dial/hangup/sms commandline (was: vt with fullscreen keyboard)

Paul Sladen openmoko at paul.sladen.org
Fri Mar 27 18:16:57 CET 2009

On Fri, 27 Mar 2009, Michael 'Mickey' Lauer wrote:
> On Friday 27 March 2009 14:34:31 Werner Almesberger wrote:
> > Hang up with ^C, background and do something else with ^Z, etc. :-)
> I'm still waiting for someone writing an ncurses dialer.

I was discussing something similar to do for a semi-serious 1 April 2009
release (eg. "Debian phone edition(tm)"), but I don't think it's going to
get done.  For those actively interested, the idea was:

  $ dial sladen
  Trying 123456789
  Connected to paul.sladen.pstn
  Press '^C' to hang up.
  [1]+  Stopped      dial sladen
  You have new mail in /var/mail/mobile
  $ bg
  [1]+  dial sladen
  $ sms
  Mail version 8.1.2 01/15/2001.  Type ? for help.
  "/var/mail/mobile": 107 messages 1 new 14 unread
   U107 123456789 at pstn  Fri Mar 27 18:52   1/18  Phil  Yo, @8pm? l8trz
  & quit
  $ sms -s 'r. 20h at KX stn s-q-l8tors' phil at pstn
  $ fg
  dial sladen
  Connection closed.
  $ date
  Fri Mar 27 19:15:16 EET 2009

This, combined with a full-size overlaid semi-transparent landscape keyboard
solves the average geek use-case far better than anything else presented.  
An incoming call writing to your terminal like 'talk'/'wall' do and you type
'hangup' to answer.

'sms' is just a link to '/usr/bin/mail'.  All the interesting stuff is done
by writting a couple of tiny programs that do roughly 'ATD' and 'ATH' and
little else and by hacking 'nsswitch.conf' and providing an alternative
'/usr/bin/sendmail' that knows about '.pstn'.  Battery values are there for
anyone who types 'acpi'.

A l33t geek can symlink dial/hangup/sms to even shorter 'd', 'h' and 's'.
Three-way conferencing is as simple as 'bg' and a second 'dial'.  The Unix
analogy being mapped (or used directly) where-ever possible.

Simple, mostly stateless and mostly uncrashable.

Why do one side of a triangle when you can do all three.  Somewhere, GB.

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