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In November 2010, after 16 years of providing video-terminal information
to the technical community, I have been informed by the EE/CS Department
of the University of Tennessee that I must find a new web host for these pages
by January 2011.
If you have found this information to be useful, check back during December 2010...Richard Shuford
to see how I'm doing on finding a new home for it.
Welcome to my Archive of Video-Terminal Information concerning character-cell video-display terminals, serial-line remote-graphics terminals, and software that emulates them.(skip to links)
When I say character-cell terminal, I mean some keyboard-possessing device that is connected to a host computer by a serial cable and typically (if not exclusively) is used to display textual information arriving in the form of ASCII (or perhaps EBCDIC) characters. It is the thinnest possible thin client.
A serial-line remote-graphics-protocol terminal is also connected by a serial (usually RS-232-C) cable to a host, and it may display both ASCII text and graphics images sent to it by the remote host. Protocols for transmitting images include Tektronix vector graphics, DEC's ReGIS and Sixel protocols, and NAPLPS (North American Presentation-Level-Protocol Syntax).
X terminals in their own right are beyond the scope of this collection. An X terminal (such as one of these products still sold by NCD and Wyse Technology, or formerly made by Human Designed Systems/Neoware or Tektronix or Hewlett-Packard) speaks the X protocol, displays graphics in a completely bit-mapped fashion, and prefers to communicate over high-speed connections such as Ethernet. (Another variation on a thin-client is the "Network Computer".) I do, however, keep some small amount of X information here, but focusing on how the xterm application emulates a character-cell terminal.
Note that the information here does not include much coverage of the so-called "Terminal Services" functions in Microsoft Windows, which use the proprietary Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). (As the computer industry has come to expect, adopting a Microsoft protocol forces you to buy Microsoft software and stay in lockstep with the Redmond upgrade cycle.)
This information started as a collection of discussion articles from Usenet newsgroups, especially comp.terminals but including other groups, but with some effort to organize the postings broadly by topic. However, resources from other sources have been added over time. The information in the collection varies in quality, and I personally wrote only a small part of it, but many people, who still have reason to use a terminal, have found it useful. There are no guarantees of applicability or fitness implied....Richard S. Shuford