 has crashed and burned hard. Whether the failure of DebugView to start has any relationship to A.T. I have no idea.
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#1080
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 8 Months ago  
it may be several days before we have any idea on anything No problem. I suspect that the problem will be gone. However, it will be difficult to tell for sure until you run for several days/weeks since it is not directly reproducable.

Run AbsoluteTelnet and DebugView as you have in the past in order to capture the location of any hang, should one occur.

When I ended the task through the Task Manager and tried to start it again, Win98 has crashed and burned hard. Whether the failure of DebugView to start has any relationship to A.T. I have no idea. I'd rather not speculate on any relationship. DebugView, apparently, has to hook deep into the OS in order to capture the debug messages from other applications. It wouldn't surprise me if the system flaked out every now and then. It's just a tool and does its job well. When we're done with it, uninstall it and discard.

Thanks for the help!

Brian
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#1081
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 8 Months ago  
So far no hangs with the test version I have been running. However, considering that the hangs have occurred more or less at random, I will keep going with it for a while.
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#1082
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 8 Months ago  
I just had a behavior with v3.84 that is a little different from what I have had. I had my dial-up PPP connection running, started DebugView, and then started A.T. via the desktop .tnt shortcut that I always use. A.T. started right away, in the sense that the window opened. However, there was no contact with the host for quite some time. At least, I didn't notice any byte transfer with the little MS Dial-Up Networking icons in the Windows system tray. I pressed <Enter> once (maybe twice, I don't recall for sure) to see if the host needed tickling. No sign of any data transfer. So I just waited and waited to see if anything would happen. Eventually there was data transfer with the host and a normal logon proceded. Here is the log (a bit long). I do appreciate the level of support you are giving to you users.

[\I8P9D0]
00000000 0.00000000 [Absolute] Entering WinMain()
00000001 0.00894880 [Absolute] Determine Max Session
00000002 0.02718000 [Absolute] Entering InitApplication
00000003 0.02977840 [Absolute] Registring Application class
00000004 0.03013200 [Absolute] Registering Screen class
00000005 0.03026640 [Absolute] Registering hidden class
00000006 0.03038080 [Absolute] Create notification thread
00000007 0.04261360 [Absolute] Return from InitApplication
00000008 0.04266000 [Absolute] Create mutex
00000009 0.04277040 [Absolute] Loading RichEDIT Library
00000010 0.30554320 [Absolute] Loading accelerators
00000011 0.30564240 [Absolute] Allocating memory for scrollback
00000012 0.36715120 [Absolute] Creating main window
00000013 0.38161920 [Absolute] In wm_create
00000014 0.38174560 [Absolute] Leaving wm_create
00000015 0.38183040 [Absolute] Window created
00000016 0.38191760 [Absolute] Initialize Ole Library
00000017 0.41196960 [Absolute] Initialize components
00000018 0.44095840 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000019 0.46660240 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000020 0.46664720 [Absolute] Initialize statusbar
00000021 0.46855920 [Absolute] Initialize toolbar
00000022 0.52156240 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000023 0.52161360 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000024 0.63373040 [Absolute] Initialize scrollback
00000025 0.81974640 [Absolute] Initialize factory
00000026 0.82843360 [Absolute] Parsing command line arguments
00000027 1.81451520 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000028 1.81456000 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000029 1.81460160 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000030 1.81463520 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000031 2.06141440 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000032 2.06145920 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000033 2.07173840 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000034 2.07178240 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000035 2.07655120 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000036 2.07659760 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000037 2.09090240 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000038 2.09095040 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000039 2.10022960 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000040 2.10027600 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000041 2.14839920 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000042 2.14844560 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000043 2.15407040 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000044 2.15411600 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000045 2.15867680 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000046 2.15872560 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000047 2.16466000 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000048 2.16470880 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000049 2.17779120 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000050 2.17784080 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000051 2.18311680 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000052 2.18316080 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000053 2.19604000 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000054 2.19609040 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000055 2.20156960 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000056 2.20161440 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000057 45.30138240 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000058 45.30143200 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000059 65.85625040 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000060 65.85630160 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000061 65.86281920 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000062 65.86286240 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000063 65.97408000 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000064 65.97413120 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000065 65.97814320 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000066 65.97818880 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000067 66.06076320 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000068 66.06081120 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000069 66.06875600 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000070 66.06880240 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000071 66.15081280 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000072 66.15086240 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000073 66.15613120 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000074 66.15617840 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000075 67.84858400 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000076 67.84863360 [Absolute] Done Checking
00000077 67.85614800 [Absolute] Check to see if I'm registered
00000078 67.85619200 [Absolute] Done Checking
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#1083
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 8 Months ago  
P.S. I forgot to mention, if it makes any difference, that for a reason I have changed my emulation from vt100 to xterm, although A.T. was starting OK with the different emulation until this evening. (xterm has been giving me good results with colors from some applications on the NetBSD Unix host.)
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#1084
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 8 Months ago  
Paul,

I'll have to admit... There appears to be something fishy going on with the name resolution on your machine. I don't know if it's a Win98 thing or something with your ISP (or both), but the name resolution occasionally hangs, or at least takes an unusually long time. The only thing I changed in the last version was that I removed the name lookup used early in the program (before the main window is displayed) that allowed the program could find the IP address of the PC. It was no longer needed.

This allowed the program to start without any problems, but the program still needs to do a name lookup when connecting to the host. It now seems that this lookup is also taking some time, but it is done in the background with the application up.

One thing to try would be to immedialy start another instance (or two) of the app when the first one hangs. Also, drop to a command prompt and try to ping the hostname. I have a feeling that when Absolute is in this condition, ALL name resolution is hung. This would cause all instances of Absolute, ping, explorer, etc to seem to hang until the condition passes. Then, suddenly, they'll all start to work again.

It's difficult to troubleshoot because the problem is so transient, but I'd look to possible trouble with the dialup connection first. Do you have call waiting? Is it disabled during your dialup connections to your ISP?

Brian
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#1085
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 8 Months ago  
A couple of things. I do not have call waiting, so that would not enter into the picture. As for ISPs, I just changed ISPs a couple of weeks ago, and the problem existed before that, so a service provider problem seems unlikely. My telephone connection is not the best. It is dial-up, and I have never gotten blazing service, even two computers ago running DOS with yet a different ISP and a different modem. I suspect a shortcoming in the wiring or telco central office. Because I am fairly poor, someone gave me this computer I am now using. Originally it had Windows 95 on it. I formatted the hard disk and installed Windows 98 from an OEM CD-ROM and applied Service Pack 1 on top of that. Even so, I do not recall giving it the computer name that it has. Whether that is in the BIOS or elsewhere, I don't know, so something might have survived the HD format. I have applied MS so-called "critical updates" from their website from time to time.

I can try starting another instance of A.T. However, are you referring to try to start it from the .tnt shortcut I use from the desktop, or just starting it from the Start menu? Ping I can also try.

Even so, eventually I can get a connection, so at this point it may not be worth trying to pursue any further. If we choose not to continue, what is the latest stable, non-debugging version I should download and install? (I still have a copy of v3.78 handy.)

Thanks for the support so far.
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#1086
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 8 Months ago  
What I mean by starting another AbsoluteTelnet is that you start another instance or two with the same .tnt file. At the same time, you might also start one with a different hostname, to see if it follows the pattern. You could repeat this test with an app that may need to lookup a hostname (explorer, for example.)

My guess is that all of the instances will sit hung until the network problem passes. Then, all will connect at once.

I also suggested a 'ping' from the command line to the same hostname just as further proof that the issue is not specific to Absolute. An additional ping to the IP ADDRESS of the host may tell you whether the issue is just with name resolution or a deeper overall net traffic problem.

For example, if pinging the hostname does not work, but pinging the IP ADDRESS does work, then the problem is with the name resolution. If ping doesn't work with either the hostname or the IP ADDRESS, then you have a basic failure to communicate that could be related to your phone line or modem.

The reason I brought up call waiting is that it is a common cause of random errors in a dialup connection. Since you've changed providers and you're still having the problem, I'm still assuming the problem is somewhere on your end. Call waiting was just a stab. Possibly, somebody picking up another extension while you are dialed up could cause a similar issue. I'm trying to think 'outside the box' now.

If you are watching the dialup monitor and you see that you are not receiving any bytes during the period of the hang, even though you start additional apps and perform the ping tests, then this is a sure indicator of a dialup issue.

keep me posted
Brian
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#1087
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 7 Months ago  
The last time I had a hang I did a quick ping on the actual IP address (not name) of my ISP's front end, and I got an almost immediate response. So it does look like there is something fishy going on in my computer somewhere with name resolution rather than with Absolute Telnet itself. However, I am always able to get a session sooner or later, and the problem has always been intermittent, so I am willing to consider this issue closed. Brian, I appreciate your support for what I consider to be a fine product, and one worth my money for what I use it for. Please let me know of the latest stable version without all the debugging code. (I still have the installer for 3.78 available.) Thanks again.
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#1088
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 7 Months ago  
I'd recommend sticking with 3.80:

http://www.celestialsoftware.net/telnet/AbsoluteTelnet3.80.exe

It still has some of that debug code in it, but it's not going to affect you at all. You won't even notice unless you have the debug monitor running.

I really appreciate your help in identifying these problems. I know we never did identify the specific issue with your name lookup problems, but at least it isn't affecting Absolute as severly as it had been.

Good luck and let me know if you come to any concrete resolution!

Brian
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#1089
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 6 Months ago  
Hi!

I hope things are going well.

Let me know if you need anything else!

Brian
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Brian Pence
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#1090
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 6 Months ago  
Everything sems to be going well with A.T. 3.80. I still get the very occasional hang, but not often. I am wondering whether it is something in my machine, bacause I occasionally get an analogous problem with the Mozilla (1.7.2) web browser. From time to time I enter a URL, and it just sits there with "Resolving" in the status bar. Eventually it contacts the remote host and things proceed. I don't know whether Mozilla does any sort of name resolution as does A.T. The problem can arise at the beginning of a Mozilla session or at any time whenever I put a new URL in the box. In any case, as far as I am concerned we can consider this thread closed.
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#1091
Re: Win98: Sometimes A.T. Will Not Start 15 Years, 6 Months ago  
I'm sure Mozilla does exactly the same type of name resolution that A.T. does. Any TCP/IP application has to be able to take a host name and lookup an IP address. These lookups are done across the network to a server that contains tables of names and addresses (like a phone book). If there is a problem with lookups in your system, it should affect all TCP/IP applications equally, unless you use IP addresses directly instead.

Anyway, thanks for your help! I hope you discover your issue.

Brian
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