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  1.    #1  
    I'm interested in getting the Treo 300 mainly because I will be adminstrating a site in the next couple of months, and think that it'll be great to administer my site with the use of the Treo 300.

    From what I hear, there are telnet/ssh apps for the Treo 300. Are there system admins here that use their Treo 300 + telnet/ssh software to remotely administer your servers? How functional is the telnet/ssh app? Does the text fit on the screen, or does it scroll off? I think my question is mainly geared towards system admins using the Treo 300, so feel free to chime in!

    Also, are there any plans for a new Treo on the horizon? I think that the Treo 300 has been out for about half a year now, so I would think that a new one would be coming out sometime soon. Should I wait? Are there any interesting readings on the newer Treo anywhere? For those of you who are familiar with it, what added features/functionality is there?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by VGtalk; 01/22/2003 at 09:30 PM.
  2. #2  
    why not download topgun ssh and answer these questions yourself? It doesn't do ssh2 though.
  3.    #3  
    Originally posted by slippytoad
    why not download topgun ssh and answer these questions yourself? It doesn't do ssh2 though.
    I would, but I don't have a Palm OS PDA
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by VGtalk
    From what I hear, there are telnet/ssh apps for the Treo 300. Are there system admins here that use their Treo 300 + telnet/ssh software to remotely administer your servers? How functional is the telnet/ssh app? Does the text fit on the screen, or does it scroll off?
    I have topgun ssh installed on my Treo and I've tested it out on two of the linux servers I manage. Here are my comments:

    1. It can't store login info, so you have to type in your host, username and password every time you log in. It can, however, mask the password, which I wish Blazer and Eudora would do.

    2. The text doesn't scroll off the screen, but it is incredibly small.

    3. The "tgtelnet" terminal is not terribly compatible with anything and it doesn't recognize a "set term=vt100" command, which is odd. So you are limited to command line activities like ls, cp, mv, or - very useful - service httpd restart. But don't expect to do a lot of web development or play Tux Racer. ;-)

    I haven't tried any telnet apps because I don't open telnet ports on my firewalls.
    Peter Campbell * www.krazy.com
  5. #5  
    Top Gun SSH is OK.. I do stuff that can't wait on it, but I would not use it for everyday maintenance.
  6. #6  
    Originally posted by pcampbell
    1. It can't store login info..
    That's what the buffer menu options are for. It stores everything but the password.

    I now use Mocha Pocket Telnet, which has ssh1 support. It's really pretty nice.. can do interactive stuff like pico etc. Has a nifty wide-screen technique too. It's not free, not sure how much it costs.. I'm still evaluating it.
  7. #7  
    One difference I notice between Mocha telnet and TG ssh is that the former uses real-time input while the latter uses buffered input. I feel Mocha telnet is much easier to use with vi and bash's command history. If the network is very slow, I'd appreciate TG ssh, though. I keep both installed and evaluating.
  8. #8  
    http://www.xb.com/products/pocketadm...ifications.php

    Handspring support site had it listed when I searched for ssh.

    "PocketAdmin Features & Benefits

    PocketAdmin™ mobile software from Expand Beyond™ extends an organization's existing technology infrastructure by expanding the reach of IT professionals beyond the traditional confines of the office. With PocketAdmin, administrators have a powerful and secure way to manage their networks and servers from wireless handheld devices — at any time, from every place.

    Power
    Increase system availability and improve productivity from the convenience of a wireless handheld device. PocketAdmin not only gives you the ability to diagnose system problems but the power to resolve them on the spot! Monitor any number of servers from a single wireless device.

    Security
    To prevent unauthorized usage and data interception, PocketAdmin integrates multiple layers of encryption including symmetric encryption, public key encryption and data integrity algorithms. Combined, these encryption standards provide the highest levels of protection."

    Session Display Management
    Wondering how all that data will fit on a handheld screen? With PocketAdmin, you can resize your screen and scroll both vertically and horizontally. True VT-100 emulation is enhanced by color and shortcut keys so you can edit files in vi or kill processes.
  9. #9  
    I inquired with Expand Beyond a few months ago regarding pricing, here was their response:

    "Our pricing model is based on a CPU and device basis. Therefore, I need to better understand your infrastructure before I can give you a price. How many devices (servers, routers, firewalls, etc) are you interested in managing with PocketAdmin?"

    "Each of the servers is a device and we license by device. Under our current pricing scheme the price would be $800 per device for a three year term. This is for versioned, licensed software that is maintained and has technical support."


    Pretty cheap eh?
  10.    #10  
    wtf? $800?? Any other alternative out there?
  11. #11  
    Not for ssh2.
  12. #12  
    ...TG's buffered input is really annoying :-)
  13. #13  
    VGtalk writes:
    From what I hear, there are telnet/ssh apps for the Treo 300.
    Yes, but they're not all that functional. EPOC, Linux, and Windows CE based handhelds all seem to have better SSH software available. As just one example, there are apps that offer SSH port forwarding on all of those OSes, but not on the Palm OS. (Disclaimer: I obviously haven't been able to try Expand Beyond's PocketAdmin, since it has no demo version and is unbuyable by the general public, so it's possible some of the failings of Palm OS SSH apps I talk about below are fixed in it.)

    People have mentioned Top Gun ssh' annoying (if occasionally useful, as with the UNIX telnet app's "mode line") buffered input. Another thing that's very annoying with it is typing control characters or escape sequences. For Control-n, for instance, you have to type c-ListType-Down-Down-Down-Space-n (and then click "Send"). For ESC-d, you have to type c-ListType-Down-Down-Down-Space-Option-s-ListType-Down-Space-d (and then click "Send").

    (Edit, 2003-02-12: Actually, I realized recently that you don't have to hit Space to acknowledge a ListType selection -- you can just go on and type the next character. So for Control-n you can type just c-ListType-Down-Down-Down-n. Also, I'd forgotten that you can generate an ESC with "\e" -- you don't have to use "^[". Therefore you can type ESC-d with just Option-r-ListType-e-d. It's also worth mentioning that Top Gun ssh is the only SSH or telnet app that allows you to type any key without having to take your fingers away from the Treo keyboard and tap the screen (not counting the onscreen Send and SendCR buttons, of course).)

    Things are nicer in Mocha Pocket Telnet because of its dedicated onscreen "ctrl" and "esc" buttons, but it has another problem -- the ListType key ("...") doesn't work in it (actually, all of the SSH and telnet applications except Top Gun use nonstandard APIs for text entry, and thus break this key), so the only way to generate characters that need to be typed via the ListType key is to make Macros for them, but there's only room for 12 macros, and there are 15 ListType-generated ASCII punctuation characters you might need (=|\<>^`_{}~&;][). Lord help you if you need to be able to type accented ISO-8859 characters as well.

    (Edit, 2003-02-12: I forgot that Pocket Telnet also allows you to bring up the Palm OS' standard onscreen keyboard, so things actually aren't quite as dire as described above. You can use the onscreen keyboard for the accented letters and all the ListType-generated ASCII characters except '^', '`', and '|', and then use macros to generate the ones remaining. You can't generate the entire ISO-8859-1 character set, but you can generate enough of it for most uses.)

    When I emailed the Mochasoft guys to see if they might be able to update Pocket Telnet to enable the ListType key, they responded that they had no interest in supporting the Treo.

    Also don't look for any new enhancements to Top Gun ssh, as it hasn't been updated since 2000. It is open source, "but be warned that it assumes a really out-of-date Unix cross-compilation toolset".

    Does the text fit on the screen, or does it scroll off?
    I was amazed to find that none of the Palm OS SSH or telnet apps have a scrollback buffer. So if something does go off the top of the screen, it's gone, baby. Be prepared to use "| more" on everything. Some of the telnet apps have a Log feature, but I don't believe any of them allow you to view it without terminating your connection. And the SSH apps don't even have that.

    Also, in Mocha Pocket Telnet, things can go off the side of the screen. Because the Treo's 160x160 resolution only allows for 40 columns, Pocket Telnet emulates 80 columns by having a 40-column window that you scroll side-to-side over the 80 virtual columns using the stylus. You can do an 'stty cols 40', but that will only affect curses applications. Programs doing simple tty output will spill into the "right-hand screen", since there's no way to tell Pocket Telnet to act like it only has 40 columns.

    Top Gun ssh doesn't have this particular problem because it's limited to 40 columns, but of course some apps assume a minimum of 80 columns and won't display very nicely (or at all) with it.

    I would, but I don't have a Palm OS PDA
    If you'd like some firsthand experience with the apps before purchasing a Treo 300, you should be able to run them under the Palm OS simulator.


    pcampbell writes:
    I have topgun ssh installed on my Treo and I've tested it out on two of the linux servers I manage. Here are my comments:

    1. It can't store login info, so you have to type in your host, username and password every time you log in.
    Yeah, extremely annoying. Pocket Telnet at least remembers your hostname, but you have to retype your username and password every time unless you use its "Remember" option, which is a bad idea because the info is stored unencrypted and without password protection, meaning anyone who gets access to your Treo has access to your server.

    It can, however, mask the password, which I wish Blazer and Eudora would do.
    I especially like the checkbox that allows you to temporarily turn off password masking, so that if you keep mis-entering your password (and no one's looking over your shoulder), you can see what you're doing wrong. Pocket Telnet, unfortunately, has no option to mask the password.

    3. The "tgtelnet" terminal is not terribly compatible with anything and it doesn't recognize a "set term=vt100" command, which is odd.
    Yeah, Top Gun has no VTxxx emulation, but I've found the built-in tgtelnet termcap on my Red Hat 7.3 machine to be comparable in usability to Pocket Telnet's VT emulation, in apps like vi and xemacs.

    (Edit, 2003-04-06: And in the shell, Top Gun's tgtelnet is superior in at least one way to Pocket Telnet's VT100 emulation -- if a commandline goes over 40 columns and you need to edit it (e.g. delete characters back up to the initial line), no problem. However, in Pocket Telnet if you've done an "stty cols 40" it'll get completely confused and display garbage if you try to edit such a wrapping line. You can get around this by running inside of [X]Emacs' shell mode, though.)


    potatoho writes:
    That's what the buffer menu options are for. It stores everything but the password.
    Hey, thanks, potatoho! Never discovered that (undocumented) feature!


    Appleman writes:
    "Each of the servers is a device and we license by device. Under our current pricing scheme the price would be $800 per device for a three year term.
    Hey, good job on extracting that info from them. I emailed them in October asking how much a single-user license would be, and they simply ignored me. Perhaps if I'd been more vague about how many copies I was thinking of buying, I would have gotten a response, as you did.
    Last edited by Dan Harkless; 04/07/2003 at 01:58 AM.
  14. #14  
    I believe you can work around a lot of those tty emulation issues you mention with "screen" - once you setenv COLUMNS 40 and run screen, you get scrollback, and apps should respect the 40col limit. Screen is irreplaceable.


    Thanks,
    Peter
  15. #15  
    Originally posted by phandel
    I believe you can work around a lot of those tty emulation issues you mention with "screen" - once you setenv COLUMNS 40 and run screen, you get scrollback, and apps should respect the 40col limit. Screen is irreplaceable.
    Good thinking, Peter. You're right that that's a solution to the lack of scrollback, but I've tried and have been unable to get it to hard-wrap at 40 columns.

    I've tried various commandline and .screenrc options, but it appears that it relies on the user's terminal to do the wrapping, and Pocket Telnet refuses to believe it's anything other than 80 columns wide.

    I thought maybe if I fudged my terminal type as a stupider one (Pocket Telnet tells the shell it's a VT220, but tcsh doesn't support that and reverts to a dumb tty, so I do a 'set term = vt100' after logging in -- I've also tried vt220 under bash, though), that screen might do its own wrapping, but the ones I tried were too stupid for screen to be able to start at all.

    Maybe there's some way to get it to work, if you're really up on 'screen' and termcaps and such, but I wasn't able to figure it out...
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by Dan Harkless
    Maybe there's some way to get it to work, if you're really up on 'screen' and termcaps and such, but I wasn't able to figure it out...
    It occurred to me today that though 'screen' apparently doesn't work in this situation, Emacs does! Simply type 'emacs' (or 'xemacs', if you have that), adding '-nw' if you don't have DISPLAY unset, then do ESC-x shell.

    Emacs does respect the 'stty cols 40' setting, and does its own manual line wrapping at that point. You also get an unlimited scrollback buffer, the ability to search through or cut and paste text from the scrollback, the ability to split the screen into multiple windows with different login sessions (N.B.: you'll need to use ESC-x rename-uniquely before you can successfully do ESC-x shell in another window), etc.

    Of course, if you need to use a curses app, you'll have to suspend your Emacs session while you're doing that (unless the app is a rare one that can work with the 'emacs' terminal type), but since you generally don't get scrollback with such apps anyway, this is not a serious limitation. And of course it's no biggie that you can't run curses editor apps inside an Emacs shell buffer -- you're already in an editor -- just open a new buffer to edit the file.

    One note, though. I was scratching my head for awhile trying to figure out why when I typed a command in one of these shell buffers in a Pocket Telnet session, hitting Return would cause a newline to appear in the buffer, but the output of the command would never come, regardless of how long I waited. Turned out Emacs was seeing the Treo's Return key as 'newline', not 'return', and 'newline' was bound to newline-and-indent. This piece of code in my .emacs cleared things up:

    Code:
    (defun my-comint-mode-hook ()
      ;; Make the Treo 300's RETURN key work in Mocha Pocket Telnet.
      (local-set-key 'linefeed 'comint-send-input))
    (add-hook 'comint-mode-hook 'my-comint-mode-hook)
    That code wasn't necessary for TG ssh's SendCR button, but neither, of course, does it hurt.

    Screen is irreplaceable.
    Nah, Emacs (or XEmacs would be my preference) -- that's irreplaceable.

    BTW, anyone following this thread should also check out the edits I made to my above post yesterday and today (both would have been made yesterday if treocentral hadn't been down -- they're marked with "Edit, 2003-02-12:"). I realized things about both Mocha Pocket Telnet and Top Gun ssh that make the text-entry situations less painful in each of them.
    Last edited by Dan Harkless; 04/07/2003 at 02:04 AM.
  17. #17  
    Good tips all around! Thx!

    On a side note... anybody out there can reccomend a free 'net shell I can log into from my treo? I'm fairly new to linux, and would love to practice moving around in a shell environment, using vi, emacs, would like some storage space, an e-mail address, etc. Basically, something I can use while at my gf's house watching some boring TV program.

    I've looked around and have done searches for 'free shells'. Some are already out of existance, won't accept new users, require a donation, or put you on a waiting list. Any recommendations?
  18. #18  
    Good question. These days (unlike in the early days of the commercial Internet) it's hard enough to find a for-pay shell account, much less a free one.

    In the past I would have suggested checking out free.com's directory, but nowadays you have to opt-in to a spam list to view the site.
  19. #19  
    One point that wasn't made in this thread that I came across today -- because Mocha Pocket Telnet uses stylus drags on the screen to cause the 40-column window on the 80-column terminal to be moved back and forth (which of course breaks software like RecoEcho+), it isn't possible to select and copy text.

    I had a long URL in my Pocket Telnet window that I wanted to copy and paste into Xiino or Blazer, but this turned out not to be possible, and I had to reconnect using Top Gun ssh.

    Interestingly, TG ssh is the only Palm OS terminal app that has standard copy & paste capability. I've updated my Palm OS Terminal Apps Buying Guide with the copy & paste support level of all the apps (some have paste-only capability, for instance).
  20. #20  
    I haven't used Top Gun in about 6 months, but this past week I had an emergency and had to use it. Unfortunately I couldnt' get it to work. No matter what I try to connect to I get a "Cannot Create Socket" error. I tried uninstalling the app and reinstalling it but I keep getting the same thing on my 300. Has anyone seen this? Thanks,

    Dunc
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