Vintage terminals (was Re: PDP-11 available in New Zealand)

Zane H. Healy healyzh at
Thu Mar 8 19:04:09 CST 2007

> Ah, yes... I forgot about the keypad... that's much more of an
> emulation issue for most users than double-high/double-wide.  EDT,
> WPS, etc... all heavily dependent on specific keys for specific
> functions.

The keypad emulation is the very first thing I check when trying out a new
emulator.  Then I look at double-high/double-wide.  If I could find one that
handled both of those things *AND* screen display on my Mac properly, and
didn't require a mortgage, I think I'd pass out from shock.

> Using a modern keyboard with a dumb terminal emulated in modern
> hardware (i.e. - microcontroller or FPGA), might prove to be
> interesting, since real VT100 keyboards are somewhat difficult to
> find, compared to, say, LK201s, which should still be relatively
> plentiful (and not difficult to interface to).

My favorite is the LK401, it's fragile, but I like its feel, even if it is a
bit mushy for my tastes.  But then my favorite terminal is the VT420, though
I'm running the one on my PDP-11 with a LK201 keyboard.

I'd like to pick up a VT525, with a good keyboard (I assume it would be a
LK450 or some such).  The VT525 looks like a DEC Multia, can use a PS/2
keyboard, and will work with at least some LCD panels.  

Both Compaq and HP have released some "thin-client" terminals running some
form of WinCE.  They look rather interesting, but I don't know how good the
terminal emulation is.

Last I checked, you can still buy VT520's from Boundless (they bought DEC's
terminal business).


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