Minicom is a clone of the MS-DOS "Telix" communication program. It emulates ANSI and VT102 terminals, has a dialing directory and auto zmodem download. Backports for the stable Debian release are provided at Minicom's upstream homepage, which can be found at http://alioth.debian.org/projects/minicom/.Along with recommending flightgear and about a dozen other packages, Paul suggested minicom. Before anyone complains about selecting such a common package, I'll say this in my own defense: every so often I need to connect with a serial device directly, such as a switch, a power strip, or even the occasional computer console. For years I have turned to minicom to get the job done. It has always been forgiving to let me quickly get in touch with those devices without spending a lot of time getting it configured (but I grew up on serial, so YMMV). It's a fine basic tool. If there's another way to open a terminal on a serial line, I'm blissfully ignorant for now.
I have a confession to make. I haven't been running X for several years and I tend to be a bit of a console junkie. I use screen extensively along with ssh. I would like to ask that folks proposing all those cool GUI packages to provide their own commentary that I can include. I will not be able to evaluate those packages adequately. Please indicate if I may give you credit for the submission. I love all of the suggestions that are rolling in, but it is a challenge to find the time to review the packages in any detail much less say anything intelligent about them. Thanks!
I'm still getting the kinks ironed out of the system here and am just barely keeping up with getting things posted. The positive comments have been very uplifting and have kept me going even though I should be asleep.
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