Re: Terminal program

>>>>> "Nolan" == Nolan J Darilek <ndarilek@tenet.edu> writes:

    Nolan> Hi.  I've spent the past few days battling with Minicom
    Nolan> under Eterm, and haven't been very successful. For some
    Nolan> reason, none of the ctrl-A commands speak well at all, and
    Nolan> configuring my serial port has been a
    Nolan> nightmare.

	I will agree that minicom tends to react poorly with Eterm.
I'm not sure exactly why.  You shouldn't expect commands in a full
screen application to always speak that well; it is often necessary to
go into  review mode; it's worth taking the time to learn review mode and to become proficient with it.

    Nolan>  Furthermore, the dialing directory seems to stay
    Nolan> open once a connection is established.

I haven't ever had the strength of will necessary to put up with
Minicom long enough to actually dial a connection, so I can't really
comment on this all that usefully.  It may have something to do with
Eterm's inability to actually send an escape character.  You can send
an escape character followed by almost anything, but there is no way
to actually send an escape character.  I tend to end up having to do
something along the lines of

(define-key term-raw-map "\e" 'term-send-raw)

	I haven't actually looked very hard at why this isn't the
default configuration; there may be some negative side effects to
doing this.  However, it does allow me to configure my Ascend routers,
so I'm happy.  If you end up having to hit an escape to close the
dialing directory, or to close a window that pops up when you connect,
this might be your problem.

    Nolan> Since Minicom doesn't seem to want to cooperate, can anyone
    Nolan> recommend another terminal package? 

	There's always Kermit.  Then again, I actually like having a
command line instead of a series of menus.  (I think newer versions of
Kermit do actually have a dialing directory, etc.)

	Personally, I think you will be dissatisfied with whatever
solution you end up adopting if you actually use a modem a lot.  The
problem with serial lines is that they are serial; there is no packet
structure, and characters making up a single word  can get broken
apart.  This is unfortunate because it can make the speech awkward.
Sure, this can happen  with output from normal Unix processes as well,
but it tends not to.  System calls like write(2) tend to write large
chunks of data.  Even over a Network, packetization tends to imply
that characters in a single word are likely to arrive together.  

	Eterm is not nearly as complex as a traditional DOS screen
reader.  Amazingly, you can get about 90% or better of the power of a
traditional screen reader out of it under normal Unix environments.
Unfortunately, serial communications is one of those areas where it
performs somewhat poorly.

	The situation is not hopeless; it is possible to use Eterm to
talk to a computer on the other end of a modem, it's just kind of
annoying.  I was able to successfully install an Alpha, bring it up on
the net, download enough tools to get an Encrypted connection and run
Screen, using a serial port and Kermit.  However, once I got far
enough that I could establish a secure connection over the network, I
was happy to drop the serial connection and use the net.