Documentation for the AT&T Sceptre Videotex terminal
feedle at feedle.net
Tue Nov 20 20:31:10 CST 2007
On Nov 20, 2007, at 1:36 PM, Mark Meiss wrote:
> It consists of a base unit that's somewhere around 13" x 11" x 4",
> connected to a (fairly wretched) chicklet keyboard with a standard
> 4-conductor telephone handset cord. The keyboard is powered by a
> 9-volt battery. On the back of the main unit are connectors for
> power, the keyboard, RS-232C (DB-25 female), composite video out, and
> audio out.
I had an AT&T SCEPTER terminal that was used with the Gateway service
offered in Southern California from Times-Mirror/Pacific Telephone.
It had a 1200 baud Bell 212-style modem built in. Also, the keyboard
was infrared on the model I had.
Here is a modern picture of it sitting on my TV, where it worked as a
terminal to my Linux box. http://pics.feedle.net/v/Things/ATT_Sceptre01.jpg.html
. The person who mentioned 1200/7E1 is dead on: the serial port on
the machine (for whatever reason) requires 7 bits, even parity, one
stop. It can't handle baud rates much over 1200 baud: at 9600, for
example, it loses characters.
Somewhere, I even had the original instruction/setup guide, but that
may have been lost to the sands of time.
NAPLS is a pain-in-the-ass protocol to deal with, BTW.
Gateway was a killer service back in 1983. It was expensive, but it
was a lot of fun. And I remember dialing up BBSes with the SCEPTER
terminal when my C-64's power supply crapped out...
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