by Mark H. Anbinder, TidBITS Contributing Editor
Patience is a virtue, right? Well, Pacer Software Inc. has just rewarded its loyal PacerTerm customers for being so virtuous, by sending out a two-diskette update for this high-end Communications Toolbox (CTB)-compatible communications package. The update includes Pacer's long-awaited ZMODEM file transfer tool, which was promised to purchasers last summer.
In addition to the ZMODEM tool, the update package includes PacerTerm 1.0.2, the MacTCP 1.1 update, the Hayes Modem Tool for use with the CTB, and an assortment of updated Pacer CTB tools. The Hayes Modem Tool is a nice addition; this tool is intended to replace the Apple Modem Tool, which is widely held to be the weakest link in the CTB chain.
Of course, the weakness of the Apple Modem Tool simply reflects the fact that Apple's intention was for third-party developers to provide the REAL functionality for the Communications Toolbox, and Pacer and Hayes have clearly answered the call. The Hayes tool offers numerous improvements over the Apple tool that it replaces (among other things, it's vastly more configurable), and Pacer's ZMODEM tool is, as far as I know, the first one available for the CTB.
With the number of users clamoring for a ZMODEM file transfer tool for use with Communications Toolbox applications, we suggest that Pacer offer their ZMODEM tool for sale as a stand-alone product. [Adam: I suggested to this to Pacer at Macworld, and they said that although they would like to do just that, they just can't afford the costs of bringing out a commercial package that they couldn't sell for much money.] A reminder, though... Pacer's ZMODEM tool is not freeware, and should not be distributed or copied. At first glance it looks like one of Apple's free tools, but it's not one of them. PacerTerm is $249 retail, which is bit steep just to get a ZMODEM tool, but it's an excellent package overall.
[Adam: Also note that Seaquest Software will supposedly ship in April an extension to the Communications Toolbox to support ZMODEM transfers. It will be bundled with Seaquest's XMODEM and YMODEM tools for $69.]
Pacer Software -- 619/454-0565
Seaquest Software -- 503/531-0252