Apps I Regularly Use

Continuing the discussion from Apps you want on the L5:

Apps I use on a regular basis (in no particular order):

  • a hotspot so I can connect my laptop to cell-tower internet via the phone's WiFi
  • A good file manager with sftp
  • VLC
  • Firefox
  • Something like Syncthing would be great
  • Nextcloud Sync, Talk, Calendar, Contacts (DAV)
  • I'm going to definitely need access to a bluetooth earpiece-- my state just passed a no-hands-calls while driving law.
  • GPS maps app with compass, and the ability to pre-load maps for areas with no cell signal
  • Signal
  • Readers for PDF, Epub, and .txt
  • LibreOffice reader would make my day, but the idea someone mentioned to convert an OpenDocument file to PDF on the fly is a great idea.
  • will sshfs work, since it's a cli command?
  • Email, of course.

I guess that mostly wraps it up for now. Thanks for the forum.

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I’d like a terminal emulator that emulates HP screen handling and line draw characters.

Alas, 99% of all terminal emulators emulate VT100 and IBM.



It is also possible to do this via Bluetooth and via USB. I will be keen to know which of the three options, if any, are available on the L5.

Is it permitted by law to Bluetooth pair with the car?

Again, I will be keen to see whether this works on the L5.

How practical is that going to be on a 5.7" screen?

Did you want a full size (in characters, width and depth) so that the characters are tiny - or reduced size (in characters) and hope that the program can handle that?

Maybe you could pipe the session through an application that translates HP screen handling and line draw into VTxxx screen handling and line draw. That could work as long as HP doesn’t have functionality that doesn’t exist on the VTxxx and could work anyway provided that you don’t use any missing functionality.

If you are going to try that, I would suggest getting it working on a normal desktop/laptop first.

Maybe take a look at freevt3k which may already do what you want.

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If I used it on my old 4 inch android with a slider, 5.7 inches is an upgrade!

Old dumb terminal, 80 chars by 24 lines. If I really need to “read” what is shown (instead of just patterns of code), I should be able to expand it with thumb and forefinger.

I currently live without HP linedraw on the old android, it just shows up as punctuation anyway. For example a line shows up as a series of semicolons. I’m just saying it would be nice, otherwise I would just get putty.

I don’t think freevt3k is any longer available, (I think it got renamed to something I don’t remember and got lost in backwards compatibility.)

I’m used to Minisoft’s Secure/92 or Attachmate (a.k.a. Reflection) on the desktop as it is. But I only have Windows versions, and they were paid for.


That seems to be correct. PuTTY doesn’t do line drawing but gnome-terminal does.

?maybe. then follow link to “binaries” (and eventually download the source).

Its description suggests that the more basic application (not the GUI application) works by translating HP screen handling into VTxxx screen handling. That ought to be a good starting point, and is less likely to have been broken over time.

  • Hotspot: The easiest solution is via WiFi. That way you can also easily couple multiple devices.

  • No-hands law: I think yes, it’s legal. I haven’t read the law myself, but I think anything is legal as long as the driver’s hands are not occupied.

  • Terminal Emulator: thanks, Tracy. I actually took it for granted a Linux phone would have a terminal emulator. This feature is important to me too. Ideally, a pinch should zoom in. At the very least, the user should be able to enlarge the font size.

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@tracy wants a terminal emulator that emulates an HP terminal whereas the default gnome-terminal is (I think) emulating a VTxxx terminal. Which did you want?

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I’m not sure anyone has actually bothered to translate HP screen handling into VT, then back again for a terminal emulator. That’s why most vendors who offer HP at all, also offer VTxxx as another package. (If you get both at the same time its a deluxe package, but you still have to flip a configuration bit to be one way or the other, not both at the same time.)

In other words what it sounds like you’re saying is:

  1. Type characters on the app in VTxxx form
  2. The app sends it to the host in HP form (which expects it)
  3. The host echoes back in HP form
  4. Then the app converts it back to VTxxx

Seems like an inefficient use of computing resources on the phone when all it is, is a character set. Its like double parking, if you could only use the original parking space to begin with …

HP of course.


More likely … what I am saying is my understanding, having read the description of freevt3k. It is not as if I have ever used that application!

  • So you have a Gnome terminal on any Linux desktop / laptop / phone / tablet.
  • You ssh into a remote host that happens to be some ancient HP computer. :slight_smile:
  • You run a native HP application.
  • The native HP application thinks it knows how to output to a real HP terminal and outputs HP screen handling and line drawing character sequences.
  • You have freevt3k sitting somewhere between your Gnome terminal and the HP application.
  • freevt3k intercepts what is sent by the HP application and converts HP stuff to VTxxx stuff.
  • So by the time it hits the Gnome terminal it outputs correctly.

I don’t know what character set the HP computer might use. If it’s not ASCII / ISO Latin 1 / UTF-8 / Unicode then yep maybe freevt3k has to convert character sets in both directions too.

Philosophical or practical question though as to whether reducing a problem to solving an existing problem is the best approach. It is efficient in problem solving time but may not be efficient at run time.

In reality for the sort of bandwidth required by a typical terminal application even a phone should be up to the job of translating characters and character sequences in real time. Happy to be proven wrong when you have the phone in your hot little hand !

Before any of this is even possible, we would need to have Gnome terminal or some other VTxxx emulator available on the phone.

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Actually, I remember freevt3k before gnome was just a glimmer in someone’s eye. It was on a dumb terminal connected via serial port to an HP9000, I would run freevt3k on the HP9000 (I think it was HP-UX 8 point something) and connect to an HP3000.

Oh yeah, it was all ASCII, Roman-8 back then.

Seems to me a smart progammer could write a native HP display and skip the VTxxx. They were separate back in the day, so why VT and HP should be conjoined now is beyond my knowledge. (If there is a technical reason Gnome requires VTxxx for display purposes then I would relent.) I think VTxxx protocol is used just because everyone knows it, has drivers for it, and it is the path of least resistance. Perhaps writing an HP display protocol would require writing a new driver. (Reinventing the wheel if you will, because old drivers have been lost in the depths of time.) Like finding Fortran programmers.

That’s the other half of freevt3k.

Pardon, I just had a memory jolt. I think it was just called vt3k back then, before they prefixed it with “free”.