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Terminal Applications


Home Page Release Notes License:
Shareware; $20-$60

Current Version: 4.6.6 / 10.2.1 (July 21, 2010)

dataComet is, without a doubt, the single most sophisticated terminal emulation client for the Mac. Quite a bit more mature than its predecessor Comet, above, it supports full emulation of PC-ANSI, VT-52, VT-100, VT-102, VT-220, IBM 3278 and IBM 3279 terminals, in glorious full color. It's extremely fast and feature-filled, supporting such unusual features as scrollback in 327x modes, X-Window-like window iconization, very sophisticated font handling (including leading control!), file transfers, very extensive preferences, superb printing controls, support for 5250 menus and function keys in 327x emulation modes, AppleScript support, and much, much more. Version 4.6.6 - the latest release for "Classic" Mac OS - adds/changes the following:

  • Adds support for IND$FILE transfers with IBM mainframes, improved support for SCO-ANSI emulation, support for entering a telephone number for automatic modem dialing in the "New..."/"Reconfigure Session..." dialog, and several other features and bug fixes.

Version 10.2.1 - the latest release for Mac OS X - adds/changes the following:

  • The emulator screen position is now saved correctly when the session document is closed; in 10.2.0, the position was only saved if the window had been zoomed.
  • A zoomed emulator window will now appear on the same monitor when more than one monitor is in use.
  • Command-Clicking on a document window title now brings up the standard MacOS file path popup menu, allowing you to view the file path and open folders in the Finder easily.
  • The Window menu "Next" command (option-tab) now proceeds to the next open window rather than stopping the cycle if a Session window has a closed connection.
  • The appearance of emulator windows has been improved. The packet counters and timer are now greyed out when the session is closed, and the Rows and Columns fields at the bottom of the emulator screen now have more area allocated to them.
  • Dialogs have been fixed so the text cursor appears when the curosr is over the active text field.
  • The appearance and functionality of the "Find" dialog has been improved. The "Backwards" checkbox has been replaced by a "Previous" button. The "Replace" command now works correctly when the "Replace" text is empty.
  • The "Define Macros..." dialog now always displays the ASCII character zero (NUL), which is used in dataComet macros to terminate strings, as '\000' rather than the Comet Fonts "^A" character to avoid confusion.
  • The "Configure Terminal Session" dialog has been improved so that tabbing to the next field works in a sensible fashion, and clicking on a text field which does not apply to the current connection type produces a brief popup message rather than an annoying alert -- and now it's not possible to enter text in that field.
  • The default session type for a "New" session is now Telnet (or SSH for dataComet-Secure) rather than a "Shell" session.
  • Entering an empty address in the "Configure Terminal Session" "Connect to:" field now works correctly to connect to the machine's own IP address.
  • The File Transfer Progress dialog now displays byte counts with commas.
  • Fixed the File Transfer Progress dialog so the transfer counts are only updated once a second; this yields a substantial improvement (~80%) in file transfer performance when using ZModem.
  • IND$FILE IBM file transfers now display an update on the transmitted file length in the emulator prompt area.
  • Several problems with edit windows have been fixed; extra lines should no longer appear in the window when text is pasted into the window.
  • dataComet's edit windows now interpret linefeed characters in files so they display correctly, and saves them back to the file as linefeeds. Edit windows will now reliably load up to the maximum 32,767 character limit, rather than failing to load the last 2,000 characters of a file which is over 30,000 characters in length.
  • Saving a new Session configuration now always creates a new .edit companion text document, so a "Save text" command will succeed when the session document is reopened, even when the .edit document was not saved the first time around.
  • Changing the font in edit windows now takes effect immediately, rather than after the font size is changed.
  • The '<<' and '>>' "Shift Text" buttons at the bottom left corner of edit windows now repeat when they're held down.
  • Saving a new session document to the global sessions folder now updates the Sessions submenu.
  • Submenus have been fixed so they display more rapidly when you move the cursor over them to select an item from them.
  • The 3270/5250 menus no longer shift position when the 5250 menu is toggled on and off in the 3270 preferences panel. The Macros menu now always appears before the Window menu.
  • Window Minimize and Maximize events are now handled better; the window's menu item in the Window menu is marked to show the window has been Minimized, and you can expand the window by selecting the item.
  • SCP/RCP file transfers are now enabled in dataComet X, providing an alternative to using ZModem. SCP transfers in dataComet X are not encrypted (note that the "scp" file transfer protocol is the same as UNIX's "rcp" with a security layer wrapped around it.) Also, the SCP file transfer dialog no longer automatically brings up the Select File dialog when it's selected from the menu to perform an upload.
  • Emulator screen printing: color banding which appeared when printing an emulator screen in color has been improved, so it should not appear unless a font is being drawn in double-wide/double-high modes (VT100). Also, the emulator cursor position may have appeared in screens printed in a very small size; this has also been fixed.

dataComet is a $20 for the "Classic" version and $60 for the Mac OS X version.

User Reviews

"I am using dataComet and, from what I can see, it is a great telnet program. It seems to be more stable than NCSA 2.7b4."
—Mike Prindle

"Where do I buy the fan club t-shirt? It works; it has great features, and the users control the funding, rather than the University of Illinois. While I liked NCSA Telnet and Brown TN3270, and don't mean to imply that they did not work or were not also excellent, I like having one application do both."
—Andrew Starr

"I need to hook up to IBM mainframes; dataComet is the best tool for me. Features I like: 3279 and VT100 support, scroll-back buffers, macros, and fonts. tn3270 hasn't changed since 1996. dataComet is constantly improving."
—John Holland

[10.0.2] "This program had so many options, it was hard to figure out what was going on. It has really amazing font customizability. You can even use a different font for bold text in the terminal. Unfortunately, it doesn't have tabbed terminals. I have no idea why it opens up a second window when I start a new terminal. It ran quickly on my powerbook G4 867MHz, unlike iTerm."

[10.0.2] "I'm using this for 3270 emulation, on a Mac Pro running 10.4.7. The UI is a little clunky compared to tn3270x (took me a couple minutes to figure out how to open a remote session versus a local terminal), and in ISPF it incorrectly renders certain common 3270 graphical elements (e.g. box borders, or the border below the top ISPF menu). However, it does support destructive backspace by default, which it something I have been unable to get tn3270x to do for me. In general, it's keyboard mapping flexibility appears superior to that of tn3270x, and it also supports a wider variety of automatic codepage translations for input (1047 versus 37, for example, and many others)."
—Jared Hunter, September 22, 2006

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Also See . . .

Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:

Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.

Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.

Also Consider . . .

These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!