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The quest to use a TI-99/4A as a viable VT100 terminal


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Similar to what I've been doing with my Apple II+, I'd like to see if I can get my TI-99/4A working as a VT100 terminal.

Right now, all I have is the 99/4A console. I'd like to do this with period-appropriate hardware - no modern shortcuts. So it looks like I'll need the expansion box with all the usual cards (32K, floppy, RS232), plus of course the terminal emulation program, and, depending on that program's requirements, some kind of 80-column card. Only 80 columns is acceptable to me. :)

I've been looking through various forum threads and websites; the names that seem to come up most often for what I'm after are Term 80 and Z-Term. There's a record of Term 80 being succesfully used for this purpose; I found a copy at WHTech but haven't checked it out yet. I remember reading that there was an "evaluation" version as opposed to a full version... bah! I'm presuming that Term 80 can do VT100 emulation, but have had trouble digging up documentation to confirm that.

So, I thought I'd run this by the community here and see about any gotchas, recommendations, things I might be missing, etc. Might there be any other terminal programs at which I should be looking, preferred 80-column cards, etc.?

Appreciate your help!

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TIMXT (not TimXT) supports the commonly used ANSI escape codes. It may work for some VT100 applications where the commands overlap, though things like the cursor control are not configured to send the standard escape codes to the remote/host. I am still slowly working through issues with the RS232/keyscan routines that showed up when I added PETSCII support to the program. This being the busiest time of the year with respect to work, I have had little time to go further.


Telco and Term80 might do the trick for you. The one challenge with Telco is it will start dropping characters at 4800bps so your speed is limited.

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  • 1 year later...

Telco supports a subset of VT100 (no color in particular) and is slow but really stable. Term80 was supposed to support a lot more - it was written for calling ANSI terminal BBSs, but I thought VT100 was in there too. It does color, that was one of Jeff's motivations.


Source was released, it might be interesting to patch up Term80's output code for true 80 column text. ;)

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