[vcf-midatlantic] Is a TRS-80 Videotex Terminal functionally usable?

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Fri Feb 18 16:18:24 UTC 2022

On 2/18/22 11:09, Joseph Giliberti via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> A friend of mine has a TRS-80 Videotex Terminal, which seems to be a very
> limited CoCo1, intended solely for use with dial-up services which no
> longer exist.
> Other than being a display piece, is there any way of actually using it?
> Could it dial in to a modem BBS?

   Wow, that's quite a rare unit.  Despite Videotex' great functionality 
and good market penetration in other countries, it never gained much 
acceptance in the US.

   If memory serves, the TRS-80 Videotex terminal speaks the NAPLPS 
(North American Presentation Level Protocol Syntax) protocol, which 
won't be supported by many (if any) BBSs.  It doesn't just move 
characters back and forth; it's a remote graphics control protocol that 
has quite advanced functionality, for the time.

   I fear that it won't be a usable device today, unless someone puts 
together a NAPLPS implementation.  Which, now that this has come up, 
sounds like a very appealing project.

   Don't let anything bad happen to that terminal!


Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

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