PT100 Version 1.01 and Version 1.1b4

PT100 and NIE 2.0

For all of those lucky enough to be able to use NIE 2.0 with their Newtons, rest assured that PT100 works fine with this upgrade, and does support the use of Telnet over Ethernet! In addition, those that have the latest system updates can uncheck NIE workaround for even better performance. Check the Apple website to be sure.

Contents


Introduction and History

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and this piece of code is no exception. About a year ago, after reflecting on the success of YAZI, George and I started talking about how we would like to use our Newtons. The bottom line seemed to be that we wanted to be able to use them as "wee little computers" that we could take with us anywhere. Since we spend most of our time playing on Un*x boxes, it seems natural to use VT100 as our standard interface to the various tools we use.

Unfortunately, we were underwhelmed (if that's a word) with the available products. The biggest problem is that they were far too slow -- they would timeout before we could login! The other problem was that the other products just cost too much.

So, instead, we spent several months writing our own!

We designed PT100 for ourselves: to provide basic VT100 support in a small, fast, inexpensive product. Non-critical features have been excluded. If you feel something important is missing, please drop us a line so we can discuss the new feature. John Schettino called it a "lean, mean emulation machine." (Read the article). In addition, PT100 was awarded four Geckos by Gecko Magazine.

As you read through the following documentation, realize that we originally designed this product for ourselves, to solve problems we were having, and have more recently begun to support various options other folks may want. If something critical to your application is missing, please drop us a line so we can discuss how to remedy the oversight.


What is PT100?

PT100 is a VT100 emulator for the Newton capable of both Modem sessions and Direct Serial sessions. In addition, PT100 is the only VT100 emulator on the Newton capable of providing Telnet capability with Newton Internet Enabler (NIE).

VT100 emulation is the most popular text-based interface on the Internet, as well as the common baseline used by BBSes, corporate systems and intranets, various email mechanisms, and certain online services. In addition, it is useful for many types of straight serial connectivity. Below is a partial list of some of the cool things we have been doing with PT100:


Features

Other Features There was other stuff we wanted this piece of software to have, some of it because we like techno-tweaking, and some because this is a Newton application, and should do things in a certain way:

System Requirements

In order to run as fast as we want, PT100 requires NOS 2.0, and will not work on 1.X systems. In addition, it will require about 160k of room on your Newton (or storage card) to be installed. While running, PT100 will take up about 20k of heap. When not running, it will take about 0.6k of heap.

Any modem that works with the Newton will work with PT100. If necessary, make sure you have the correct modem enabler installed and selected.

Obviously, you will need to have access to a service to connect to, and, if you intend to use the NIE, a service provider capable of SLIP or PPP access.


Screen Shots of PT100 in Action


Here is a picture of PT100 running EMACS, a standard Un*x full-screen text editor. Notice we are using the 12-point Minico font, and have hidden both the input line and the button bar to maximize the screen space. Running on an MP2000 or an eMate 300, you have access to a full 80x24 screen at a large, readable font.


Here is another shot of the MP2000 screen, this time running Lynx. Note the floating (hideable) keyboard that is especially designed for Lynx. These "plug in" keyboards can easily be added to PT100 to enhance flexibility.


Using the 9-point Minico font, we can even fit an entire screen on an MP120 or MP130. This is another image of a Newton being used to "web surf" with Lynx. The input lines have been hidden to show the whole screen, and the editable Quick Picker is visible with a list of shortcuts.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will you support 1.X Newtons?
A: It is unlikely that PT100 will ever support 1.X machines. Many of the tools used to get maximum performance out of the system are 2.0-specific. You might try looking at at some of the other emulators available for the Newton.

Q: What about support for VT220, 3270 and other emulators?
A: At the moment PT100 is highly focused on speedy and accurate VT100 emulation, largely because it is common denominator for text interfaces. If another interface becomes necessary and has a large enough market, it will be considered.

Q: I like it. But if I pay now, do I still get future versions?
A: Of course. Future versions will all be available on the web site and the standard distribution sites like AMUG. Your registration will continue to be valid with future versions. Our upgrade policy is on our home page.

Q: My modem is not directly Newton supported and needs special setup strings. Can I use PT100 on it?
A: You can certainly use it as a serial device by entering your own setup strings. However, you should really use a supported modem. It will save you many headaches.

Q: What about login scripts?
A: Support for creating login scripts is supported as of 1.1b4 -- give them a try!.

Q: Odd things are happening when I use certain programs. How complete is the VT100 emulation?
A: Very complete. At this point, we rival NCSA Telnet, and are better than all other Newton VT100 emulators, and most PC/Mac/Unix emulators.

Q: Can I scroll back and see stuff that went off the top of the screen?
A: Yes! As of 0.97b, you can view arbitrarily large amounts of text that has scrolled off the top of the screen. You can also use the Copy to Notes function to save this information to the Notepad.

Q: What about support for the MP2000 and the eMate 300?
A: PT100 has been casually tested on both these machines, and it works flawlessly. On the MP2000, the application runs about 8x faster; on the eMate about 3x faster.

Q: These custom floating keyboards are very useful! Can you design one for my particular [email|database|browser] application?
A: We probably can. Contact us and we can discuss pricing and distribution. Also see the next question.

Q: These custom floating keyboards are very useful! I'm a newton programmer and would like the API so I can design my own, perhaps for some vertical market applications I'm working on. Are you interested?
A: We sure are! Contact us and we can discuss pricing and distribution. Also see the previous question.

Q: I need a specific vertical market application that will use a textual front end. Are you guys interested in extra work?
A: Contact us, we just might be!

Q: How about multiple simultaneous telnet sessions?
A: Jeepers! You want it all! In good time we hope to have this capability, but for right now, chill out and enjoy what PT100 does do!


Distribution

PT100 will be released as "crippleware":

Unregistered versions of PT100 will only be allowed five (5) minutes of connection time per session. After a warning at the four-minute mark, the application will hang up the line at the five-minute mark. You are welcome to redial and continue your session.

If you intend to use an unregistered version of PT100 in a critical situation, please be sure to save your work. We cannot be held responsible for lost work due to PT100 hanging up. Better yet, if you're using it in a critical situation, register.

The cost of PT100 will be $25US, payable by check, or by using Kagi.

Cheques should be mailed to:

Scrawl, LLC
86 Norfolk St., Apt. 4
Cambridge, MA
02139-2652

Be sure to include the spelling of your name as it appears on your Newton. You will receive a registration string by email. If you do not have email, send a SASE.

Alternately, if you want to use Kagi to register directly over the WWW, you can do that as well.

If you're wondering why we're being so hardnosed about this, you might want to read this.


Download PT100 Version 1.01

The current "stable" version of PT100 is Version 1.01.

Sitting below are two files, a Mac version and a PC version. The latter is zipped, and so should be fine for Unix folks as well.

Each of these files actually contains a bunch of stuff:

Alternately, if you want to use Kagi to register directly over the WWW, you can do that as well. We live in an age of wonders!


Latest Beta Release: Version 1.1b4

The current beta version of PT100 is Version 1.1b4. Changes include:

It can be downloaded below:

Other Terminal Emulators

There are a total of three other Terminal Emulators out for the Newton:

You really should take a look at these other solutions. Each is designed with a slightly different user in mind, and has varying strengths and limitations. Having said that, we really do think PT100 is the best solution for most, if not all, situations requiring VT100 emulation. But we're extraordinarily biased!


Earlier Versions

Changes in 1.1b2

Changes in 1.1b

Changes in 0.998b

Changes in 0.997b

Changes in 0.996b

Changes in 0.995b


Administrivia!

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This page has been accessed: several times since February 11, 1997, and was last updated December 16, 1997.