[maemo-users] Where is telnet?

From: Mark wolfmane at gmail.com
Date: Fri May 15 20:06:16 EEST 2009
On Fri, May 15, 2009 at 10:20 AM, James Knott <james.knott at rogers.com> wrote:
> Mark wrote:
>> On Fri, May 15, 2009 at 5:03 AM, James Knott <james.knott at rogers.com> wrote:
>>> Mark wrote:
>>>> All flavors of Windows since 3.11 came with telnet pre-installed. My
>>>> Psion Series 5 (circa 1997) had telnet out of the box, and it
>>>> certainly doesn't have anything like the storage or any other
>>>> resources the ITs have.
>>> Are you sure it was in Windows 3.11?  That was before MS embraced the
>>> internet, with W95.
>> Yes, I'm certain. It was used with a little application called simply
>> "terminal". I used it constantly with bulletin boards before the
>> proliferation of ISPs and the Web, and even after I had a "real" ISP
>> to access my email. That same application was available in Win9x/ME,
>> and the NT/XP versions of Windows have all had command line telnet.
> Back in those days, BBS systems were generally not on the internet.
> You'd access them with a dial up modem and terminal app, such as
> Hyperterminal, that's now commonly found on Windows.  You did not have
> an IP connection to the BBS, just serial ASCII.  Telnet is used over IP.

No kidding. Just as telnet needs a "command prompt" window on
WinNT/XP, it needed a window to display the text interface in Win3.11.
Hyperterminal was preinstalled and worked just fine for that.
Hyperterminal was no different than a command prompt window in Windows
or a terminal window in Linux, just an easy tool to interface the user
with a command prompt, which could be accessed in other ways as well.
None of the command line windows are in and of themselves
communications apps or protocols, they just provide access to them.
The app on my Psion was very similar to Hyperterminal, but since its
OS was neither Windows nor Mac nor *nix, there was never a GUI or
other semi-automated app to connect to my ISP. It had its own app to
enter the dialup settings and connect, but then I used the terminal
app to telnet to my ISP's server as well as my work servers. (But I
could also send AT commands directly from the terminal to establish
the connection.) The work ones eventually went to SSH (only a couple
of years ago), but that's beside the point, as the issue at hand is
the existence of telnet software on standard Windows installations.

I don't often have a need for telnet anymore, but I do occasionally
have to open a command prompt in whatever OS I'm on and use it. It is
NOT completely useless.

By the way, command line ftp is experiencing similar issues: There's
often not a preinstalled GUI app for ftp, and "secure ftp" is becoming
more common.


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