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tough stdin question

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I'm having a tough time with my chat socket program, which works perfectly except for hanging on fgets(stdin).  Is there anyone who can fix the following example (which attempts to bypass fgets())?  I've had no luck with (!feof(stdin)) or even ftell-if($tell<ftell(stdin)) { echo "you entered input"; $tell=ftell(stdin); }
It seems like there's nothing in stdin until fgets() (when it hangs waiting for user input).  php 4.3.11 under slack 10.0.  Thanks!

        $stdin=fopen('php://stdin', 'r');                     
        while (true) {                                       
                echo $counter."\n";                               
                sleep (2);                                   
                if (fgets($stdin)) { echo "received input"; }                                             

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Sorry I didn't hear anything, a little disappointed, but I've found the answer, there is a stream_select function, so the solution is something like

$is_there_input=stream_select($read=array(STDIN), $write=NULL,$except=NULL, 0);
if ($is_there_input>0) { $msg=fgets(STDIN);
                                  echo $msg;

hope this helps someone!

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