Terminal Emulation

I run RSTS/E V7.0-07 on an emulated PDP 11/70. This is kind of cool, but would be useless without someway to access it. Best option would be an actual terminal, but for me they are too hard or too expensive to come by.

That leaves me with some sort of terminal emulation. Terminals on the 11/70 that I used in school tended to fall into two groups, paper and video. The video terminal screens of that time were close to being square and used a monospaced font (all the letters were the same size). The ones that I used VT52 and similar used a display of 80 columns and 24 lines. More modern computers use a more rectangular screen with fonts that are not monospaced and can (and do) change size.

For terminal emulation I have a choice of Windows (7, 8.1 and 10), android, Macintosh (6.0.8) and Apple II. I’ve tried several terminal emulator programs under Windows and they all have what I consider a drawback. An 80×24 screen is slightly bigger than a 4×6 index card. I still use both Putty and Tera Term on occasion but if I want to do anything serious I would prefer another option.

I haven’t ruled out the Macintosh, but as of yet I haven’t found a terminal program I would use on a regular basis.

That brings me to the Apple II. My first Apple II was an Apple //c with a 9″ monochrome monitor. About 10 years ago I was looking at some Apple IIs on eBay and saw one where the seller had it hooked up to an LCD monitor with great results. I sent a note to the seller telling him I wasn’t interested in the Apple II so much as what monitor he was using. He was very understanding and told me it was a Dell 2001fp. I bought one of those and shared it with my PC. It takes Composite, VGA, DVI and S-Video inputs and you can change with a push of a button on the front. This is what I use on my Apple //c now. It is a 20″ monitor, which after a 9″ monitor is pretty nice and is also more square (4:3) than the current monitors.

My Apple //c is connected by a serial/null modem cable to the PC that runs my emulated PDP 11/70. I use ZLink as terminal emulation software on the Apple //c and works very well for my purposes.

I uploaded a video of using the Apple //c and Dell 2001fp Monitor as an emulated terminal to YouTube at : https://youtu.be/y0Aok67byXk