I was reading about JWZ’s awesome portrait serial terminal and wondering what would a serial terminal look like today if we could implement it using modern technology.

You could get a flat screen display and mount it in portrait mode. Most have VESA attachments, so it’s a matter of finding a nice portrait VESA stand.

To implement the terminal you could fix a Raspberry Pi or similar to the back of the screen. Could it be powered by the same PSU as the screen? Perhaps if the screen had a USB port.

For the keyboard you’d use a nice USB keyboard.

Of course there’s no reason these days to use an actual serial line, nor to limit ourselves to just a text display. Use wifi to link to the host computer. Use software to emulate an old orange DEC terminal, and X11 to display remote graphics.



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3 responses to “Terminals

  1. Laszlo Ersek

    Bonus points to readers who can tell, without looking, what “Ono-Sendai” in the title of JWZ’s blog post refers to 🙂

  2. Hi Richard, I have a dumb question: what exactly is a “terminal” as you’re using the term? I’d normally think of a terminal as a command line client software, like Powershell on Windows or Terminal on Mac. You’re clearly talking about hardware – what makes a terminal different from a normal computer?

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