Oddball question: really small terminals

tony duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Sun Oct 25 02:36:11 CDT 2015

> For reasons too abstruse to explain in detail I'm on the lookout for
> terminals that are, physically, really small - especially serial and
> coax 3270, and possibly twinax 5250.
> Yes you could do things with small laptops and PDAs with PCMCIA cards
> and adapters and software - I know a guy who kept a Psion Organizer
> configured especially for use as a terminal with SGI boxes. But that's
> Not The Same, and NOT what I'm after; I want dedicated purpose-built
> terminals; switch it on and It Works.

Three things that I use for small async RS232 terminals....

1) (The one I use all the time). HP palmtops. I actually prefer the 95LX as the 40
column display is easier to read in poor light when working on a rack. But the
100LX and 200LX are good too. Yes, it is a computer, but it has a built-in serial
port (just need a cable) and terminal software in ROM. The good points are that 
it will capture the downloaded data and you can kermit it to another machine if
you so wish. The standard cable is wired to plug directly into a PC and is thus a 
DCE, but I got a second cable, cut off the moulded D connector and wired it to 
a DB25 plug as a DTE.

2) One of my RS232 testers has a terminal mode on a 32*4 LCD. Just a dumb 
terminal, though, but it will do odd baud rates and 5-bit ITA2 (incorrectly
called Baudot) which can be useful

3) You will not find one, but Trend Data Systems did a version of the Opal
telex terminal that was a very good VT100 clone (even down to the 
setup mode). A clamshell design with a fold-down LCD and a full-size keyboard.
Runs off 12V (I am missing the original PSU for mine) and the power connector
(A variant of the UK telephone plug) is almost as hard to find as the machine.


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