Some K95 hints
I still try to do all my work except maybe web browsing and image processing
in Unix shell sessions through K95, for all the reasons explained in this
(now somewhat dated) document:
and also because I simply prefer typing to using a mouse.
Recently I've been doing more and more work in languages other than English,
where I need to type accented letters, etc, and of course also view them on
the screen, e.g. in incoming e-mail. Well in the modern age, in which all
the hard-fought standards have flown out the Window, I've had to switch
from Latin-1 as my normal character set to CP1252, in order to keep my
terminal emulator from getting wedged hundreds of times a day by "smart
quotes" and other atrocities stuffed into the C1 control area. Sad to
say, ISO 8859-1 and the other ISO Latin alphabets are next to useless now
in the terminal-host environment because of Microsoft code page pollution.
(It's fine that companies have their own proprietary code pages, but these
should not be used for interchange on the open network, but too bad, it's
already happened; the Internet is full of this stuff, and to make matters
worse, as often as not it's labeled as ISO-8859-x.)
This, in turn, makes the Kermit's emulation of DEC VT220 and VT320 terminals
problematic, because they were designed to use the 8-bit C1 controls of ISO
6449 and hosts that know about these terminals can and sometimes do use
those controls (VMS in particular).
This is especially unfortunate since K95's default terminal emulation is
VT320. New users will often find their very first terminal session going
crazy, which does not leave a very good first impression. To make matters
still worse, Sun seems to have deleted VT320 from its list of known terminal
types in terminfo. Thus the instant someone makes a connection to Solaris 9
or later, they get messages like:
emacs: Terminal type vt320 is not defined.
If that is not the actual type of terminal you have,
use the Bourne shell command `TERM=... export TERM' (C-shell:
`setenv TERM ...') to specify the correct type. It may be necessary
to do `unset TERMINFO' (C-shell: `unsetenv TERMINFO') as well.
In which case a switch to VT220 is in order, since Solaris still supports
that one and from the standpoint of Unix/curses usage, it's no different.
We probably should make VT220 the default emulation in the next release.
For typing accented characters, if you do it a lot and if you're a touch
typist, Kermit's default Compose key (Alt-C) is a bit inconvenient. I've
found that it's more convenient -- and even somewhat mnemonic -- to assign
the Compose function to Ctrl-Apostrophe:
set key \1502 \Kcompose
Thus to type a-acute (á) you type Ctrl-', then a, then ', and the hands
never leave the home keys. Of course you could also use the built-in
Windows keyboard input methods but I find the dead keys annoying.
Ctrl-' is a handy choice for an oft-used function because it's not a real
character, and therefore has no other use, and it's reachable from the home
position. There are a bunch of other keys like that, punctuation that does
not turn into a valid Control character when used with the Ctrl key,
including period, comma, slash, etc. So if reaching for the Alt key annoys
you, put your most often used \Kverbs on these key combos, e.g.:
set key \1470 \Kexit ; Terminal/command screen toggle on Ctrl-period
Of course PC keyboards have their Ctrl keys in an awkward spot too,
but not mine :-)
(Unicomp Linux 101 keyboard, highly recommended.)
Finally, since I read email on the Unix host, I often find it necessary to
download a message to my PC because it's in some hideous format known only
to Windows. My Unix-based email client (mm) already knows how to download
messages with Kermit, and of course K95 receives them automatically as soon
as the transfer starts because of its autodownload feature. If you give the
downloaded message a filename that ends with ".eml" and then you tell K95 to
"run start xyz.eml" (the file that was just downloaded), then Windows
automatically puts it into Outlook for you so you can see it (yes, there are
risks, but you can manage them, e.g. by making WordPad your default
..doc-file viewer, disabling macros in all Office components, not having a
Windows-based mailbox or address book, etc).
Anyway, in this context, it's handy to define a Kermit macro like:
define start run start \v(filename)
Then, every time you download a file (not just email, but anything Windows
knows about), Windows will load it into its associated application for you
if you just type "start" at the K-95> prompt. \v(filename) is the name
of the file most recently downloaded.
P.S. I realize the Latin-1/CP1252 dilemma is solved by Unicode, but UTF-8
is still not widely used or supported in most of the applications I use
in text sessios to Unix and other hosts.
Re: Some K95 hints
Frank da Cruz wrote:[color=blue]
> I still try to do all my work except maybe web browsing and image processing
> in Unix shell sessions through K95, for all the reasons explained in this
> (now somewhat dated) document:[/color]
why not just use Thunderbird as your mail program on windoze, unix and
I use nmh/exmh which has some MIME features (enough for most of my
problems) but keep TBird on all my boxes. On linux I use deliver to send
messages from exmh into a mailbox which I can access via POP/IMAP and
TBird. (Can't get this to work on the Mac, but found a way to circumvent