FastEcho FAQ

Support and discussion of the FastEcho FTN mail tosser written by Tobias Burchhardt.

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FastEcho FAQ

Postby wkitty42 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:30 pm

I'm posting the following FastEcho FAQ. it is the latest one that I can find anywhere. I've made a few minor edits and corrections to get it to format properly for this medium.


Official FastEcho FAQ Rijswijk, 01-03-1996
by Raymond Dijkxhoorn The Netherlands

This file will be updated and send out at the first of each month.
Updates and suggestions can be send out via fidonet (2:281/534) or
via internet : or

Q] When i run FE i get sometimes the message :

"Error opening C:\FE\FTSCPROD.FE: No such file or directory"

Where is that file, and what do i need it for anyway ?
I can't find it on my entire HD.

A: show
The FTSCPROD.FE file is needed for internal use of FE. It tells
information about other mail programs. It should be in your FastEcho
directory, so if you miss it, find yourself a complete archive. Or
dive into your backup archives ...

BUT ... When installing the new FastEcho 1.45 there were some files
missing in the installation package. They are available at every
supportsite, and named FE145MF.ARJ. The new bugfixed version will
include all of this as the standard set of files! So if you are not
upgrading from any older version that could also be the reason you
see this error... They should be available in the 1.45a archives!


Q] When using feutil to link my jam areas, I keep getting a "not enough
memory" error when it tries to link my genealogy echobase containing
about 13,000 messages. It links the rest fine. I have 560K of memory
free before linking.

A: show
Yeah, nothing to do against this, it needs about 36 bytes or so per
message for linking, take out your calculator and see how much that
makes together with FEUtils program size plus memory needed for the
config etc.

Except when using FEUTIL/16 or /2 ... those ones can handle much
larger bases as the DOS versions.


Q] I just setup FastEcho and am now trying to get it working, but
all i see is "can't export without active downlink" but i did
add nodes to those area's.

A: show
Check the security level of that downlink and that particular area.
Convince yourself that the downlinks you connected also have a sec.
level which is high enough to be exported to.


Q] I'm tossing all my inbound netmail into RemoteAccess HMB area 1. my
question is, can I exclude myself (Sysop or my name) from netmail
tossing so I can read my netmail from D'Bridge since its faster for
me and I can choose to send it direct or routed through my HUB?

A: show
No problem, FastEcho can handle that just fine. Just go in FEsetup and
check the following :

System -> FEutil parameters -> Exclude users -> Y

And now simply add the names you want to exclude in System -> Usernames


Q] When i run FastEcho under DV, i have not enough memmory to toss all
the mailbundles, it exits with "out of memmory" ...!

A: show
You can try the following thing :

First de-crease the dupebase, it frees the amount of memmory used, but
only make him smaller if really needed.

You can also try to set the maximum amount of KB's in FEsetup, which FE
should toss. In that case FE will run several times, tossed a bit, packs
the mail and goes on. Works great on my system. But also speeds down the
tossing, because you need to pack several times.

Or Set 'Toss Buffers' to Small and/or decrease the Message buffer size...


Q] I see some people writing with beta versions. Where can i get those
versions. I now run 1.41g.

A: show
The beta versions of FastEcho are restricted for use in the betateam
ONLY. 1.45a is the latest public release version which is available for
both registered and unregistered users. So you could upgrade to the
latest version: Fastecho 1.45a.


Q] FastEcho tries to put the file FEAA.AAA in my mail archives, but once
i looked into that file, i noticed it didn't contain any mail.

A: show
The file is a list file with the names of the mailpackets to be
included into your mail archive. It is used for packing all the packets
for one particular node in one simple run. Which would save you time with
packing of the mailarchive, which can be a lengthy process.

This error pops up when you use the wrong list character in FEsetup.
Look into the archiver setup, and make sure you put the following there:

For ARJ : "!"
For ZIP : "@"


Q] I have a pointkey, but i also have a node number, and want to forward
mail to other points.

A: show
As you could also read in the register forms, a point key can only be
used to have ONE link (your uplink) for forwarding mail. What you COULD
do is put your key on a disk, rename the one you have in your FE dir.
and evaluate the node version. If you like, you can always upgrade your
point to a node key. Contact your local registration site for that.


Q] Sometimes my messages are not being forwarded completely, why ???

A: show
Look into FEsetup what you defined as message buffer, default FE
handles 32Kb, but can be expanded to 64 Kb. Just enter the value
you want to be handled maximum, but be aware of the fact that if
you choose a small buffer, you could lose information.


Q] I've wrote messages on several echo-areas but 'Fastecho SCAN'
don't export all of them. I think all my setup is correct.

A: show
Try 'Fastecho SCAN -I -N'. Perhaps your editor is not writing correctly
the files that Fastecho uses to speed up the scanning: ECHOMAIL.BBS/.JAM
and NETMAIL.BBS/.JAM or maybe the highwater marks of the messagebases
are wrong.


Q] Why is Fastecho not making Carbon Copies?. I already configured it
on FESETUP > Data > Carbon Copies.

A: show
Did you forget to add the '-C' command line parameter when executing
Fastecho toss? (try 'Fastecho TOSS -C').
BTW Fastecho only makes Carbon Copies when tossing, so Fastecho will
not make copies of message written for you.

Furthermore Carbon Copies are only made from echomails, not netmails.


Q] Why does FastEcho TOSS or SCAN say 'error opening MSGINFO.BBS' even
though I only have JAM/Squish/*.MSG areas defined?

A: show
Even if you don't use it, you have to define a HMB path and keep the
files HMB files created by FESetup. This is necessary because of FE's
internal handling. These files are quite small and therefore shouldn't
bother you too much.


Q] I am a registered user of FastEcho, just made the switch to PCBoard
and I miss the FastEcho setup sooooomuch!... any plans for supporting
PCB in the "future"..

A: show
(Tobias:) Yes. Probably in the next release


Q] I may be changing my node numbers soon and I was wondering if I will
need to get new keys to run Fastecho as a result of the net/node
number changes since every time I run Fastecho on my two machines it
comes up saying that the program is registered to me at my present
node numbers ( 2 keys, 2 machines).

A: show
FE will keep running, without problems, the nodenumber which is being
displayed when starting up FastEcho or Feutil is only there for cosmetical reasons.


Q] Is there a way to get FastEcho to Export it's data to an AREAS.BBS
file from the command line?

A: show
You can use "fesetup -xa" for that. This will create an areas.bbs in
the current directory.


Q] What is the difference between FE capabilities with the -POINT- key
versus the -NODE- key registrations?

A: show
The version with -POINT- key can _only_ export mail to ONE downlink
but the -NODE- key can export mail to more than one link. And the
point key does not offer the AreaFix capability.


Q] Can a point key handle _netmail_ to other than the boss node?

A: show
Yes! ... a point key CAN forward netmail to other than the boss
node. Limitations are echomail only.


Q] I have experienced some troubles with the 1.45 and Gigo, when tossing
my uncompressed GIGO usenet news in fido format, after about half a
*.pkt, the program locks and I have to close the OS/2 box and retoss
from DOS. OS/2 refers to the error as a runtime software problem.

A: show
(Tobias:) This is a bug in FE 1.45 which is caused by the huge (too
huge, IMHO) REPLY kludges created by GiGo when KEEPTHREADS (or NIKE) is
turned on.

There are two options, ask your uplink to switch to the latest version
of GiGo which has afix for that problem, or, even better, upgrade to
FastEcho 1.45a which has a solve for this problem also!


Q] I tried to setup fastech2.exe but it seems FE can't work with
dos archievers. I tried comspec + /c

A: show
Wrong command line, you should use : "CMD.EXE /C <DOS archiver>".
That should do the job for you.


Q] Can you tell me when FastEcho is going to update BBS support
for Proboard 2.1x? Its config formats are changed since the
last version...

A: show
You already have a 2.1 compatible version (FastEcho 1.45>), just
set the BBS sw to ProBoard 2.02 in FESetup, it was the version
number of the pre-2.10 betas ...


Q] When i startup FastEcho it complains about something like: "Another
copy of FastEcho, FEUTIL or FESetup is currently active!"

A: show
The new FastEcho (1.45>) uses a busy semaphore, which will remain there
when something goes wrong. When you are sure it is the only one of FE
running, delete the busy file from the semahore directory, assigned in
FeSetup and it should run again.


Q] Fastecho is not packing netmail messages with flags like crash,
hold, immediate, etc... and my mailer will not send them. My mailer
is Binkley compatible.

A: show
Before Fastecho 1.45 FastEcho packed only netmails without priority
flags. You needed a Binkley netmail packer (like BNP for example) to
take care of your other netmail messages. But since 1.45 is releases
there is no need for that. From now on FE can handle this type of
netmail also. Just change your 'Fastcho Pack' command to 'Fastecho
pack -P'


Q] What is the practical single message size limit under fastecho?
16k, 32k, 64k? Does msg format make a difference? (ie. msg, jam
or hmb). Thanks for your help...

A: show
The maximum messagebuffer size for the DOS version is 64K and for
for the OS/2 version 512 Kb. These values can be defined in the
FeSetup. It doesn't make any difference what kind of base you are
using, for those limits.


Q] Can someone give me a list with OS/2 command lines for my packer
setup? I can't figure out a few of them ...

A: show
Well ... This is what came out of the reports in the beta area,
if you have suggestions, please write, but here's the list:

1 ARC arc2.exe a5w 13
2 ARJ arjz.exe a -md 34
3 LZH lh2.exe a /o 32
4 RAR rar.exe a -y -o- -std -ep -tk -m5 -s -ee -ds @ 35
5 ZIP zip.exe -9jkD@ < 34
6 ZOO zoo.exe a:+I < 20
7 SQZ cmd.exe /c d:\bin\sqz.exe a /p3 /qinf /z3 @ 34
8 UC2 cmd.exe /c d:\bin\uc.exe AFITST @ 40
9 RAR-T rar.exe a -y -o- -std -ep -tk -ee @ 35
10 UC2-T cmd.exe /c d:\bin\UC.Exe a -bf @ 40
11 ZOO-H zoo.exe ah:+I < 20

Unknown cmd.exe /c d:\bin\Gus.Exe /M
ARC Arc2.Exe xw 0
PKARC cmd.exe /c d:\bin\PkUnpak.Exe -xr 0
PAK cmd.exe /c d:\bin\Pak.Exe e /wa /st 0
ARC+Plus Xarc.exe 0
PKZip Unzip.exe -Csjn 5
LHarc Lh2.exe X /i /o 0
SQZ cmd.exe /c d:\bin\Sqz.Exe e /p3o1 0
RAR RAR.EXE e -y -std -o- -c- av- -ee 0
UC2 cmd.exe /c d:\bin\UC.Exe e -bf 0

Not all are fully tested, but no problems reported so far <g>


Q] We're looking for a tosser that, as an option, will kill unknown
areas instead of tossing them to the badecho directory. Does FE
support this option?

A: show
YES! You can set your BADMAIL area to 'Passthrough' for this ...
Just as easy as that. Just as you can do for all other area's.


End of the edition 13 of the FastEcho FAQ. Thanx for the whole beta team
which collected most of the information, and naturally Tobias for writing FE!

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