Tag Archives: access

telnet: The fundamental tool for entertainment

The bad part of writing about telnet — which is to say, the difficult part — is showing it in action.


As I understand it, telnet just gives you a tool for accessing the telnet protocol, probably in the same way that a browser is a tool for accessing http (and other) content. So once it’s up and running, there’s not much of telnet itself to see.

The good part is, if you have telnet access and a live line to the Internet, you will never, ever lack for things to do.


For every graphical game that requires a rat’s nest of dependencies and specific hardware support and only coughs up a generic shoot-em-up experience, there are probably 10 well written, well developed text-only games that only require an active connection and an 80×24 terminal space.


A thousand themes, a thousand environments and a thousand worlds to explore, in every variation imaginable, and no more hardware requirements than what you can scrape up with a leftover 133Mhz laptop and a lousy PCMCIA network card.


So in the end, the magic of telnet is not what it does, but what it gives you access to.


Perhaps that’s a lesson for elsewhere in life as well. 😉

P.S.: telnet is part of inetutils in Arch, but stands alone as telnet in Debian.

bwm-ng: Flexible, smart and pretty

bwm-ng comes along at just the right time. We haven’t seen any network monitors in quite a while.

Of course, I have to make the obligatory offhand remark that there are hundreds — literally hundreds — of network monitors and visualizers out there.

I’ve listed a few of them on this site, but I’ve barely scratched the surface.

But, seeing as we are in the “B” section now, bwm-ng has good timing.


Rather like VU meters, on stereo equipment from a long time ago.

That’s not the default display, by the way. That is with the “curses2” flag, which I am sure you can hunt down on your own.

bwm-ng will also output to html or csv, and has options to make sure your data can be converted to another format, be it spreadsheet or browser or whatever.


And best of all? It’s not just a network monitor, it can also watch disk access, and output in the same style — VU meters, or whatever.

Pretty nifty, if you ask me.