Two public betas of VCOM were released in September
1996, and several months went by with no further
progress. It was rumored that Ojas was in need
of the Win95 DDK kit, so he could create a proper
.VxD driver. Bugs in VCOMs design allowed it
to only support one com port, and it could not
allow a BBS to disconnect the online user, making
its use very limited. By March 1997, Ojas has
lost interest, and vanished soon afterwards.
In April 1997, A friend of Ojas's brother named
Dedrick Allen decided to continue NetFossil
on his own. Dedrick created both a FOSSIL driver
and a Virtual AT modem interpreter, (but not
a Virtual windows com port) for Win 3.1
and Win95 called
NetModem/16 , which was confusing since PC Micro
had developed Modem Server/Client
solution also named NetModem in 1996, which was
bundled with Microsoft Backoffice Server and Small Business
Dedrick's Netmodem/16 software only supported one
node, and suffered instability, which Dedrick blamed
on buggy third party libraries which he used to
By the end of 1997, Dedrick released a 32bit
version of his Netmodem for Windows 95. It did not
support NT, and was considerably less stable
then the 16-bit version. It included an impressive
GUI interface and installer, and showed a lot
of promise. Many sysops registered the multi-node
beta version, in hopes the stability issues
would be resolved.
Dedrick release Netmodem/32 10.beta4 in February
1998, which still encountering intermittent
crashing of Windows, resulting in either a reboot
or a blue screens of death. To make matters
worse, Dedrick vanished, and for the next 18
months there were no further updates.
In June of 1999, Dedrick reappeared with a
public alpha version of his Netmodem version 2.0
This version only supported a single node, and
was said to be a total rewrite without the aid
of third party libraries. By then many of the
Netmodem users had moved on to other solutions.
There was a rumor that Dedrick was later involved
in a serious car accident, and after being released
from the hospital he never regained intrest
in his projects. Dedrick later reported
that he actually had used a third party library
to create version 2.0 alpha, called Delphi Shortcut bar.
Dedrick had purchased the source code to this
library, but he later lost that source and the
company that had licensed it to him had vanished,
so Dedrick was unable to compile future updates.
David Yon had a better track record. Version 1.0
had proven to be stable, In 1999 David developed
version 2.0 of his virtual modem under another
name, which included its own FOSSIL support. This
worked well for BBS use, but was limited to
only allowing many door programs (which were
designed to work on COM1 through COM4 only) to
only run on up to 4 BBS nodes. In 2003 a new
licensing structure was used based on the number
of virtual COM ports required, which made it far
too expensive for the budget of most hobbyist BBS'es.
PC Micro's BBS was a beta site for David's
virtual modem software in 1999, and in January
2000 PC Micro became a VAR for the software, and
eventually took over as the primary reseller/support
In November 2001 PC Micro developed NetFoss,
which was released in December as freeware.
It was based on original code, with no third
party libraries other than the Win32 API. It
was developed using MASM32,
which allows it to be smaller and faster than
other FOSSIL drivers. Several NetFoss updates
have been released since then.
PC Micro also developed a Windows Virtual Modem
called NetSerial in October 2005, based on the
original NetModem Modem pooling Server/Client.
Since the NetModem Modem pooling service was no
longer licensed for use with later editions of
Microsoft Backoffice/SBS after 2000, PC Micro
released stand-alone versions which include