Win95: Reading Serial port with Delphi

I need to read a stream of ASCII data that is being fed to the serial
port.  This is Time Code from a professional video deck. The chunk I
want to read is 11 bytes long.

I want to press a button and see/save what the time code is at that

My question is two fold. The first has to do with the ASCII itself.
The info word is 11bytes long for any one peice of time code
information. Is ASCII serial data a  streaming of single characters
that I read into an array?  Do they get read into a string? Integer

If its a stream of characters do I have to take in a large chunk and
then look for the first complete set withing the carriage returns or
whatever the seperator is? I guess what I am asking is when you hit
'save' what happens if its in the middle of a time code peice, or is
there a middle, or are there only xxx number of bytes sitting in a
buffer somwhere you read, that only changes when the next xxx number
of bytes are in.

Am I making this way more complex than it is?

I am currently trying to do this with C++ under Win95 but its not
working so I am looking for other solutions including Delphi and
Visual Basic.  How would you do this in Delphi or VB?

 I am using CreateFile and ReadFile, but nothing seems to happen.
(currently testing with a touch screen instead of vid deck)

I have tried a zillion different versions of the C++ code below.


???????  ??Buffer;

BOOL bTest;


bTest ReadFile(hSerl, ??Buffer, ??, NULL, NULL);

        //Display ??Buffer


// ReadFile always returns false. I have tried numerous versions of
// ??Buffer and the ?? size of bytes read.

I can find no reference in the documentation, at least none I
understand, or in books to know if "COM2"is the right thing to put in
the CreateFile function.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.