With the introduction of the IBM PC and MS-DOS in 1981 came a console device driver, ANSI.SYS, that implemented a very small portion of the X3.64 standard (11 commands and 3 extensions). This driver and the IBM PC BIOS and video architecture became the basis for the early PC Bulletin Board Systems. Users of these BBSs were told they needed an "ANSI" terminal, by which was meant an IBM PC running ANSI.SYS or an emulator for it, characterized by:
As versions of UNIX and other operating systems were developed for the IBM PC they inherited similar requirements. Unfortunately, the developers of these new systems consistently called their terminal drivers "ANSI", even though each differed from the other, and this has led to a great deal of confusion for current users of their systems (SCO ANSI is a case in point).
Here is a list of all Kermit 95's terminal types that are based on the X3.64 standard. ANSI.SYS identifies a system based on the IBM PC console driver; VT identifies those terminals derived from the DEC VT terminals; and X3.64 are those terminals that most closely follow the original ANSI X3.64-1979 standard:
Only ANSI X3.64-1979 terminals are capable of processing APC command sequences.
ANSI X3.64-1979 was withdrawn and replaced by an international standard, ISO 6429.
(2) In classifying computer systems, ASCII-based systems are those that use character sets based on ASCII for text files, as opposed to (say) IBM Mainframes, which use a different system called EBCDIC.
(3) In classifying terminal emulations, ASCII terminals are those, like Wyse 50, Wyse 60, Televideo, HPTERM, Data General, etc, that used the ASCII character-set and are not based upon the "ANSI" X3.64-1979 terminal specification.
(4) The "word" ASCII is sometimes used to mean plain text, as distinguished from binary. For example, "an ASCII file", "transfer in ASCII mode", etc.
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