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Diversion into the Linux Serial Console...

John Pumford-Green 01/10/22 22:26

In preparation to my plan of adding a pair of RS232 serial ports to the next iteration of the 6502 computer I dug out an old Wyse serial terminal to use. I thought I'd check it still worked after many idle years gathering dust. It was last used when I first started playing with Linux on an old 486/DX2 machine (Red Hat 6 I think) and used it to access the headless 486 machine through a serial console.

To re-live the experience I hooked it up to my little “pico-ITX” Linux server, which has a real serial port with a 9-pin D connector (!) and set about configuring Debian 11 with systemd (urgh!) to provide a console and login on /dev/ttyS0.

Linux Serial Console

Then I remembered using Pine as an email client via a terminal session (and in xterm windows, and a non-X linux virtual terminal) so I thought I'd install it and re-live those days. Pine is no longer (easily) available but a new version is still being maintained - Alpine

Installed it and spent a happy evening getting it to work with 2 different IMAP accounts (and the correct SMTP servers) alpine

And then, telnet and telnetd….. and ftp and ftpd….. oh, those were the days..!

I wanted to install and run slrn for USENET NNTP news, like the old days, but I discovered there was no point even trying, as there seems to be no freely available NNTP servers around any more. Back in the day most ISPs seemed to provide a server even if it was limited in the newsgroups it carried. That doesn't seem to be the case any more.

On the subject of Wyse terminals and Linux I stumbled on a You Tube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQTr9ZOJkC0&feature=share&si=ELPmzJkDCLju2KnD5oyZMQ and this led to another interesting video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUmTaRu6o8g&feature=share&si=ELPmzJkDCLju2KnD5oyZMQ describing a console-mode RSS reader Newsboat so I had to try it….

I've enabled the RSS feed from this dokuwiki WiKi/Blog, just to play…. point your RSS software at https://www.gm4slv.org.uk/dokuwiki/feed.php

Well, now I've got Alpine, Lynx and Newsboat running in a Tmux session, accessed from a nice amber glowing CRT with the Wyse-185.

Now I need to build Mk2 of the 6502 - which is going to be wire-wrapped and much more compact than the rat's nest of Mk1

public/computers/serial_terminal.txt · Last modified: 08/04/24 18:33 BST by john