Last week, I asked if anyone other than me still cares about telnet. Boy, did that strike a nerve. Nearly 100 of you responded, and I appreciate the input. Because this topic is of interest to so many of you, I’m going to devote a column to telnet in Windows NT Magazine early next year. In the meantime, here are a few points of immediate interest:

  • Some folks got the impression that Microsoft is moving telnet to the Services for UNIX (SFU) add-on package. That’s incorrect—SFU has a later version of the new, console-mode telnet, but telnet remains a Windows 2000 (Win2K) feature.
  • According to Microsoft, the primary reason for changing to the new telnet is security—the old, GUI-based telnet sent passwords in clear text. The new telnet can send an encrypted password, for compatibility with the new telnet server in SFU.
  • It’s possible to copy text from the new telnet and paste it into a Notepad session, but this approach takes extra steps, and I don’t consider it the same as session logging. At least one reader wrote to say that he’d tripped over the 999-line limit inherent in this method, but for people who just need to grab the text on one screen, this approach will work fine.
  • A number of you pointed out that Hyperterminal, which is included with Win2K, supports logging and can open a telnet session. That’s true, and it’s Microsoft’s official response to my need to log telnet data in a session.
  • Many users wrote me about their favorite third-party telnet. Various people suggested Mini-soft, Exceed, Procomm Plus, QVT/Term, Secure CRT, TeraTerm Pro, and probably a few others I’ve missed. In short, many alternatives exist—some commercial and some freeware or shareware.

Again, I’ll have more on this in the print magazine. Thanks to everyone who wrote.

Another Strange Discovery
Start a command prompt in Win2K release Candidate 2 (RC2) and type "set." This command displays all environment variables. Look at the TEMP directory setting. I discovered a problem last week when my C drive unexpectedly started to fill up. I hadn’t installed anything on the drive and couldn’t figure out what was taking space. It turns out the drive is loaded with temporary files that aren’t being deleted, probably because the files aren't where the programs that created them expect them to be.

Service Pack 6
While we’re waiting for Win2K to ship, users who still run NT 4.0 will be interested in this: Service Pack 6 (SP6) includes cumulative security patches, post-SP5 Y2K updates (Microsoft doesn’t require SP6 for Y2K compliance—if you’ve got SP4 or better you're compliant), and fixes to some customer problems. SP6 is available on CD-ROM for $14.95. For more information, browse http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ servicepacks.