Putty for S60 is one of the coolest apps out there. There’s a relatively short list of apps that run directly on my phone that I consider critical. Putty is both critical in itself so that I can get to servers from anywhere for administration, as well as serving as access to a ton of applications meant to be used from the command line. I’ve tried out just about every free IRC client that I can find for S60 or Java, but my favorite so far is still the terminal app irssi. If you’re a Linux geek (which I am) there are probably a bunch of apps you’ve used before that would suit you well on the E61.
When I was using the 6680 putty worked out decent for running a quick command or two in a pinch. But with no real keyboard and a really limited screen it wasn’t really workable for something I didn’t expect to do and have scripted up in advance. The E61 has a full keyboard and enough resolution to make for a more than respectable display. It works more like a terminal emulator now, so you can actually do things like use VIM on the server. Kick ass.
However, there were a few issues with my Debian server. On some servers the key two to the left of the spacebar on the E61 generates a tab, but not all servers. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to figure out what the difference was between the servers on which it generated a tab and those that didn’t. There were some other oddities as well, like the ctrl key. I expected that to work just like control on a regular keyboard but it didn’t. However, after much poking around I noticed that it does work like a control key when I’m running screen on the server. So if I’m running screen I can generate tabs using ctrl-I, and ctrl-a works as expected. But generating an escape (ctrl-]) when using VIM is still pretty cumbersome.
So I’ve started using mapchan and let it start screen when I’m using my phone. I found mention of mapchan in the text terminal faq, and I wasn’t sure if it was older than dirt or just unpopular. But I compiled it and it’s been working fantastic, using this mapping for my particular server config:
I have no idea what those keys that I don’t use are supposed to be, but that mapping makes the C with the thing under it into a tab, the accented N on the other side of the space bar into a ctrl-a, and the upside down question mark (bluekey+l) into an escape. Fantabulous, now using just about anything on my server is pretty convenient.
Remapping additional keys is pretty easy. To figure out what the keys I didn’t use were I just ran xxd on my server (hex dumps whatever it gets on standard input), hit the keys I want to find the values for, hit return, and select send ctrl-d from the putty hotkey menu (or just his ctrl-d if I’m already running screen).
Of course I would love my phone to do all sorts of interesting stuff on it’s own, but for now having good terminal access to my server is the equivalent of how most folks think about remote desktop. I live on the command line quite a bit, so this opens up a whole set of tools for me.