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 http2telnet - help

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What is this?

This is the help page belonging to the telnet to HTTP gateway, giving you the meaning of all the options that are currently available and how they work, and data on some weird aspects that might occur using this programme. I hope it will help you use the gateway more effectively.


The address should be an IP address of a TCP supporting port, usually a TELNET protocol port, as that is the only protocol this gateway currently supports. It might also be an address of a SMTP server, POP3 server, IMAP server, HTTP server, but there will be no support for the related protocols. UDP ports, like FTP, will not be handled at all.

The address can be given both in numeric and in textual format.


his is the port of the service you wish to connect to. TELNET is usually at port 23, though for MUDs it might be at any other port. SMTP is usually port 25, POP3 port 110, et cetera. Since you know which service you wish to use, you should know the port number as well. A list of well known ports is usually available on any computer under the file "services".


The following options exist:
  • No options: Only one entry bar of 80-255 characters wide.
  • Entry at bottom: Only one entry bar of 80-255 characters wide, at the bottom of the screen.
  • Two entry windows: Two entry bars of 80-255 characters wide. This is useful in case your computer is far away from my server (which is in the Netherlands). In this case it might take some time before a new window is displayed, and having two of them allows you to type in the other while the first one is still being built up. Note that there is NO guarantee which of the two entered commands will be executed first. Due to the nature of Internet, they might be out of sync.
  • Button bar: One entry bar of 80-255 characters wide, and one so-called button bar. This button bar will allow you to send a single ASCII character of any kind by typing in its code (27 for escape, for example, or 7 for bell), or send special TELNET commands, like breaks and are-you-theres. If you have the button bar, you'll also notice a button marked `1'. If you press this button, you'll get a "definition" entry window which allows you to redefine this button `1' to send any line of text you desire. After definition, pressing `1' again will result in this line being sent. You'll then also notice a button `2', which can be defined in the same way.
  • JAVA client: Will start a JAVA applet instead of the usual interface. The JAVA applet doesn't use separate entry windows: you can type in the window as desired. It will still route the connections through the server, so if the other options work for you, this option should work too, if your browser supports JAVA applets. Currently it only uses the hostname, the port number, echo (on/off) and the background colour of the connection. It also assumes that you don't need to scroll back and that a screen of 80x25 is sufficient for your needs. The biggest advantage of using the JAVA applet is that it has full ANSI support with cursor movements: applications like pine and elm and editors will become easier. The client will initially display some garbage on your screen: this is to flush any possible buffering done by the proxy or your browser. If all goes well, your connection follows the garbage. If nothing is displayed then it is likely that the connection wasn't established, or that there is even more buffering occurring in the network. Note that this client is still experimental. Feedback is highly appreciated.


If you wish to enter more than one line at a time, you can select this checkbox to change all entry bars into boxes, which allow an infinite (depending on your browser) number of lines to be sent at one time. This can be useful for copy-paste like operations. Note that using a textarea means that you can never be sure of the amount of returns/newlines that is sent to your connection.


Currently ANSI is automatically enabled for all connections.


Normally it is expected that the remote site performs the linewrap, but in case this is impossible to set and the lines are wider than your netscape window, this option might help. Enter the number of characters that you want on one line. It might or might not work properly, depending on the connection.


The background colour can of course always be set by your browser. However, this is also a convenient way to do it. If you set the background to normal, your browser's defaults will be used. `black' will result in a black background and white text, and `white' in a white background and black text. The text colour can still change in case ANSI is enabled.


The echo option will echo any text entered in an input field. This can be useful if you want to see what you typed.


Warning: this feature uses Javascript.

Autoscroll will make sure that always the last line of your telnet connection is displayed. This CAN be quite useful, but also quite annoying, as it will take away the ability to scroll back through your connection.


Warning: this feature uses Javascript.

Autofocus ONLY works if there is only ONE input BAR, so not together with the options "two" and "textarea". It will make sure that you can type immediately, avoiding the irritating behaviour of some browsers to not automagically select the input window you desire to type in. Note that it requires your bar to be loaded completely, so there is still a short time that you are not able to enter text.


The "literal" option is used for connections where < and > are sent often. These characters don't work well with a HTML page, and therefore might cause the text between them to disappear. To avoid this problem, you can use this option, which will replace then with brown [ and ].

Optional login/password

These will try to automatically connect you to the server of your choice with the given password and login. Quite useful if you wish to make direct links or bookmarks, but not wise from a security point of view. The detection of prompts is done by looking for a colon (:). If your login procedure doesn't use colons, this feature can't be used.

Weird behaviour

Note that much of the behaviour of this server depends on your browser and on your firewall. Do therefore not always assume that the problem is with the server. However, it is also true that the implementation of this server is still in beta stage and that things are therefore not at all reliable. Any comments can always be sent to: Maarten Hofman.

Server not working

If the server doesn't seem to be working, this can be because of a number of reasons. They are listed here:
  • The server is not on: The server is supposed to be up 24/7, but this does not mean it can not be down. It is good to write me a mail if the problem persists, I might be able to do something about it.
  • Your firewall doesn't allow it: The server runs at port 8080. Some strict firewalls ONLY allow connection to port 80. This means that you will be able to reach the login page, but when you execute the service, it will fail. I can't help you in this case.
  • The TELNET server you're trying to connect to is down, refusing connections or unreacheable. This will not be conveyed to you in a proper way and might result in undefined behaviour.
  • The network link of the server is down: the server uses KPN's ADSL service, which is rather unreliable.

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