Help me telnet!
October 18, 2007 8:26 AM   Subscribe

Desperate to telnet: I'm at a crappy pay as you go computer in a hotel in Germany. It's a Windows machine, and the native telnet client is disabled. I downloaded putty, but can't install it or run it. I don't have a flash drive on which to download putty and even if I did, there's no available USB port. I vaguely recall an acquaintance posting about a website from which one could establish a telnet connection (via a Java applet?). I'm a bit of a technotard, but can follow instructions. HELP. I've been out of touch with my friends for two weeks, and am desperate to check in with them. Thanks!
posted by ereshkigal45 to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have never tried it, and think you would be a bit nuts to use it since they could easily grab your password, but there is a http to telnet gateway online.
posted by procrastination at 8:44 AM on October 18, 2007

Putty doesn't need to be installed, you can just run it as an executable that you download and put anywhere. Try this link:

Just download putty.exe.
posted by RustyBrooks at 8:54 AM on October 18, 2007

Response by poster: I know that putty is executable, but I'm not able to execute it. I'm getting a message auf Deutsch that says: "Windows kann dieses programme nicht offnung, weil dies einer Systemrichtlinie zufolge nicht zulassig ist. Offnen sie die Ereignisanzeige, oder wenden Sie sich an den Systemadministrator, um weitere Informationen zu erhalten."

I don't know exactly what that means, but I think it loosely translates to "no way, Jose."
posted by ereshkigal45 at 9:04 AM on October 18, 2007

Google translate says:"Windows can not opening this program, because this is one system that directive is not allowed. Opening the event display, or ask your system administrator for more information"
posted by mullingitover at 9:08 AM on October 18, 2007

Are you talking of actual telnet or can you use SSH? MindTerm is your search term for SSH, but that doesn't do actual unencrypted telnet.
posted by themel at 9:14 AM on October 18, 2007

That gateway that procrastination links to is, IMO, dangerous. It routes all your traffic through them, which you shouldn't do unless you trust them a lot.

What you really want is something like this, which basically encapsulates a telnet application in a Java applet. Unfortunately, that one is designed to only let you connect to one system (the SDF).

I think this is one that will let you connect just about anywhere. It should still be considered a dangerous last resort, since I haven't inspected the code or anything, and you have no idea of whether it's sending your passwords to someone, but that's really no different from running any other executable.

The major difference is that it connects directly, without going to a central server via HTTP and then to the site you're connecting to. It's a full-fledged Telnet program, just implemented inside your browser.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:23 AM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

Try to use SSH if the machine you're connecting to allows it (quite probable). SSH is better because your text (including the username/password) is sent in the clear (unencrypted) in telnet, but not in SSH. (You describe yourself as a neophyte, so apologies if you knew this).

There is an online SSH client here that appears to connect directly from your computer. It will not work if the place you're connecting from blocks outgoing SSH traffic (not uncommon in corporations, but I'm guessing probably not blocked in your case).

Otherwise you'll need a gateway, which will allow your traffic to be secure HTTP (SSL) to the gateway itself, and then SSL to the machine you want to connect to. I am not aware of any, but I didn't have the time to look hard.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:25 AM on October 18, 2007

my 2c ... which may work ... can you get to windows help? if so search for command or cmd ... to get the command prompt help page ... which should have a link to run the command prompt ... run it and then try telnet from the prompt.
posted by jannw at 11:09 AM on October 18, 2007

i've found you can't rely on telnet or ssh when traveling. you need to use what the masses use: gmail, hotmail, etc.

e.g. I use gmail solely for this purpose. A copy of all incoming mail is forwarded to my gmail address. Not only is this a handy searchable archive, and i can read and send email from anywhere with minimal fuss.

you can also use web pop gateways if you're desperate and don't mind giving your account info to strangers.
posted by kamelhoecker at 11:46 AM on October 18, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you all for the suggestions. I´m afraid the pucker factor on this terminal is extremely high. I´ve tried all suggestions and no joy. It´s a lesson learned. I´ll never travel without a laptop again.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 12:37 PM on October 18, 2007

javassh is able to do telnet, though I think mindterm has support too. You'll still need to set it up on on your server that also runs the telnet server though.

Alternatively, get yourself a free ssh account somewhere and use this.
posted by fvw at 1:01 PM on October 18, 2007

In IE you can also do telnet://your_address. It just spawns the native telnet client, might be worth a try.
posted by banshee at 1:20 PM on October 18, 2007

does the pc have hyperterminal isntalled? (in startmenu-accessories-communications)
posted by canoehead at 6:04 PM on October 18, 2007

In the future, it might be a good idea to buy a cheap virtual host and install some web-based SSH of your own.
posted by delmoi at 6:18 PM on October 18, 2007

AjaxTerm works wonders... but that's for next time. I don't have much to suggest right now other than that.
posted by arnoooooo at 4:02 AM on October 19, 2007

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