Questions tagged [terminal]

For questions related to terminals such as WYSE, VT100 and Teletype.

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25
votes
3answers
3k views

How and what did it mean to connect to ARPANET from home?

In the iWoz biography, I read: Now, TV terminals I already knew a little about. […] I'd already built a terminal that could access the ARPANET, the government-owned network of computers that was the ...
4
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0answers
156 views

What keyboard protocol do IBM 3151 Terminals speak over RJ45

I've recently acquired an IBM 3151 Terminal without keyboard and I'm not willing to spend any money on an original keyboard. This is why I've tried searching Google for any datasheets of the IBM RJ45 ...
9
votes
1answer
542 views

Can anyone help identify this old terminal and printer found in an abandoned nuclear power plant?

I was watching a video on Youtube of some guys exploring an abandoned nuclear power plant(I believe to be in the US or Canada) that was decommissioned around 1991, and noticed this equipment at one ...
3
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2answers
165 views

Did communication between a PLATO terminal and mainframe use pushes?

I'm trying to learn more about how the PLATO system worked with respect to communications. I've read some of the specs, but coming from a web-background I'm unfamiliar with the underlying way that the ...
6
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2answers
292 views

Behavior of DECDHL on single lines

The escape sequences ESC # 3 and ESC # 4 (DECDHL) are meant to be used on pairs on adjacent lines to request double height lines. As an example: echo -e "\e#3DOUBLE HEIGHT LINE\n\e#4DOUBLE HEIGHT ...
9
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6answers
1k views

What did order processing on a teletype look like?

The earliest business data processing systems were based on batch processing of punchcards. Prepare cards off-line, feed a batch of them through the computer. (Why does one so often hear of payroll, ...
17
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1answer
1k views

How did SABRE work interactively without screens?

The SABRE airline reservation system went online in 1964, astonishing the world by being among other things the first large-scale interactive computing system. Once the IBM 3270 video terminals were ...
8
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2answers
213 views

Why was the VT05 resolution 72×20?

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VT05 the VT05 presented the user with an upper-case only ASCII character display of 20 rows by 72 columns. At first glance this seems a reasonably natural ...
14
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5answers
2k views

Advantage of RS-232 over 20mA current loop

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VT52 Like other early DEC terminals, the VT50 series were equipped with both an RS-232 port as well as a 20mA current loop, an older serial standard used ...
10
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1answer
724 views

PET as a terminal

While reading about the SuperPET I just recalled another PET modification. My uni had an 11/780 that I learned FORTRAN on. It used modified PETs as input terminals. This took the form of a modified ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Emulate a text-mode DOS program using a Unix terminal

Is it possible to run a text-mode DOS program in an emulator under a Unix-like operating system (Linux/*BSD/macOS) such that DOS text-mode input and output is done on a Unix terminal instead of a ...
6
votes
4answers
546 views

What monitor could render APL2 characters in 1985?

BACKGROUND: In 1985, I took an evening class in APL at the local IBM as part of a high school Explorer Post (which was really cool, these guys giving up their time to teach us programming). Other ...
2
votes
1answer
496 views

What 1970's terminal was black on white and had an orange keyboard?

In high school, I programmed on a terminal that was retro THEN, and I need help remembering make and model. White screen, black text (seemed very unusual to me), no lowercase, 24x80, and I have this ...
12
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1answer
447 views

Why did IBM develop 5250 block mode terminals when 3270 already existed?

IBM introduced the 3270 family of block mode terminals in 1971, for use with IBM mainframes (System/370 and successors). Then, in 1977, IBM introduced the 5250 family of block mode terminals for use ...
2
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3answers
287 views

How did control characters work in real teletypes?

Emulated terminals can accept control characters, being able to move the position of cursor, to delete a char or a word or even to clear all screen, change foreground and background colors, etc. ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

Overstriking for APL on 3270s?

This question addressed the question of APL overstrikes on printing terminals. However, IBM also had 3270 video display terminals that supported APL, as well, and those, too, handled overstriking. How?...
35
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2answers
3k views

What mid-1970s to mid-1980s home computers had their graphics characters added to Unicode 13?

The Unicode 13.0.0 release notes mention among the symbol additions: 214 graphic characters that provide compatibility with various home computers from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s and with early ...
5
votes
1answer
333 views

What did the Datapoint 3300 character font look like?

We know from the Datapoint 3300 Maintenance manual the characters were formed on a 5x7 grid, and on page 2-55 we have an "A". But is it known what the rest of the characters looked like? According ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

What do the DIP switches in a Perkin-Elmer 550 terminal do?

I have here a Perkin-Elmer “Bantam” 550 serial terminal. This terminal has a flap above the keyboard below which you can find a Baud rate selection slider, a switch for “transparent mode” (whatever ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the history of the Intel 8275 video controller?

The highly popular at the time build-it-yourself home computer Radio 86RK, designed in the Soviet Union, contained a rather mysterious video controller chip KR580VG75. It had a high end, feature rich ...
14
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6answers
3k views

Using only one terminal, can I interrupt a process that's hung on very early Unix versions?

Within modern shells, I am able to leave a process via one of two control sequences: Usually Ctrl+C will directly send SIGINT to the majority of shell commands (e.g. ping, echo, cat) A few processes ...
0
votes
2answers
263 views

Role of Termcap under contemporary unices

A word of caution regarding this question: I'm more a userland than kernel person but have this nagging concern which I think belongs to kernel. When configuring a system one decides on peripherals ...
5
votes
1answer
166 views

Using MAI DT4315A as a terminal for RaspberryPI or other linux system

I have an old MAI DT4315A that my company was going to throw out. I'd love to get it setup as a terminal for a linux based system or raspberry pi, just for fun. However, I've never completed anything ...
6
votes
1answer
303 views

Does the TELCOM program on the Tandy Model 100 support any Unix terminal–like control codes?

I've been connecting my Tandy Model 100 to a serial port on a Linux box via the TELCOM program with some success. The main downside is that in whatever the default terminfo/$TERM setting it gets, a ...
83
votes
6answers
20k views

Exactly what color was the text on monochrome terminals with green-on-black and amber-on-black screens?

I am wondering what were the color shades and brightness of the text appearing on classic monochrome terminals? If I were to recreate approximately the green-text-on-black-screen or amber-text-on-...
1
vote
2answers
298 views

ASCII ASA X3.4-1963 and Finite State Machines?

I'm reviewing the historical original ASCII standard. There are many control characters. Does anyone know the history of them and where finite state machines that made use of them may be documented? ...
12
votes
1answer
694 views

Can I use the DEC VT220 composite output to connect it to a TV?

I have a DEC VT220 from 1986, it has a composite output. Works great in all its max-19200Kbps monochrome glory. The composite output plug is a BNC, and it looks like BNC-to-RCA composite jack ...
6
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0answers
119 views

Restoring a self-inking printer cartridge

I've seen people ask about restoring printer or typewriter ribbons, but my situation's a little different. I have a self-inking ribbon for a DECwriter Correspondent. It's easy to open up the casing, ...
7
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2answers
597 views

How to setup a teletype to a unix shell

So, recently I've been researching old tech because I want to write some fiction about some typewriter that can access the command line(yep) that shows up in many youtube videos like This one. I want ...
6
votes
4answers
356 views

How did console flexowriters connect to their computers?

Several early computers (e.g., KDF9, LGP30) used Friden Flexowriters for console functions. What was the nature of the connection between the Flexowriter and the computer? Was this something we ...
51
votes
2answers
7k views

How was the blinking terminal cursor invented?

I was just staring at my blinking terminal cursor: And was wondering where it comes from. Does anybody have some piece of history about the blinking cursor? I couldn't find much online. E.g.: when/...
8
votes
3answers
631 views

Different escape codes for the same keyboard keys -- where did they come from?

While debugging uart on some microcontroller board, I've made a simple firmware that simply responds on every byte received dumping that byte in HEX like "0x**". Then, using different terminal ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What was the largest resolution supported by terminal escape codes?

Terminal escape codes can be used for various functions such as positioning the cursor or querying the size of the screen. What was the largest resolution (in columns and rows of characters) ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

What happens when a terminal (like a VT100) is connected to a computer?

I'm wondering what's the sequence of actions when a terminal (like a VT100) is plugged into a serial port of a computer? Especially, how the connection of this terminal is detected, and how the ...
25
votes
8answers
4k views

Did terminals (e.g. VT100) require a terminal driver on the host computer?

I'm wondering if terminals (like, e.g. the VT100) required the installation of a driver on the host system in order to work with that host? I looked at the documentation of the VT102, and there is ...
6
votes
4answers
880 views

Can escape sequences be entered directly from keyboard to terminal for VT100 and similar?

TL;DR: In video terminals, like the VT100, can control characters and escape sequences only be sent by an application from the host computer to the terminal? Or can they also be sent directly by the ...
4
votes
5answers
625 views

How much did a serial terminal cost?

For many years in the mid-to-late twentieth century, user-facing computing consisted primarily of serial terminals attached to mainframe and minicomputers. In the eighties and even as late as the ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

What was the most popular CP/M terminal type?

I'm porting CP/M to a new/old machine (the Amstrad NC200 laptop). Running programs on it is no problem, but running interesting programs (i.e. WordStar, Turbo Pascal and Ladder) involves implementing ...
3
votes
1answer
442 views

How did overstriking on printer terminals work?

The technique of creating special characters by overstriking i.e. superimposing two characters on top of each other was common on typewriters. This was carried over to printer terminals and was used ...
3
votes
2answers
382 views

Basic test for a RS232 serial terminal

I have a serial terminal that is not working. It's a VT525 using an external monitor (of course) and PS/2 PC keyboard. The self-test passes fine; setup works fine. I can echo characters when local ...
3
votes
3answers
719 views

What trial-and-error method to use for determining serial terminal settings (RAC2-8-EK)

I have an old device that I am sure works on either 1200,2400,4800 or 9600 bauds (actual setting is controlled by physical switches that I don't have access to) What's the most efficient method (...
32
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4answers
10k views

History of Ctrl-S and Ctrl-Q for flow control

Which OS was the first to use Ctrl-S and Ctrl-Q on the console for pause and continue? I first discovered Ctrl-S in IBM PC DOS 1.1.
6
votes
2answers
614 views

What system pioneered displaying masking characters for password entry and why?

On the mainframe OSes I was familiar with, and on UNIX to that day, when there is a prompt for a password in "text mode" (a command line session), the echo is suppressed, and there is no visual ...
6
votes
4answers
781 views

Connect IBM 3481 terminal to RS232?

I recently acquired an IBM 3481 terminal. It has a parallel port, a DB-15 port (I believe for a twinax-T connector), an 8P8C keyboard connector, and a PS/2 connector. Since I don't have a vintage IBM ...
7
votes
5answers
750 views

When did smart terminals arrive?

In the days of mainframes and minicomputers, a common user interface was a serial terminal where each keystroke was sent to the computer, which could respond with an update to the contents of the ...
3
votes
3answers
273 views

The baud rate of which serial card does the "stty" command returns in UNIX V7?

I am using a PDP-11 emulator with UNIX V7 installed on it. The stty command returns the baud rate: To which serial card does this returned baud rate belongs to, is it the terminal serial card, or ...
5
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2answers
317 views

Could we change the baud rate for the two serial ports on a terminal and on a computer?

Say we have a terminal (for example: VT100) that is connected to a computer (for example: PDP-11), and UNIX V7 is installed on the computer. The terminal will have a serial port that is connected ...
2
votes
2answers
399 views

Programming on Macintosh Centris 610

I just bought a Macintosh Centris 610 and I'm trying to do some C programming on it. But I can't find the terminal and someone told me there isn't a terminal on classic MacOS. My goal is to have a ...
4
votes
1answer
318 views

Cyrillic Ж on IBM 1620?

Wikipedia says that The IBM 1620 Model I used the Cyrillic character Ж (pronounced zh) on the typewriter as a general purpose invalid character with correct parity. The Model II used a new character ❚...
11
votes
1answer
631 views

What does bold reverse video look like on a VT100/VT102?

My understanding is that bold text on a VT100/VT102 is more intense than ordinary text; I might say that normal text is 80% grey and bold text is 100% grey=pure white, for the sake of illustration. ...