Questions tagged [terminal]

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

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Was there a system with customarily backspaced prompts?

Nowadays, a default prompt in a Unix shell might look like % _ or $ _ (with the underscore indicating the cursor location), or, on other systems, a more elaborate string, like C:\>_. On the besm-6, ...
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0 answers
67 views

Micro-Term ERGO 301 (C134) Terminal Keyboard compatibility

I dug up my old ERGO 301-C134 Terminal, but in the various house-moves, the keyboard has gone missing. I searched and searched the roof-cavity, but it has probably been lost. Click to embiggen ...
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5 votes
1 answer
264 views

How should I set CCGMS on my Commodore 64 to login to a Linux machine?

I have a Strikelink WiFi modem for the C64 (see here and here) and I can connect to a BBS without issues using CCGMS 2017 v4 and the following settings: Baud = 9600 Modem Type = UP9600 / EZ232 For ...
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1 vote
1 answer
115 views

How to send and receive messages between modern computer and Commodore 64 via WiFi? [closed]

I want to be able to connect from my Commodore 64 to a Linux Raspberry Pi. The ideal solution would be something like ssh that allows me to use the linux machine using the c64 as a terminal but the ...
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7 votes
0 answers
214 views

Small format X terminal with EL screen

I remember an ad for a small-format (about as wide as a 60% keyboard) dark-ish grey colored X terminal that had a 12" (?) yellow electroluminescent screen similar to the Grid laptops but higher ...
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8 votes
7 answers
2k views

What was the first OS with the type-ahead capability from a dumb terminal?

In a command-line environment of a contemporary Unix-like system, it is possible to "type ahead", that is, for example, to start a process which runs for a while and does not require any ...
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13 votes
5 answers
3k views

How did early video terminals convert ASCII into font graphics?

I'm building a Z80-based breadboard computer from scratch to learn more about simple processors, and I'm a bit stumped when it comes to the base concepts of building a text-based terminal. I've got an ...
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6 votes
3 answers
214 views

WY85 terminal with WY60/ASCII keyboard

Some time ago I've found a working Wyse WY85 terminal, and a keyboard that can (physically) connect to it, marked WY60/ASCII. I was now trying to make the terminal work, but noticed that none of the ...
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48 votes
6 answers
7k views

What is a Dumb Terminal?

There seems to be some confusion what a 'Dumb' terminal is as visible in answers and comments to this question about portable dumb terminals. So: What is a Dumb Terminal? Points that would help to ...
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17 votes
8 answers
3k views

Were there ever any dumb terminals in a portable form factor?

I’m curious if there was ever a case of a company making some sort of serial ASCII terminal, but in a portable factor, such as a laptop or even reasonable luggable. I’ve seen plenty of portable ...
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5 votes
1 answer
340 views

What were the characteristics of the Siemens 8160 and 9750 terminals?

An answer to a recent question https://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/a/22332/4274 referred to the Siemens 8160 and 9750 terminals, which struck me as interesting enough to ask about separately in ...
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25 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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4 votes
0 answers
197 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 ...
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9 votes
1 answer
568 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
182 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 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
316 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 ...
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9 votes
6 answers
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, ...
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17 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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8 votes
2 answers
264 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 ...
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14 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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10 votes
1 answer
769 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 ...
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16 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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6 votes
4 answers
570 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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
735 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 ...
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12 votes
1 answer
546 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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
331 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. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
115 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?...
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35 votes
2 answers
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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
346 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
186 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 ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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14 votes
6 answers
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 ...
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0 votes
2 answers
270 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
175 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 ...
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6 votes
1 answer
349 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 ...
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88 votes
6 answers
24k 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-...
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1 vote
2 answers
359 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? ...
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12 votes
1 answer
728 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 ...
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  • 1,039
6 votes
0 answers
123 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, ...
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7 votes
2 answers
627 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 ...
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6 votes
4 answers
372 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 ...
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51 votes
2 answers
8k 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/...
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8 votes
3 answers
746 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 ...
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12 votes
3 answers
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) ...
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10 votes
6 answers
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 ...
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26 votes
8 answers
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 ...
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  • 521
6 votes
4 answers
964 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 ...
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  • 521
4 votes
5 answers
700 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 ...
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12 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
476 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 ...
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