The longer I go without this capability, the stronger my desire for an application for the iPhone to fill my needs. But, I don't want to hack my phone...I want a real iPhone App, and now it's worth money to me. I can't find a 'Wish List' page that hasn't been taken over by spammers. So, I'll try the Open Letter approach.
I have two needs, with a common root...both need a basic vt-100 terminal emulator underneath. ANSI color would be a nice touch, but isn't necessary. I don't need Wyse, or full-blown TN-3270 emulation...keep it simple. Some scrollback buffer would be useful (say ~2600 lines), and the ability to capture to a log file (and email the log later?) would be very handy. So, what else?
The primary need is to have an SSH v2 client, so I can SSH directly to my machines using the Edge or wifi connections. This also probably means solving the pre-shared keys issue...how do I get the keys onto the iPhone? I still can't sync a simple file to my phone. Maybe I need a key-generator on the phone, but I still need to get the public key to the hosts.
The secondary need is to communicate with a Bluetooth serial device. Specifically, a BlueConsole dongle, although there are other devices with which you should be able to interoperate. (I used to use the Tri-connect package (from Tridone) on my Treo 650. It wasn't great, but it was a good option, which let me do a lot of quick, little jobs without lugging a computer around.) I'm sorely tempted to carry the Treo around in my tool bag, for those occasions when I'd really like to use these serial devices...if I could find a good way to keep the Treo battery charged while it's in the tool bag, I'd do it. But, I'd much rather use the iPhone for this task.
If you're an iPhone developer, working on a terminal emulator that will use the Bluetooth port, let's talk! I'm willing to be a software tester, give feedback, and help with documentation. I've got good credentials in both the serial console and the communications software test realms. We may also be able to work out a loan of a BlueConsole device while you're developing.
If you're an iPhone developer, working on an SSH v2 client, I want to talk to you as well, and I'm willing to be a tester for this as well. (I'd love to know that someone is trying to fulfill this need.) My favorite SSH app is PuTTY (by Simon Tatham and others), if you want to set your sites high. If you are trying to determine what folks 'want', versus what the 'need' (and would be willing to pay for), I'd like to talk to you.
Since Father's Day is in June, I'm going to post information about some of my favorite new tools in my next posts, in case you are shopping for special gifts. (Yes, the iPhone is on the list.)