Jump to content
zork

Atari as dumb terminal

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

What would be the easiest way to connect Atari 8-bit to a Linux box to act as a dumb terminal?

 

I assume there is no ssh client on Atari so it must be a telnet client like Ice-T and SIO-to-serial connection using a null modem cable.

 

Can AtariMax SIO2serial adapter be used for that? or is it only for APE?

 

 

Edited by zork

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no ssh unless you use a serial to lan device that will add it or an intermediary software on a pi etc, other wise.

as stated before I used to just use a serial port to the x86 and whatever terminal program (of course this was much simpler when going serial to serial vs usb to serial...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can AtariMax SIO2serial adapter be used for that? or is it only for APE?



If you mean real RS232 (not a USB SIO2PC), yes, it works fine for terminal
sessions. However, the AtariMax SIO2PC uses the RTS line to control
whether it's in SIO2PC or 1050-2-PC mode. The default is 1050-2-PC,
meaning whatever software you use will have to clear the RTS line... or,
you can remove the RTS pin from your serial cable.

What I did: I got a "port saver" 9-pin adaptor, which is just a
pass-thru, male to female. I was lucky enough to find it on clearance
at the local Microcenter for $2. Amazon sells them for $4:

https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-Male-Female-Saver-101185/dp/B001TIHZ3C

(it says "gender changer" but isn't really, mine looks the same)

You could also do this with an extension cable (also male-to-female),
or if you have multiple 9-pin serial cables lying around, just modify
one of them (and don't forget which one it is).

The modification is simple: use a pair of needlenose pliers to pull pin
7 out of the cable or adaptor. For reference:

https://www.stratusengineering.com/rs232-9-pin-pinout/

After you pull the pin, count to 3, then throw the adaptor... wait, no,
that's directions for something else! :)

When you use the modded cable/adaptor with the AtariMax SIO2PC, it
will always work in SIO2PC mode. Software written for a regular "dumb"
SIO2PC (or for a regular serial port) won't have to be modified. The
disadvantage is that 1050-2-PC mode is unavailable (meaning you can't
connect an Atari drive to the PC and read/write from it). If you need
1050-2-PC, you can switch to an unmodded cable or remove the port-saver.

The other thing you'll want to do if you haven't already: use a real
serial port, if possible. USB adaptors can work (especially FTDI-based
ones), but they're hit-or-miss. You can get a PCI or PCIe serial port
card pretty cheap: mine's got 4 ports and cost me $25, I've seen 2-port
ones on Amazon for $15. This will make life a lot easier when using an
SIO2PC with Linux, and will allow higher bit rates for drive emulation
with atariserver or respeqt (I can use POKEY divisor 0 with atariserver).

For terminal sessions, you'll have to make sure your getty or whatever
you're using has hardware handshaking disabled. agetty calls this "local
mode" and uses the -L switch to enable it.

Once you get all this stuff working, if you're feeling adventurous, you can
try getting your Atari on IRC with fujichat:

http://urchlay.naptime.net/repos/fujichat/about/

Connect to the freenode network and join ##atari, and say hi!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Urchlay, that's some great info.

 

I was thinking about using mainly Ice-T as it appears to be the best vt100 terminal emulator around (with 80 cols display).

 

Will it work with unmodified serial null modem cable?

Edited by zork

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a DragonCart, you can use telnet65 (

 

regards,

chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, zork said:

Urchlay, that's some great info.

 

I was thinking about using mainly Ice-T as it appears to be the best vt100 terminal emulator around (with 80 cols display).

 

Will it work with unmodified serial null modem cable? 

Yes, it will. See:

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am specifically asking about using AtariMax SIO2PC (with RS232 port) adapter and Ice-T.  Do I need to cut RTS pin on a null modem serial cable or it will work with an unmodified cable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do I need to cut RTS pin on a null modem serial cable or it will work with an unmodified cable?



Cut the RTS pin off of a *regular* serial cable (not a null one). The
SIO2PC already cross-connects the PC and SIO RX/TX lines.

Be aware that Ice-T requires at least a 128K Atari. There's an older
version usually called ICET800 that will work in 48K, but not on an XL/XE
(only on an 800 apparently). Might be able to use that with the Translator
disk, I haven't tried.

If you have trouble with Ice-T, try Omnicom or Kermit, both of those
do 80-column text the way Ice-T does. There's also FlickerTerm, which
does 80 columns using flicker. It's supposed to be pretty good, *if*
you can use it without getting a headache (I can't).

If you have trouble with things like the arrow keys not working, or
weird characters in the display, try messing with the TERM environment
variable on the Linux side.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, one more thing. How you can send { } characters as we all know they are not on Atari's keyboard, but essential for programming in UNIX environment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

{ } ~ characters can possibly be sent by typing control codes on the
Atari. Depends on the terminal you're using. The right brace } is
ASCII code 125, which is the clear-screen key on the Atari, maybe you
can type it with shift-clear, or maybe you have to press Esc first. Or
maybe it's impossible... Ice-T probably has keystrokes to send those
characters, since it has them in its font and can display them correctly
at least. Have to find the Ice-T manual & check.

I've never really used the Atari as a dumb terminal to do any serious
programming-type tasks. My personal favorite editor is Vim (the terminal
one, not GVim), and IIRC the best I got vim working with an Atari was
using the old VT100 (aka VT102) terminal emulator... but it's limited
to slow baud rates (1200 or maybe 2400 max) so not much fun to use.

Mostly what I used the Atari dumb terminal for was the links browser,
which IIRC works well with Bobterm (only 40 columns though)... and
IRC, for which I tried various clients and settled on Rhapsody:
http://rhapsody.sourceforge.net/

links works (or if you have trouble with it, try lynx), but a text-only
browser without a mouse (or javascript, etc) is kinda painful to use on
the modern web. I used it to post a message on AtariAge just to see if
I could, but it's not much good for serious use. A Gopher client would
be better, except Gopherspace is tiny these days, not much there.

I only played around with using the Atari as a terminal for a short
while. Then I started working on an Atari-native IRC client (FujiChat)
using SLIP over the serial port, and haven't used the Atari as a dumb
terminal much since then.

One thing to be aware of: if you're using the SIO2PC to load software
(emulating a disk drive with either Atariserver or RespeQt), you'll
have to exit the drive-emulation software before starting up the getty
or whatever on the same serial port. You could maybe write yourself
a little shell script that looks something like:

#!/bin/sh

PORT=ttyS0  # or whatever you need

while true; do
 echo "Running atariserver"
 atariserver -f /dev/$PORT
 echo "Running agetty"
 agetty -L $PORT 9600 vt100 # change this line to whatever your distro needs
 echo "Press ^C to exit or Enter to continue"
 read
done



When atariserver is running, select whatever terminal emulator disk image
you're using, then boot the Atari. After it's running the term program,
hit Enter on the Linux box's keyboard to start up a login prompt. Log
in on the Atari, do whatever you like. When you log out, press Enter on
the Linux box to get back into atariserver...

The above does *not* work if you're using the atarisio kernel driver
(you'd have to have modprobe, rmmod, and probably setserial commands
in there). But it shouldn't be needed on modern systems anyway, unless
maybe you insist on using POKEY divisor 0 for atariserver.

Also if you don't want to run as root or use sudo, you'll have to add
your user to whatever group owns the /dev/ttyS* devices (or diddle udev
rules to make them readable/writable by normal users).
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe you can easily reach 9600 baud with Ice-T, maybe even more, and that means it can possibly be used for serious terminal work (I use vi(1) for everything too).

 

I don't plan to use SIO2PC to emulate a disk drive (I prefer SIO2SD and real disk drives for that).

 

If anyone is familiar with Ice-T let us know how you can send ASCII 123 and ASCII 125 codes from it.

 

It is possibly also doable using keymaps(5) on the Linux side, but I am still waiting for the SIO2PC adapter to test all this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

You can easily reach 19200 baud with Ice-T :)

 

Perhaps the attached files will help you.

 

for example:

^9,0 - Curly brackets

 

^ means the Control key.

 

icet.txt vt100.txt

Edited by TheMontezuma
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, zork said:

I believe you can easily reach 9600 baud with Ice-T, maybe even more, and that means it can possibly be used for serious terminal work (I use vi(1) for everything too).

 

I don't plan to use SIO2PC to emulate a disk drive (I prefer SIO2SD and real disk drives for that).

 

If anyone is familiar with Ice-T let us know how you can send ASCII 123 and ASCII 125 codes from it.

 

It is possibly also doable using keymaps(5) on the Linux side, but I am still waiting for the SIO2PC adapter to test all this.

Inverse Atari key is (~). CTRL ' = (`). As the Montezuma said, CTRL 9,0 = {}. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...