GLTerminal is an OSX terminal emulator that pretends to be an old 80x24 terminal. Download OSX executable. Originally written by James McCombe.

It's pretty sweet, though not as faithful a simulation of a CRT as Trevor Blackwell's fantastic Apple ][ screen saver (in xscreensaver).

(GLterminal is a little broken: after starting it, go to Preferences and select "Renderer: Classic Terminal" to make it go.) (Also, most inappropriate fanboyriffic application icon evar.)

I should also probably mention that the Apple ][ screen saver also functions as a terminal emulator:

    /sw/libexec/xscreensaver/apple2 -text -fast -program tcsh

Other fun things to do with it:

    apple2 -text -program 'cat /usr/src/linux*/README | fold -sw40'
    apple2 -text -program 'ping'
    apple2 -text -program 'ps -e'
    apple2 -text -program 'od -txCz -w7 /dev/urandom'
    apple2 -text -program 'cat /dev/random'
    apple2 -text -fast -program 'xemacs -nw -q -f life'
    apple2 -text -fast -program 'xemacs -nw -q --eval "(hanoi 5)"'

Update: riffraff updated GLTerminal to work on 10.5.

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21 Responses:

  1. taiganaut says:

    I can't test it right now, but does it simulate long-persistence phosphors?

  2. duskwuff says:

    Doesn't support line-drawing characters - in fact, it screws up badly if a program tries to use them. Eugh.

    • duskwuff says:

      Also, hung on quit. WTF?

      • jwz says:

        The author says he wrote it 3 years ago and it's not finished, but someone found a leaked copy and it's suddenly getting a lot of attention... he says he's going to put out a decent release soon, in self-defense.

  3. king_mob says:

    80x24 terminal fullscreen on a 19" LCD looks deeply, deeply weird.

  4. giantlaser says:

    Dude. You just made my day. This is awesome.

  5. dan_lane says:

    I was playing around with that earlier today... reminds me of years ago when I used to pipe my IRC logs to Phospher running full screen on a spare machine.

  6. bodyfour says:

    Wow.. way back when you first showed me the apple2 hack I thought it would be cool to add pty support to it. Had no idea that someone actually did it. It's vt100 emulation seems to have a couple issues, though.

    Also, it should really support ProTerm Special Emulation in addition to vt100

  7. there's a little too much barrel-distortion. Ok a lot too much. Is that an adjustable parameter?

    I actually still use a Heathkit H19 in the other room here. I guess it's just about 25 years old now. Still works great. Best keyboard evar.

    • fantasygoat says:

      Yes, the default curvature is a little too fish-eye but if you knock it down to one tick above the bottom it's pretty excellent.

      It needs the ability to highlight though, then I'd make it my default terminal program!

  8. spendocrat says:

    I have no ready access to a machine with OSX. What's the icon?

  9. bitpuddle says:

    Flicker + full screen == the shit.

  10. edouardp says:

    Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. I've been wanting a terminal emulator that did exactly that for years (well, ever since my genuine Wyse 50 died).

    Full screen, with a little bit of distortion and a touch of flicker, and I'm suddenly back in a time where I wasted hours playing nethack. In fact that was the reason I got the Wyse 50 in the first place - I could have played it in an xterm on my Linux box, but it felt *much* better to play it on a green screen monitor hooked up to the linux boxes serial port. The Wyse 50 itself was a retro thing to remind myself of playing nethack at University. I guess using GLTerminal is me being retro-retro :-)

    I'm looking forward to the revised edition, as it's emulation isn't perfect, and I also noticed that ^] is completely swallowed by the app, and so I can't use it for programming with vi very easily...

    Lynx works good in it though, and, naturally, that's what I'm using to post this comment. I feel ... *good* about that.

    • edouardp says:

      Oh, and the font needs to be much higher rez - the pixelation is too blocky on my 20" LCD. Make the effect a little less credible than it could be.

    • edouardp says:

      Oh oh! And you also need a diffuse glow around every character, ala

      That's what I remember! You could do it with a single texture but vary it's brightness depending on the number of pixel set in the character. That would be close enough, and not blow the texture budget. Probably wouldn't make much of an impact on the rendering time either.

      Wow - if only I hadn't forgotten everything I knew about Open GL programming!

  11. furia_krucha says:

    Isn't that ironic, that emacs works much better than xemacs over phosphor/apple2?

  12. riffraff says:

    I just updated GLTerminal for Leopard, so that the text renders properly (I just rearranged the character map), and so it's ever so slightly easier to skip the rendering bug at startup. I also made the icon more work-safe ("GL TERM" on a VT220 screen).

    Download away!

    It'd be really nice if the original author, James McCombe, would update the app properly.