[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Terminal Innuendo

November 30th, 2009 by Benj Edwards

Soroc Terminal IQ 120 IQ 140 Ad - 1979Computer shopping in the Fortress of Solitude.

In this ad for the SOROC IQ 120 and IQ 140 terminals, we see a woman who clearly wants to interface with something — but what? Very few peripherals understand the cryptic FAJI/NA protocol (Female Anatomical Jiggy Interface / Network Access). Even with the proper connector and hardware handshaking, those few who succeed in uploading might end up with a virus.

Oh, I get it…they’re talking about the terminals. Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

[ From Byte Magazine, November 1979 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever regularly used a text-based terminal to get serious work done? Tell us about it.

14 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Terminal Innuendo”

  1. Ben Says:

    Does looking up books at the library count? I had a _massive_ 5-page report due! 🙂

  2. Benj Edwards Says:

    Sure, that counts. Do you remember what kind of terminal you were using? What year was it?

    I suspect more people had experiences with computer terminals through electronic card catalogs in libraries than in any other situation.

  3. Moondog Says:

    Most of my experience was with Hyperterminal in Windows than a genuine stand-alone terminal. Occasionally I get to connect to an HVAC system to look for error messages.

  4. sascha/hdrs Says:

    Hmm no info about these two beautiful specimen on old-computers.com?!?

  5. Geoff V. Says:

    Regularly used terminal service for configuring routers and such.

  6. orsty3001 Says:

    I’m gonna get the 140 and tell people I have a higher IQ.

  7. jdiwnab Says:

    I used text based serial terminals at my last job setting up headless servers before the initial install. In my current job, I use ssh/telnet all the time. I have a VNC session to manage them, but dozens of full screen virtual terminals. I used a serial terminal interface to interface between a microcontroller and a router. I used hyperterminal to test that one. But then again, I usually work at that level, so…

  8. Harold J. Says:

    That’s probably the funniest thing I’ve read all day, Benj. Great work!

  9. Mattel Aquarius Says:

    I don’t remember the model, but for years up until about 1999, my employer used “Telex” terminals in locations around the world to interface with the mainframe in Albany, GA for repair part look-ups.

  10. Rockin' Kat Says:

    The only terminals I ever realy used were the ones in the Local library back when I was in Junior High between 1996 and 1998. I have no idea what brand they were. I just know that when I wanted to put a book on hold I’d use them instead of loading the library catalog on the PC’s at the front of the library because it was quicker to use the terminals… because you had to go through a series of awkward menus in a web browser on a PC, and people were aways using the PC’s… a lot of idiots found the monochrome terminals intimidating so I could always count on at least one of the two that they had to be open.

    I currently have a little GTE XT300E sitting up on a shelf. So far I’ve only been able to try out it’s built in Telephone with the on screen phone directory.. so I know it works. I’m hoping to maybe mess around with it a little more when I finally get around to installing the super serial card in place of the 56k modem in my PowerMac G4 tower.

  11. Xyzzy, The Avatar Says:

    I used text terminals quite a few times to look up books as an English major at UC Berkeley until Spring 2003; it was also the only way to find & request books from the other UC campuses. I believe the county library was still relying on terminals as late as a few years ago as well.

    I’m not sure if this will count, but since I’m a novice Linux user, I use the terminal intermittently by choice to troubleshoot or do basic things. With old laptops like mine, I usually get it done in the space of time it’d take to just open the relevant program… 🙂

  12. Jake Says:

    Oh, the ads about the terminals? How disappointing 😛
    Most of my expirience with terminals is with Hyperterminal in Windows and my TRS-80 Model 100 in terminal emulator mode.

  13. billaj Says:

    During an internship in 2005, I was lucky enough to get a vintage text terminal, made in or about 1983 : a Newbury Data 9500. I use it as a shell terminal for my Linux laptop. I often used it in my IT studies to do my programming homework (C, C++, Java, LISP…) Excellent keyboard, the amber CRT is very easy on the eyes, no annoying fan noise, and it’s useful if you’d be distracted if you had games/a modern web browser at your disposal…

  14. Cody Says:

    I think I used to have the terminal on the right. See, it was the 90s and my parents knew I wanted a computer but they couldn’t afford one. So they went to a swap-meet and picked this peice of garbage up for a couple dollars and brought it home to surprise me.

    The big surprise was that it was completely useless, it didn’t contain any BASIC or anything, it was just a dumb terminal. You could turn it on and do a simple statement or two and that was IT. Once I worked that out, I told them, and it went into the garbage.

    Sigh 🙁

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