[TUHS] cathode

William Corcoran wlc at jctaylor.com
Wed Sep 18 11:40:52 AEST 2019

Hello TUHS on Tues.,

Warren Toomey suggested I let the group know about a utility that exists at least for iMacs and IOS devices.  

It’s called “cathode” and you can find it on the Apple App Store.   Please forgive me if this has already been mentioned. 

This utility provides for an xterm window that looks like the display an old *tube.   You can set the curvature of the glass, the glow, various scan techniques, 9600 speed, and so on.   

It adds that extra dimension to give the look and feel of working on early UNIX with a tube. 

I would love to see profiles created that match actual ttys.  My favorite tube is the Wyse 50.   Another, one I remember is a Codex model with “slowopen” set in vi.  

Remember how early UNIX terminals behaved with slowopen, right?   The characters would overtype during insert mode in vi, but when you hit escape, the line you just clobbered reappears shifting the remaining text as appropriate to the right.

Cathode adds a little spice, albeit artificially, to the experience of early UNIX.


Bill Corcoran

(*) For the uninitiated, we used to call the tty terminal a “tube.”   For example, you might hear my boss say, “Corcoran, that cheese you hacked yesterday launched a runaway that’s now soaking the client’s CPU.  Go jump on a free tube and fix it now!”

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