re: "What could a "home user" do on the ARPANET in the months/years leading up to the founding of the Homebrew Computer Club in March 1975?"
Kids in the mid 70s whose parents had terminals and modems at home could try to find access phone numbers (via word of mouth) that didn't require a password, and once connected, telnet around looking ...
Simply, he built a serial terminal which reads ASCII text from an RS-232 connection and displays it on the screen. Then when you type something on the keyboard, it sends that back over the RS-232 connection, character for character. There's no TCP/IP packets involved, just straight ASCII.
Then, he connected that to a serial port on a computer connected to ...
You dial in with a terminal to a TIP (Terminal Interface Processor), which then offers a simple command interface to connect you to some host machine.
Living Internet web site
Functionally, this is no different from late 20th-century terminal servers. The terminal connects to a device (a small dedicated computer, network attached) which implements (...
As far as I’m aware, it isn’t.
I don’t remember any Linux software capable of connecting to LapLink; the latter was commonly mentioned because the cable provided with it could be used with a variety of tools. DOS-to-Linux connections with null-modem cables usually involved PLIP, SLIP or PPPD rather than LapLink-style tools.