In this post we’ll examine a few public telnet services out there that might be worth a visit, even today!
$ telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl
At the top of the list is the Star Wars asciimation! By telnetting to the above domain you’ll first be greeted with some text, but after a few moments you’ll see that you’re presented with an animated ascii version of Star Wars! It certainly looks like some hard work went into putting it together and it’s even cooler that it was converted to a telnet stream. Neat!
$ telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl 666
From our same friends at blinkenlights.nl comes The Bofh Excuse Server. When you telnet in you’ll see that you are immediately disconnected and a ridiculous and often humorous excuse for the disconnect is provided by the server. This is good for a laugh and could even be used as a prank among techies by providing the wrong hostname and port (a geekier version of the rickroll).
$ telnet telehack.com
Telehack is a collection of telnet apps and goodies, including games and jokes. Here’s a sample joke from Telehack’s archive:
For Sale: parachute, used once, never opened, small stain.
The old school games are fun to explore whether you’ve seen them before or not.
$ telnet aardmud.org
Last, but not least: Multi-user dungeons! These interactive, multiplayer games are played entirely through telnet and are still popular even today. The telnet command above will connect you to Aardwolf, one of the more popular and active MUDs available. If telnet video games sounds right up your alley, you can visit The Mud Connector to learn more.
P.S. If you like dungeons but multiplayer isn’t your style, there’s always NetHack. It’s a popular single-player dungeon that also has a text-based interface (although GUI’s are available as well).
That’s it! It’s not much, but as you can see people are still using telnet and there are still some interesting and fun telnet services out there on the web.
Do you have a fun telnet service you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments! Happy hacking!