There are a few different ways to connect to a BBS. Most commonly, you’ll connect through the dialing directory interface, which organizes your favorite BBSes and keeps track of related details. You can also call a BBS through various shortcut methods.
Note that a given terminal window can only be connected to one BBS at a time; if you’re already connected to a BBS, you’ll need to either hang up first or open a new terminal before connecting to another BBS.
The dialing directory stores a list of all of the BBSes that you’ve saved to your system, allows you to mark preferred BBSes as favorites, and records a history of your most recent BBS connections. Most of the time, you’ll probably connect to a BBS through this interface. Simply bring up the details of the BBS that you want to call (from the main list, your favorites list, or from the call history), and then press the “Connect” button located by the BBS details. For more information on how to use the directory, see its documentation page.
If you know the server name (IP address or hostname) and port number that the BBS uses, then you can connect to it without adding it to your dialing directory, via the “quick connect” feature.
To use quick connect, use the ⌘K keyboard shortcut. On macOS, you can also use the Console → Quick Connect… menu command. This will open a popup where you can enter the server details and start the connection.
If the hostname and port number match a BBS that’s already in your dialing directory, then MuffinTerm will recognize it and use the BBS’s settings, the same as if you had selected it from the dialing directory. If the BBS hasn’t been recorded in your directory yet, then MuffinTerm will save it to the call history, but it won’t be added to your regular BBS list unless you manually register it from there.
You can quickly reconnect to the most recent BBS in your call history by using the ⌘Y keyboard shortcut. To redial the last BBS called from a specific console (even if you have called another BBS more recently in another console in the meantime), hold down the Option key with the shortcut (⌥⌘Y). On macOS, these are also available through the Console → Redial Last menu command (which becomes Redial Last for Console when you hold down the Option key).
You can also connect to a BBS directly from the terminal interface.
To connect to a BBS using telnet, type telnet hostname port (substituting the actual server’s hostname or IP address for “hostname” and the TCP port number for “port”), and then press Enter (or Return). If the port number is 23—the default for the telnet protocol—then it can be omitted.
To connect using a basic TCP socket, type tcp hostname port. You can also type socket instead of tcp; they work equivalently. The port number is required when using a basic TCP socket.
You can also click on a specially formatted link on a web page to connect to a BBS. (For example, the BBS entries on The Telnet BBS Guide site have links that you can click to connect.)
MuffinTerm registers with the system for handling telnet:// URLs. However, be aware that if another application is installed that has also registered for handling telnet, then the system decides which of the applications to send it to, so it might or might not launch MuffinTerm, depending on which one the system picks.
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