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MeeGo, Zero To VT320 In Seventeen Seconds

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the old-time-clickety-clack dept.

Digital 150

muirhead writes "Installing MeeGo on an Eee PC 1000 netbook is quick, slick, and easy. The user interface is colorful and stylish with many quirky animations. MeeGo's features are easy to discover and it is fast and responsive. Underneath it all though there is still just a netbook. That means it's got a display screen that has no significant weight behind it. That means typing on an undersized keyboard that has no life. All of these undesirable features can, however, be fixed by adding 9kg (~20lbs) of VT320 video terminal."

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first post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32821312)

first post!

Digital (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821318)

At least they've used the 'Digital' icon right for once. For added value, he needs to install something like simh on the netbook and run a PDP emulator.

news? (4, Informative)

hjf (703092) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821330)

so this guy hooked up a terminal to a netbook. mad skillz.

move along people, nothing to see here.

Re:news? (5, Insightful)

blackpaw (240313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821392)

Not to mention he mistook a DB25 connector for a parallel port.

Re:news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32821578)

Sadly, many parallel ports from the 'good old days' were implemented with a db25 connection.

Re:news? (4, Insightful)

BenFranske (646563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821680)

Why is this sad? What's wrong with implementing RS-232 on a 25 pin D-sub connector? In fact for real RS-232 support you need more than 9 pins and the 25 pin connector is really better suited. The fact that 9 pin connectors became the norm for RS-232 on PCs is the part that's more interesting.

Re:news? (-1, Troll)

node 3 (115640) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821932)

If your goal was to show him what sad really is, why, job well done!

Re:news? (4, Informative)

quenda (644621) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822114)

Actually, DB25 was standard for serial. the DB9 serial was an IBM oddity, as was the DB25 instead of Centronics for parallel. I guess it saved them a few bucks.
However you just had to remember gender, Male DB25 was standard serial, and female was their non-standard parallel connector. Easy :-)

  The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from. - Andrew S. Tanenbaum

Re:news? (2, Informative)

andyn (689342) | more than 4 years ago | (#32823038)

DB9

ITYM DE9.

Re:news? (3, Informative)

BenFranske (646563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821664)

Mod parent up, it's unfortunate that even reasonably skilled (compared to the general populous) computer users don't know that the type of communication is independent of the physical connector.

Club Seventeen (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32821398)

You can begin by sucking it

Re:news? (2)

blackpaw (240313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821404)

And really, that the netbook is running meego is irrelevant, this can be done with any linux distro.

I'd just like to interject. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32821558)

What you're referring to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/Linux, or as I've recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux. Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX.

Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called "Linux", and many of its users are not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project.

There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the system they use. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine's resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called "Linux" distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux.

Re:I'd just like to interject. (0, Offtopic)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821638)

Look Stallman. We've told you a hundred times, quit sleeping in the urinals. There's a perfectly good shelter down the street. Oh and do something about the body odor, unless you actually want to smell like someone who sleeps in a bathtub full of rotten egg yolks.

Re:I'd just like to interject. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32821674)

you're a dick, go back to using winblows and don't install cygwin because that would be cheating.

Re:I'd just like to interject. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32821710)

No. One. Cares. Core tools are easily replaced. An operating system is not.

Re:I'd just like to interject. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32821792)

>Core tools are easily replaced.

Then go for it, or start calling GNU/Linux by its proper name.

Re:I'd just like to interject. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32822402)

You can use BSD tools, but why bother as the GNU ones are FREELY AVALIABLE TO USE and as such are FREELY USED by Linux. If Stallman didn't want his code to be FREELY USED without slapping GNU everywhere he shouldn't have made his code FREE TO USE without that condition.

Re:I'd just like to interject. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32822570)

I don't believe Stallman ever said "Call GNU/Linux GNU/Linux or you can't use it anymore," but one really should refer to GNU/Linux by its proper name, GNU/Linux.

Re:I'd just like to interject. (1, Insightful)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32823322)

GNU/Linux is not its proper name, any more that Windows with Cygwin installed is called GNU/Windows. The OS is Linux, it always has been, the only person who wanted it called GNU/Linux is Stallman. In fact, there's probably more of X.org seen by the average end user than anything in the GNU toolchain, so maybe it should be called XOrg/Linux.

Re:I'd just like to interject. (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32824214)

I don't think it needs to be called GNU/Linux either but Linux is not an operating system. Just saying Linux is perfectly reasonable short hand most of the time because those talkin about it either can make the distinction you are speaking about the operating system or platform from context or don't know enough about the subject to understand there is a difference between the kernel and an operating system.

Operating systems manage resources and provide some method for the user to interact with the computer with a focus on loading and running other processes, and moving data; but not processing data. The kernel only manages resources.

The name Windows for instance is alot more like calling GNU/Linux GNU than it is calling it Linux. If you apply the same reasoning that you call GNU/Linux to Windows you would call it Executive, or maybe NTKernel.

Re:I'd just like to interject. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32822580)

Then go for it

A lot of embedded Linux distributions use Busybox. There is no requisite that a distribution use the GNU toolchain and utilities.

or start calling GNU/Linux by its proper name.

Even if this were technically the case in this instance (it's not) then why should you? You use GNU/Linux when exemplifying the importance of the GNU userland programs -- which is a situation that seldom occurs. Most people don't care what set of programs a Linux system is running with.

Re:I'd just like to interject. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32822794)

You're forgetting one simple GNU/Fact - rms is GNU/God. He created the GNU/Heavens and the GNU/Earth!

Re:I'd just like to interject. (3, Funny)

rishistar (662278) | more than 4 years ago | (#32823618)

Is he also responsible for GNU/Metal?!

Re:I'd just like to interject. (1, Funny)

the_womble (580291) | more than 4 years ago | (#32823228)

Actually the proper name for what I use is:

Mandriva GNU/Linux/xorg/KDE/Qt/Gtk

Re:I'd just like to interject. (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32824610)

I like to call GNU/Linux by its proper name as well: Linux.

Re:I'd just like to interject. (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821914)

No. One. Cares. Core tools are easily replaced. An operating system is not.

At the risk of feeding the trolls...

Yes, core tools are easily replaced, but usually they are NOT replaced - and when they are replaced, they are usually replaced with GNU tools, rather than vice versa. Writing a kernel is hard, but it would have been nigh on impossible without the GNU toolchain. And it WAS Stallman's GNU Public License that Linus chose as the license covering his then experimental OS kernel. So yes, RMS probably does deserve a little more credit than he gets for Linux. But then, so do hundreds, nay thousands, of other individuals who contributed.

But do not expect me to call it "Guh-Noo slash Linux" and keep a straight face!

Re:I'd just like to interject. (2, Interesting)

blackpaw (240313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822194)

What you're referring to as Linux,

Actually no, what I'm referring to is distro's as is quite clearly stated in my post in an attempt to forestall kneejerk Stallman pedantry. Obviously I failed.

I don't really understand (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 4 years ago | (#32824022)

Could you clarify you point by using a FUEL/Car analogy?

Re:news? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821518)

Hey, it is not everyday that en entire world can read (FTFA):

I would like to thank Lightning Terminals for getting me a replacement keyboard so I could finish this article.

when (at least, part of) his initial problem was:

I am left typing on a undersized keyboard that has no life.

But I do agree that the other part of it is surely solved

I'm left facing a display screen that has no significant weight behind it

Right... how to make a portable into a transportable.
Or, you know, nothing beats a peer code review when the source code is presented on a listing (or punch cards) - at least the peer will be less inclined to criticise. The slight problem: keep the listing/punch cards from falling of your desk... you certainly need some weight there.

Re:news? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32824852)

Perhaps, but let's face it - the same kind of story "On The Iphone" would be news. Hell, we've had stories which were basically "You can view this website On The Iphone".

Of course, I'd rather that stories on Nokia's products (who are only the biggest seller in mobile phones and smartphones) were specifically on actual product news, given how rare coverage for them is. But still, I'd rather take a once in a blue moon story for MeeGo, than the usual three "Someone did something trivial On Their Iphone" stories we get every day.

I'd also point out that it's interesting to know that MeeGo will run on things like netbooks, since I'd only heard it being planned for smartphones and tablets.

Re:news? (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 4 years ago | (#32825172)

I think if he made it a IP interface over serial and then used the DEC as a graphical terminal to the netbook that would be more interesting.

Re:news? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32825268)

That's funny! My netbook has a video jack and three USB ports; plugging a monitor, mouse, and keyboard is beyond trivial; you could do it dead drunk.

I don't have any problem at all seeing my Acer's screen, but then I have good eyes (well, one good one anyway; the cyborg eye I had the implant put in). The netbooks' keyboard is a little problematic, but USB keyboards are cheap.

I plan on getting an S-Video adaptor to plug it into my TV, and can use my wireless mouse and keyboard from the couch. Honestly, my full sized PC is in the basement with the Hercules card and other obsolete parts; I haven't turned it on in a long time. Even with its lame keyboard I'd rather use my netbook than my work computer, which is woefully lacking in memory and has a slower CPU than the netbook.

Hrmm (1)

ahixon (1796290) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821342)

Cool I guess, but why? Also interesting to note that the BIOS took the longest out of that entire boot process.

Sigh, I just threw out my VT320 (5, Funny)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821356)

I rescued a Vax, complete with a VT320 from the garbage at work and while it all worked, I simply couldn't justify the electrical bill and the noise for a machine that had far less computing power than a Mac mini. So it finally met its end at the loading dock of an electronics recycling center.

Thinking about the VT320 makes me feel old; I'm sitting in the computer room at the university, with its linoleum floor, coding away on a VT320 logged into an Ultrix machine, with my custom termcap that mapped the function keys to screen sessions, I felt like I was CODING. REAL. SOFTWARE. This was the BIG TIME. Nevermind that even vi slowed to a crawl when someone invoked the compiler. I wouldn't be surprised if the Meego was a slightly better machine than the Ultrix, performance-wise.

Now get off my...aw, forget it.

Re:Sigh, I just threw out my VT320 (4, Interesting)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821802)

Thinking about your post makes me feel even older. When I was in college the "new" terminals were VT-100. The lab was open 24 hours a day because there weren't enough terminals to go around. For those who knew where to look, there were a few VT-52s hiding in relative obscurity.

Granted, the VAX had less power than a Mac mini, but it also had reliability that modern systems can't match.

Re:Sigh, I just threw out my VT320 (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821888)

Granted, the VAX had less power than a Mac mini, but it also had reliability that modern systems can't match.

In my previous job we ran PDP 11/84s and 11/83s, VAX 11/750s and later various alphas. The PDPs running RSX11M had the greatest feeling of stability I have seen. You could get back to a system after a year and find it in exactly the same state you had left it. The architecture of RSX probably helped. Dynamic memory is discouraged. Many applications are effectively built into the kernel.

Re:Sigh, I just threw out my VT320 (4, Funny)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822664)

Don't feel old. According to Prince, both VAX and PDP machines are bound to make a comeback next year when the internet is obsolete.

Byte8406 anyone ? (1)

andycal (127447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32824320)

This whole discussion has overtones of byte8406. But this does get me thinking, if tech employees are considered old at 40, how much more common will the "I never saw a 25 pin rs232 port" type of mistake be in the future?

Re:Sigh, I just threw out my VT320 (4, Funny)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821892)

Since we're feeling old, what I really miss about "those days" was the "communal" nature of a number of people all using the same machine at once. You were guaranteed that other folks would be logged in, and in pre-IM days a quick "talk" session with someone who knew C better than me solved many a tricky problem.

Funny enough, I was "talk"-ing with someone I had not ever met face-to-face about how to solve some algorithm or something, and he said it would probably just be easier to write it down on paper. I agreed to meet him, and asked him which lab he was in; turned out he was sitting in the carel right in front of me!

Good times. Good times.

Re:Sigh, I just threw out my VT320 (1)

lars_stefan_axelsson (236283) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822626)

Thinking about your post makes me feel even older. When I was in college the "new" terminals were VT-100. The lab was open 24 hours a day because there weren't enough terminals to go around. For those who knew where to look, there were a few VT-52s hiding in relative obscurity.

When I was in college the terminals hiding in relative obscurity were the decwriter [columbia.edu] hardcopy terminals. That is, they were ignored in a corner until someone started to use them. The noise turned out to be a good way of chasing at least one or two people from their VT-102s. (Also taught you 'ed', no fancy "visual" editing on a hardcopy terminal).

Re:Sigh, I just threw out my VT320 (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32823362)

When I started university, the first time, the terminal was an ASR-33... 10cps tty... and a10cps paper tape punch. That or 80 col punch cards if you were using the mainframe. Of course there were machines you programmed by changing patch cords on circuit boards but they were starting to get old. And of course you didn't sort your data on a computer - you sorted it on a card sorter... made radix sorting very easy to understand :)

The second time it was IBM Selectric terminals, some no-name crt terminals hooked up to a front end to IBM MFT to give text editing and job submission to the batch stream... and one Tek 4013 (iirc) storage tube terminal driven by an instance of APL. Oh yeah, good days!!!

Re:Sigh, I just threw out my VT320 (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32823846)

Ah yes, we had one on a VAX 11/750 - great fun ensued one night when a faulty serial node on our coax network (something well obsolete called infaplugs) started to echo the login prompt, which was accepted by the 11/750 as the password - which resulted in the infaplug echoing that back etc. etc. and after a few duff logins the DECwriter started to print out intruder detection messages - it got through a whole box of listing paper overnight.

Re:Sigh, I just threw out my VT320 (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32823746)

Awww fuckoff... I coded on punch cards, you insensitive clod.

Re:Sigh, I just threw out my VT320 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32824348)

Mod parent up. IBM029. And whatever you do, don't drop the deck.

Re:Sigh, I just threw out my VT320 (2, Interesting)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32823798)

Meh,

My ADM-3a (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADM-3A) mumbles 'get off my lawn' in the general direction of your VT100.

We had them hooked up to Intel Development systems, Gould SEL mainframes and some box or other than ran CP/M.

The VT100s (and Wyse 120s) came later with the Vax 11/750.

Funnily enough, a recycling company picked up some old WY120s from us a couple of weeks ago after we'd brought one of our veterinary clinics into the 21st Century and off an old THEOS multi-user system.

Re:Sigh, I just threw out my VT320 (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32824762)

Your post makes me feel like a young whippersnapper. To me, vt100 is just a terminal emulation mode on minicom...

Re:Sigh, I just threw out my VT320 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32822892)

I wouldn't be surprised if the Meego was a slightly better machine than the Ultrix, performance-wise.

Slightly?

Ultrix ran on a fairly wide range of hardware, but a typical machine would have a single MIPS CPU clocked at around 25MHz (i.e. 0.025 GHz). It probably would have about 32MB of RAM... the largest Ultrix server I ever used had 128MB, but that was far from typical. Many smaller DECstations that I used had only 16MB. The disk would be at most a 1GB SCSI-1 device. Workstations would more typically have a 200MB drive.

A low-end netbook is probably going to have about 30x the CPU power, 16x the RAM, and several times the storage (except solid-state instead of an old slow hard drive)

We really have an embarrassment of computational riches today.

Cards and Teletype model 37 (1)

Michael Meissner (520083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32824156)

Nah, you should program using cards (9-edge down of course) or UNIX's first character terminal (the teletype 37) to get a true retro feeling. Programming in cards where you submitted the deck to the attendents for processing, and sometime later picked your output, tended to make you check the program by hand before submitting, particularly if you didn't get the output back until the next day. I remember in my first high school having the 029 or 027 card punch in the next room to the computer, made it so convenient for doing those last minute changes (though in a pinch, tape and a portable hole punch would do), while my second high school had the 24-hour turn around.

Hunter7 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32821364)

Username: watkins
password: 73354

We laugh at your puny VT320 (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821368)

That's not hooking a classic terminal to a netbook. This [aetherltd.com] is hooking a classic terminal to a netbook. (More pictures. [aetherltd.com] )

Re:We laugh at your puny VT320 (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32823170)

I was going to post something about my TI Silent 700, but there's no reason to do so now.

Thanks for ruining everything.

Kill me! Kill me! Kill Me! Kill me! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32821442)

I so want to focus unfocused anger up your collective editorial asses right now.

I want to catch unfocused anger, collect it, concentrate it, then force it in a personal space.

I want you to gasp, and yell "OMG, STOP!"

Then I want to continue.

I want you to yelp "That's redundant!" between clenched teeth.

I know it'll do no good.

Re:Kill me! Kill me! Kill Me! Kill me! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32821918)

I can smell your cunnnnnnttt! [ign.com]

I bit my wrist! Look at it bleeeeeed!

Security Breach in Video (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32821444)

He probably should change his login password now.

DEC? Is that you? Alas, no. *sigh* (1)

coaxial (28297) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821494)

I was all excited to see DEC back in the news. Oh how I missed you since that fateful day in 1998 when you got bought by Compaq, which inturn got bought by HP by the woman who now hopes to do for California and America, what she did for HP [cnbc.com] .

But alas, no. You are gone and shall never return. I guess I'll just have to file your section next to Enlightenment [enlightenment.org] 's, and all the other sections that people have no idea what they're for. Can't someone over clock a a DEC Alpha or something?

I'm really tempted to post some enlightenment news, but I wish it was something more than their most recent point release [enlightenment.org] .

Uses Lego Mindstorm (4, Funny)

ojintoad (1310811) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821498)

Connecting the video terminal to the netbook was fairly straight forward. Starting from the VT320 video terminal I used a Parallel to Serial Port converter plugged into the RS232 cable from a Lego Mindstorms set. The other end of Lego cable was plugged into a RS232 to USB adapter connected my netbook. (You could go straight for a Parallel to USB adapter cable, but I personally would not want to miss out on some excellent Lego.)

What a blockhead.

Re:Uses Lego Mindstorm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32821720)

I can see the use of it. The Lego Mindstorm's is a null-modem cable, as for why they chose it to be is unknown to me, but hey, it means a DB9-DB9 null modem cable (female connectors on both ends, easy to connect to computer)

However, calling a DB25-DB9 a "parallel to serial" converter....
(Manual on the linked set for the VT320 talks about the 25 pin RS232 serial port, so I am really sure on that.)

How about some graphics... (3, Interesting)

Zanthrox (835290) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821528)

I'll be impressed when I see a VT330 or VT340 showing a graphical web browser -- heck, you could go back as far as a VT125 to get monochrome graphics...Not that sending bitmaps over serial would be fun, but modern vector graphics might be..altered..to something ReGIS compatible. That'd be a cool hack.

Neat to see a VT320 going again though, anyway -- been ages since I've seen one fired up.

Re:How about some graphics... (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821726)

Geez, I never had one that nice. Until about a year ago, I had a VT240 and a microVax on my desk, and used it daily.

          Brett

Um, any Linux distro? (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821616)

The pleasant surprise for me is that it was so simple to set up a thirty year old video terminal on a modern light weight host system. MeeGo has not forgotten its Unix heritage.

Um, doesn't -every- Linux distro include this? I don't know of a single Linux distro with the exception of perhaps DSL and some embedded distros that wouldn't include basic command line tools. What do you expect with a Linux distro? That because your running Ubuntu all it does is boot a version of Windows XP in emulation via the Linux kernel?

Re:Um, any Linux distro? (1)

ranulf (182665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822524)

Pretty much every unix variant too. I did this with my sparcs a good 15 years ago. It wasn't news then either, it was the standard way of connecting a text terminal.

ObQuote: "Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it."

Re:Um, any Linux distro? (1)

EvilNTUser (573674) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822528)

There are other lightweight systems that use the Linux kernel, but ignore GNU. We should be grateful that MeeGo is designed properly. Other real distros aren't marketed to consumers, whereas MeeGo devices will start appearing in stores soon. I'm looking forward to being able to buy devices that are immediately both usable and powerful.

Even with Asus it was more like power on, overwrite their distro with Debian, mess around with drivers, start using the next day...

Not any Linux distro suitable for smartphones (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32825488)

I don't think the other distros in Meego's space (Android and ChromeOS) include ncurses or VTs. I could be very wrong, though.

Terminals on an Apple IIGS (2, Interesting)

cbdougla (769586) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821630)

I remember borrowing an old Wyse terminal from work and hooking it up to my Apple IIGS running GNO/ME (GNO Multitasking Environment. Check here: http://www.hypermall.com/companies/procyon/gnome.html [hypermall.com] ).

It's kind of cool that all this still works in current-day Linux. There's not many dumb terminals around any more for sure unless you're using an IBM Mainframe I guess. I suspect they still use 3270's.

Re:Terminals on an Apple IIGS (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821872)

There's not many dumb terminals around any more for sure

The dumb terminals are the users these days, as demonstrated by this guy watkin5 who thinks it's such an incredible discovery that a Linux distro can handle a VT320 that he has to write an article about it (complete with a confusion between parallel and serial port DB25s that screams "I don't know what the heck I'm talking about but I'll talk about it anyway"), this other guy muirhead who think it's worthy of a Slashdot story and submits it, and kdawson who accepts the story.

I guess in 15/20 years, we'll have a story on how Linux can still run keyboards and mice equipped with a PS2 plug originally invented by Sony...

Re:Terminals on an Apple IIGS (4, Interesting)

lars_stefan_axelsson (236283) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822696)

There's not many dumb terminals around any more for sure unless you're using an IBM Mainframe I guess. I suspect they still use 3270's.

I guess I'm going to show my age here, but to me a VT320 is very far from a dumb terminal [wikipedia.org] , having used a real glass tty (i.e. terminal that couldn't do e.g. cursor addressing, or even backspace).

And the 3270 [wikipedia.org] in particular is about as smart as a terminal ever got. The terminal itself did the input field text editing before shipping the whole screen input back to the mainframe. Even though there aren't many actual terminals around you'll still see them emulated on PCs in quite a number of applications.

Re:Terminals on an Apple IIGS (1)

Silfax (1246468) | more than 4 years ago | (#32825102)

And the 3270 in particular is about as smart as a terminal ever got. The terminal itself did the input field text editing before shipping the whole screen input back to the mainframe. Even though there aren't many actual terminals around you'll still see them emulated on PCs in quite a number of applications.

They were damn near indestructible also. I have been a mainframer since the IBM360 days, and I still think the 3270's were the most comfortable keyboards to type on.

Re:Terminals on an Apple IIGS (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 4 years ago | (#32825278)

Linux is not just used on the desktop, it's pretty popular in the embedded world as well. Having to communicated with a single chip computer via a serial port is still a standard task in those setups.

Meh. Did that with an hp48 (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821666)

I used to connect my HP 48 calculator to my linux machine via a serial port and used a terminal emulator on the 48 to log into the linux box and kill processes and stuff. Way more cool. And still portable!

Re:Meh. Did that with an hp48 (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821762)

So did you type

-9
[ENTER]
process-name
[ENTER]
killall
[ENTER]

sarahkozer (-1, Offtopic)

sarahkozer (1850132) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821732)

I already bookmarked this for future re-readings. I have skimmed through the page and I see you've written a lot of cool tips. Thanks a lot for sharing the "secret" to the community. Carpet cleaning Vancouver [604cleaner.com]

We all have super computers now. (1)

pcjunky (517872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32821946)

What most people don't realize is the machines most of us use every day are far more powerful than the Crays of the 80's. I think tomorrow I'll see if I can get the Lear-Seigler dumb terminal hooked up to on of my Linux machines. You will need a teletype to beat that!

Re:We all have super computers now. (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822384)

Guy above you beat it, he had a "steam punk" restored teletype machine hooked to a netbook.

http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1710194&cid=32821368 [slashdot.org]

On a side note when I was in uni we hooked a Bordot teletype machine to a Motorola 68000 based machine via rs232, and built some assembler text editors to talk to them (wasn't too bad, just made a lookup table to convert from ASCII to Bordot).

VAX was about 1 MIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32824062)

Indeed, a VAX had 1Mb of memory and about 1Mip of processing power, compared to todays top of the range processors (160,000 MIPS for a Core i7).

My office desktop machine (the one I'm typing on now) has 16GB of RAM, i.e. 16000 times more ram, Quad Xeon processors, that's half a million times more processing power.

My MOBILE PHONE, has 512 x the RAM and about 30,000 times the MIPS even.

Yet some how I'm typing in text at 12 words a minute, not dissimilar to typing on JANET via a terminal.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32822042)

This is coming from someone who used to have a dozen (or so) VT100 and VT220 terminals from various manufacturers running in his garage for a couple of years... why bother?

this is a story how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32822104)

this is a story how?

Poop dog! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32822108)

Yeah baby!

I log into machines over RS-232 daily. (2, Interesting)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822128)

getty ain't going to be losing serial support anytime soon.

But yes, serial console is awesome. Although not awesome enough to write an article about.

People really need to learn that "D" subminiature connectors are not inherently serial or parallel. A DB-25 with RS-232 on it is still RS-232. Nothing parallel about it, apart from the fact that a lot of printer cards used the same connector.

Re:I log into machines over RS-232 daily. (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822712)

I've seen DB25 used for for serial, parallel and SCSI. It gets around. Right now I'm trying to get thoughts of a DB25 parallel, 10Base2 network adapter out of my head.

Bah. (2, Funny)

oddaddresstrap (702574) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822158)

A VT-100 should be plenty for anyone.

Re:Bah. (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822456)

A VT-100? LUXURY!

We communicated with rock tablets, a chisel and a catapult!

Re:Bah. (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32824322)

You had a chisel? We carved our messages with our PENIS! Kids these days, with their fancy tools...

Re:Bah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32823964)

>A VT-100 should be plenty for anyone

...and six of them should be plenty for Everyone!

Uh, yea... (4, Insightful)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822234)

Guy calls a 25pin serial port "parallel" and is impressing us with is mad skillz using lego to "convert" it to 9 pin. The need for null-modem probably took him weeks to figure out.

I think this kid should get off of my lawn.

Re:Uh, yea... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32822824)

Oh Earl, you leave the poor kid be, he ain't hurting nothin', and you wouldn't'a' even known he was there but fer that kdawson feller raising a ruckus; he's the one yuh should be runnin' off. Want I should fetch yuh yer shotgun and some o' them rock-salt loads?

Re:Uh, yea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32824006)

Yep. Next up: 7eet Meego Hax0r runs ls and pipes output thru more.

heh (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822674)

I remember doing something similar with a vt220 and dos back in the day. Now, what was the command to redirect console to the serial port? Something to do with con and pipes?
copy con || com2:

or something

also some baud rate and Xon stuff.

Anyway, the point being that my terminal had an amber phosphor and thus was far cooler than this guy's.

Re:heh (1)

Bob Cat - NYMPHS (313647) | more than 4 years ago | (#32822872)

Add

SHELL=C:\DOS\COMMAND.COM COM1

to config.sys, plug in your terminal and reboot.

Installation skillz? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32822730)

His instructions are weird. You don't need ncurses to get a serial terminal working. serial port supporting getty (like agetty) is enough. and to activate changes in inittab you don't need to reboot your computer (it's not windows, you know..) just run "telinit q".

Re:Installation skillz? (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32823886)

Yes, but it's interesting - I could repeat this with my Acer Aspire One netbook running fedora 13 and a Wyse 120 terminal then I could use it to ...er...um...well...maybe...

As Someone Who Worked On DEC PDP-11s... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32823172)

I can't claim to be a PDP-11 hero, I did a bit of programming and hardware faulting on them in the late 1980s in line with my jobs in telecoms and call centres, but the scary thing for me is realising the orders of magnitude of increased processing power that exists in a modern netbook than was in the DEC kit.

Re:As Someone Who Worked On DEC PDP-11s... (1)

anonymous cupboard (446159) | more than 4 years ago | (#32824192)

And where does all that power go? Seriously, where does it go? The address space of a PDP is 64K. That's it. It would be hard to do a "Hello World" in that space on the netbook.

Re:As Someone Who Worked On DEC PDP-11s... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32824442)

I started off with computers in college (here in the UK) by assembly programming Z80 CPUs with LCD digit displays and probably no more than about 1K of memory - at the time we were amazed at what could be accomplished in that amount of memory...

Of course, assembly programming has little interest these days because it just takes far too long to program anything in it and debugging is a pig - hence the need for programming languages, in-built libraries and layer upon layer of interfaces, APIs and whatever.

And that's where your power goes! :-)

Thanks for the password (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32823328)

Thank you for giving us your password! (It requires slow motion and a bit of guessing to figure it out.)

HOWTO (2, Interesting)

anti-NAT (709310) | more than 4 years ago | (#32823566)

Add the following to /etc/inittab

# Serial tty in case console stuffs up
s1:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -L -w 9600 ttyS0 vt100

then

telinit q

and you're done. Now you too can have a vt100 plugged into your ttyS0 serial port (or an emulator via a null modem cable running at 9600bps, no parity, 8 bits, 1 stop bit, no flow control)

Ok guys, this is how to do it (3, Interesting)

deckardt (989092) | more than 4 years ago | (#32823578)

The sad guy mistook a db25 rs232 for a parallel port... sigh

I've been doing this for years, since 1997... so this must be one of the oldest tricks in the book.
Here is my 4 step recipe for Ubuntu, using USB serial adapters:

1) hook up the stuff and config the terminals correctly (I used 9600 8n1 due to long cables, got weird chars at 19200+)
2) Install Ubuntu on your system
3) put the following in /etc/init/ttyUSB0.conf
# ttyUSB0 - getty
#
# This service maintains a getty on tty1 from the point the system is
# started until it is shut down again.

#start on stopped rc RUNLEVEL=[2345]
#stop on runlevel [!2345]

respawn
exec /sbin/getty -8 9600 ttyUSB0 vt100
---(repeat for as many terminals you have, incrementing the 0 of ttyUSB0 to 1 to 2 etc)---
4a) reboot
  or
4b) sudo service ttyUSB0 start
(repeat for as many terminals you have, incrementing 0 to 1 to 2 etc) ...
*) profit

Here is my setup with a WYSE vt420 compatible and two vt320's
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rickdeckardt/4748415699/ [flickr.com]

Gee wiz, that was easy... So why is this on the frontpage of slashdot?

Netbook OS (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | more than 4 years ago | (#32824100)

I like the whole idea of putting linux on the netbook I think it helps keep cost down. Plus some Linux distro's like Ubuntu have a netbook version that are very light weight and easy to use. The distro he is using is command line driven does not get more light weight then that.

Serial TTY is still a nice feature. (1)

Spit (23158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32825002)

A long time ago I had a handmedown 386 I used to run Debian 1.3 on. At the time I was pretty poor and I didn't have a VGA display, so I used to borrow one from a friend when I needed one like for install or when I trashed it. The rest of the time I used a c64 running Novaterm with a mono display for clarity, worked great.

The 386 is long gone but the c64 still comes in handy.

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