Questions tagged [terminal]

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

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7
votes
1answer
384 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
votes
0answers
101 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
460 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
188 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 ...
48
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/...
7
votes
3answers
334 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 ...
10
votes
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) ...
9
votes
6answers
638 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 ...
24
votes
8answers
3k 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
408 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
436 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
854 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
366 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
257 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
199 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 (...
26
votes
4answers
7k 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
528 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
376 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
554 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
222 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
270 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
323 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
280 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
440 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. ...
43
votes
5answers
6k views

What protocol do Teletypes use?

(By "Teletype" I mean all teletypewriters compatible with the protocol used by the Teletype.) The Teletype was the dumbest of all dumb terminals, which meant that it was cheap. This means that it was ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is the serial port driver named “/dev/ttyS#”?

Based on my understanding, a tty means a computer terminal/teletype, and that /dev/ttyS1 is the driver for serial port 1/COM1 (or more accurately, a driver for UART chip 1 I suppose). But I don't ...
7
votes
3answers
790 views

How were terminals connected to a PDP-11 computer?

This is how I think terminals were connected to a PDP-11 computer: A PDP-11 computer had only one port that you can connect the console terminal (/dev/console) to, and if you want to connect more ...
20
votes
1answer
750 views

What is the difference between the “Return” an “Enter” key in the VT100 terminal?

What is the difference between the "Return" an "Enter" keys in the VT100 terminal:
21
votes
3answers
3k views

When you type on a computer terminal, how are the characters displayed on the screen?

Assume that the following computer terminal is connected to a large computer: When I type something on the keyboard (for example: pwd), is it the computer terminal the one that receives the ...
6
votes
2answers
561 views

Does ancient UNIX create a new shell process for each terminal?

In Linux, each terminal is associated with a new shell process. For example, here I have two xterm terminals, and each xterm terminal has an associated shell process: I am wondering if in the old ...
13
votes
1answer
512 views

What is the prototype of the Eastern Bloc videoterminal Videoton 340?

Several decades ago, the Hungarian company "Videoton" manufactured a videoterminal for which I couldn't find a Western prototype. It likely existed, as the device had been assigned a "ES" number, ...
13
votes
2answers
465 views

Interfacing with vintage Canon monitor

I bought a vintage Canon monitor off a friend which I'd like to interface with and use as a cool retro monitor. The problem is that I can't find anything useful about this monitor after days of ...
14
votes
1answer
209 views

What happens on a VT102 when you use delete character on a reverse video line?

On a DEC VT102, suppose you have a line where all 80 characters (in particular, the rightmost character) are in reverse video. You then move the cursor to the start of that line and use DCH (ESC [ P) ...
9
votes
2answers
248 views

Information about Sabre-ADS Model 757 terminal

Someone on reddit acquired a Sabre-ADS terminal, Model 757. They were used for airline reservation and probably connected to an IBM mainframe. Is there anything known about the pinout and workings of ...