[nycbug-talk] terminals, telnet, blast from past

Jeff Quast af.dingo at gmail.com
Fri Aug 31 09:49:50 EDT 2007

Charles Sprickman,
> Well, I think I probably have a solution to the non-pine problems.  I used
> to take loving care of a shell server at the last ISP I worked at.  We had
> actual shell users that demanded all sorts of odd software and they
> actually used it.  There were all sorts of login scripts for each shell
> that did a really good job of "fixing up" weird telnet/ssh clients that
> had problems in their default configs or were just broken.  This stuff was
> originally started and maintained by some of the best unix admins I'd ever
> met.  They were the type of guys that would not hesitate to "whip
> something up in C" to make their jobs easier - they were admins and they
> were also quite decent coders.

Really miss those days. I wish everybody had an internet experience
like that. I met a blind guy on a mail server through talk once,
interrupted the sysadmin playing nethack, would finger @sysadmin's
machines and talk them, play nethack in split-screen ytalk sessions,
all kinds of neat interactive unixy stuff, trade files via /tmp, etc.
You can't get an internet experience like that anymore. It was a nice
transition coming from the BBS era, a bit more personal. Internet can
be kinda bum lonely sometimes if you grew up dialing local BBS's.

I've got this in a .kshrc

alias vt220='export TERM=vt220; tset -I -Q'
alias vt102='export TERM=vt102; tset -I -Q'
alias wsvt25='export TERM=wsvt25; tset -I -Q'
alias pcvt25='export TERM=pcvt25; tset -I -Q'
alias xterm256='export TERM=xterm-256color; tset -I -Q'
alias emacsmode='set +o vi; set -o emacs'
alias vimode='set +o emacs; set -o vi'

I have a bookshelf on termcap/termlib/curses programming. Terminals
always interested me. I've been working on a modern BBS system in
python, and I tried hard to support and understand the windows telnet
client capabilities, and recently have given it up. It's a pathetic
excuse of for a telnet client. I've accepted I'll just have to ask my
userbase to download putty if they want reliable cursor control and
color. Which isn't a lot to ask. You can create a session for your
users configured the way it needs to be, and export a .reg key from
regedit of that session. I've been making .reg files to help idiots
setup tunnels, etc.

You'd be amazed how many people are familiar with putty, I'm beginning
to see it in the corporate world used by complete morons without much

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