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Smartphones For Text SSH Use Re-Revisited 359

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the serious-business dept.
Kainaw writes "This was asked in 2005 and 2008. I think it should be revisited yet again... With iPhone, Android, and Windows smartphones running around, which (if any) of them are well-suited to Unix/Linux server administration on the run? SSH is a must. A good screen resolution. A physical keyboard won't block the screen with a virtual keyboard. Many physical keyboards omit the numeric keys now, making the typing of numbers rather difficult. Nearly every smartphone has WiFi capability now. Some will do an X display through SSH tunnelling. So, pushing through all the bells and whistles that have nothing to do with effective server administration, what is left?"
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Smartphones For Text SSH Use Re-Revisited

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  • i'm sure there out there, but the market is getting harder and harder to sort through. can anyone recommend a good one?
    • Not sure about android, but MidpSSH [xk72.com] works wonders on my Blackberry, they probably have an android version. Used it just last night in a bind!
      • by multisync (218450)

        Has the current version of MidpSSH overcome the Blackberry's annoying tendancy to capitalize the first letter of the first word in the commands you type? I seem to recall you had to type your commands in to some intermediary console, rather than interact directly with the shell.

        • by s4ltyd0g (452701) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @10:19AM (#34776502)

          Just prefix each command with :; and the capitalization problem goes away. At first that quirk used to drive me crazy, but there's no need to use a secondary console.

        • by cez (539085)
          when using the "input" window to type, it does indeed capitalize still, at least the version I have, but once interactive in a shell or bounced from that shell to a router or somewhere else, no capitalization on the shell typing...
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by HIghoS (177655)

          As mentioned elsewhere in these posts, give BBSSH a try. It does not have this annoying tendency. What you type in your blackberry keyboard is what you get and if you want to use caps you need to hold down the shift key just like a real keyboard. I cannot stress how amazing BBSSH is, once you start to really get use to it and learn about swipes (literally almost like gestures of a sorts) it's great and quickly I can use it almost as fast as a putty/xterm session.

      • by clang_jangle (975789) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @09:55AM (#34776178) Journal
        I believe MidpSSH is quite out of date, but Marc Paradise's BBSH [bbssh.org] is based on it, and it's a vast improvement.
    • by yog (19073) * on Thursday January 06, 2011 @09:56AM (#34776184) Homepage Journal

      ConnectBot on a Google Nexus One. It just works. You can configure the display to 40x23 or 42x24 or whatever font fits best on screen versus your desired font size. The trackball acts as a control key and alt key: one press = CTRL, double press = ALT. (a must for Emacs and vi users)

      My only complaint is that it doesn't remember passwords the way AndFTP does (another excellent tool, by the way). I'd like to not have to type in the darned password every time, but oh well, it's a lot better than no ssh.

      It's also kinda neat that you can view the scrollback simply by dragging the screen back. Why don't all computers work that way?

      Last, and best of all, it's a free app. I haven't tried the other ssh clients out there, honestly, but since this one works, I haven't felt the need.

      • by benjymous (69893)

        Also, search for "full keyboard" on the market for a replacement software keyboard that gives lots of useful extra keys, such as a dpad and ctrl-key shortcuts (so you can type ^C with a single keypress)

      • My only complaint is that it doesn't remember passwords the way AndFTP does (another excellent tool, by the way). I'd like to not have to type in the darned password every time, but oh well, it's a lot better than no ssh.

        I don't know that I would want it to remember passwords. What happens if you lose your phone, or if someone steals it? If Connectbot remembers your passwords, you've just given a complete stranger the keys to your kingdom. It's a bit of a PITA to type passwords on my Hero with Connectbot, but less so than changing all of the passwords on every system to which I connect were I to lose the phone somewhere.

    • by TheCarp (96830)

      I use connectbot I haven't done tunneling, but it has the option.

      Admittedly, I seldom do any ssh via the phone, its a last resort backup for me. Came in really handy while I was de-racking a machine that I was removing from colo, and there wasn't a crash cart in sight. I just ssh'd in and halted the machine. Aside from that, I seldom use it.

    • I like my samsung Epic for it. There's a version of connectbot built with mappings for that particular phone at http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=813176 [xda-developers.com] that adds support for just about every key you need--control, escape, etc. I've used vi on it pretty comfortably.
    • I use ConnectBot. It can run in the background and provide tunnels for just about anything you want.

      You can even set the proxy of your 3G access point to the local endpoint of an ssh tunnel.

  • The N900. (Score:5, Informative)

    by sethstorm (512897) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @09:35AM (#34775900) Homepage

    Hardware keyboard, ships with xterm, has easily accessible number keys, and no jailbreaking needed.

    • Re:The N900. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Thursday January 06, 2011 @09:39AM (#34775964) Homepage
      I agree. I regularly use the N900 for SSH sessions with several servers. It runs Debian, so there's no much of a learning curve. There's a physical keyboard that you can easily remap for your own purposes.
      • Re:The N900. (Score:5, Informative)

        by KiloByte (825081) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @11:17AM (#34777434)

        While n900 beats anything Droid in customizability, the default keymap is worse than abysmal. Please use for example mine [angband.pl], save it as /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/nokia_vndr/rx-51; the new assignments use Fn-Shift (or Fn where it's unused).

        Having no basic symbols like |, [, ], , {, }, % or ~, or keys like PgUp, PgDn or Esc makes any Unix administration or programming a bad joke. Having to request an on-screen keyboard for those is unacceptable -- it's not an iToy! Fortunately, we can fix it.

        • Re:The N900. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Skal Tura (595728) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @01:08PM (#34779628) Homepage

          Uhm, generally speaking you do not want to do any complex things or coding with your phone unless it's an emergency... In which case, as long as it can do it somewhat conveniently it's really OK.

          Anything requiring more than a few simple commands, i'll find a real computer.

    • by dsavi (1540343)
      Also agreed. I tried SSHing from a touchscreen keyboard and it took like 5 minutes just to get connected. I'm also very pleased with Nokia hardware keyboards in general. And then of course the n900 runs a Debian based distribution, can be overclocked to 900mhz, no jailbreaking and all the rest of it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      N900 is a wet dream for any sys admin.

      Also, N900 is a very good weapon - you can do wonders just with sms:

      https://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/5640-Weaponizing-the-Nokia-N900-Part-1.html [infosecisland.com]
      https://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/8056-Weaponizing-the-Nokia-N900-Part-2.html [infosecisland.com]
      https://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/9921-Weaponizing-the-Nokia-N900-Part-3.html [infosecisland.com]

    • by nloop (665733)

      A year ago I would have agreed, it was the first 800x400 resolution phone, runs a more familiar linux, root out of the box, I was a big fanboy! However, that phone is getting a bit long in the tooth now.

      The HTC G2 now is doing "4G" transfer speeds, has a much faster processor, way more ram, and lets be honest about the future of Android/marketplace vs maemo...

      Connectbot is a pretty nice terminal application free on the market. You don't need to "jailbreak" to do anything the post is talking about, but if y

    • by DrogMan (708650)
      I too am an N900 user... However after seeing my wifes HTC Desire, I suspect my mext phone might be the Desire with the keyboard... (HTC Vision) I've been a Nokia communicator user from day 1, but I think Nokia has somewhat lost the plot now - I miss the maps on my old N90 (the 3.5 year license expired!) and there isn't anything bundled with the N900 and it looks like there never will be. My wife seems to get on OK with Google maps on hers.... But it'll be a year or more before I'm ready for a new phone,
      • While I agree for a desperate need of a decent map application N900, I didn't know Google Maps was a critical requirement for a system admin.

        • by DrogMan (708650)
          Maps aren't critical at all, however I just want to carry one device - not a separate GPS, phone, etc. If Nokia released OVI maps with turn by turn directions for the N900 then I'd be really happy.
        • Absolutely. How can you find your way around the city hosting ${FavoriteITConference}, if you don't have a map application on your phone?
    • by bcmm (768152)
      Also, nevermind hunting for a decent "ssh app" - it has OpenSSH. And it is indeed a proper Linux system, with all those little tools you'll eventually need when some server breaks, like dig and nmap and so on.
    • by janeuner (815461)

      Nokia N900

      Also, install an SSH server on the phone for extra awe.

    • The N900 is the way to go just for its flexibility:
      - no complicated jail-breaking needed or fighting with upstream to keep control of your phone's internals
      - can install a full Openssh stack or the lighter Dropbear if you don't need all features
      - several VNC clients available
      - full non-crippled browser
      - custom kernel available enabling various networking and filesystem modules
      - great contact manager with great VOIP connectivity (gtalk/SIP/Skype all even though 3G)
      - recently available custom wireless driver

    • by melikamp (631205)
      This. Just yesterday I augmented my N900 installation with sshfs and Gnumeric, so that now I can edit master copies of my ODS spreadsheets on the run.
    • by IICV (652597)

      I totally agree. To make it even better, you should remap the keys; there's a lot of unused modifier space on the keyboard. For instance, I have alt-backspace set to tab (for tab completion in a shell, natch) and shift-backspace set to Esc (for Vim, good luck using Emacs on such a tiny keyboard), alt- and shift- the various arrow keys set to things like brackets and pipes, and I've remapped the ./:/? button so that it has periods in alt-mode as well as normal mode (for entering decimal numbers in to Octave

    • Not only ssh, but sshfs and X forwarding. For the administration that requires a graphical interface, just pop it up on your N900 display. You can't beat that.
      Not to mention OpenVPN works too.

  • by HIghoS (177655) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @09:41AM (#34776000) Homepage

    http://bbssh.org/wiki/en/Home

    The author just released 2.0 with huge improvements. I've been using it for nearly half a year now, previously on a Storm and now on a Torch. It's great, it even works well with things like screen and irssi. It's great being able to login to my servers remotely anywhere, check screen sessions and even if I want to hop on IRC if need be! For those familiar with MidpSSH this is basicly it on steriods, but done properly.

    • by epiphani (254981)

      This. Additionally, with a BES you have an always-available vpn-like tunnel through to your internal network. BBSSH saves me so much time its not even funny.

  • by CoolVibe (11466) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @09:42AM (#34776012) Journal
    ...and specifically the touch UI one for Symbian S60v5. It's PuTTy. Oh, you want an URL with that... Try http://bd.kicks-ass.net/koodaus/putty/ [kicks-ass.net]
    • If it's a quick fix or check i use my Desire HD with ConnectBot

      but i've a backup cheepo Nokia E63. it's keyboard and PuTTy makes it easier for longer use...

  • Nokia n900 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Theolojin (102108) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @09:43AM (#34776024) Homepage

    It runs real Linux with real root (out of the box). It has a real xterm and bash is installable. It runs xorg. It's a fantastic phone. However, it doesn't have separate number keys which can be a pain if you're typing a lot of numbers. A cool feature of the xterm is it puts Ctrl, Tab, Esc, PgUp, and PgDn on-screen to work with the physical keyboard. It's great for remote server administration. I wouldn't want to work on it all day, but it's not meant for that, either.

    • by knewter (62953)

      I can back this up. Here's my post I typed up before seeing this one:

      I use a Nokia N900 and do this constantly. It comes preconfigured such that ctrl+shift+x starts an x term. I then just ssh in. I have a fairly fancy-pants password that uses various symbols, and it's easy to type it in with this phone. I can use vim comfortably on the phone (this was a problem with the android ssh tool i used because it didn't have an easily-accessible 'esc' key.)

      The N900 runs debian. I can't imagine needing to say m

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      It runs real Linux with real root (out of the box). It has a real xterm and bash is installable. It runs xorg. It's a fantastic phone.

      Can you place calls with it? :-P

      I continue to be astounded at the stuff you kids do with your phones nowadays. On behalf of those of us who remember this big bakelite phones screwed to the kitchen wall with 15 feet of twisted up cord and a rotary dial ... WTF? Xorg on a phone?? Really??

      • Xorg on a phone?? Really??

        No, not really. Xorg on a handheld computer. A phone dialling app on the same computer.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          No, not really. Xorg on a handheld computer. A phone dialling app on the same computer.

          See, I don't want a hand-held computer -- I want a phone. :-P

          Partly because I'm unwilling to shell out the $$ for a smartphone (I already pay enough for my two land-lines, two cell phones, TV and internet) ... and partly because a lot of things people do with phones nowadays simply doesn't interest me.

          I don't text, use Facebook, or Twitter. I have no interest in reading my email on my phone. Heck, I don't even play game

    • by melikamp (631205)

      Yes, this phone... Er, computer, is freaking awesome. Some SSs:

      picture browser [melikamp.com]

      /. in firefox [melikamp.com]

      application switcher [melikamp.com]

      X terminal [melikamp.com]

      Escape Meta Alt Control Shift [melikamp.com]

      conky [melikamp.com]

  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Thursday January 06, 2011 @09:44AM (#34776040) Homepage Journal

    I'm fairly happy with my cheap-ass HTC Slide running CyanogenMOD . You can get them for about half the price of the big expensive Android phones.
    http://trumblings.blogspot.com/2010/11/migrating-to-android-for-palm-linux.html [blogspot.com]

    Keyboard pic [nexus404.com]

    The ConnectBot SSH client can do port forwarding, so you can set up a secure tunnel for androidVNC (which is probably better than X forwarding as far as maintaining persistent sessions across mobile networks go). The phone supports T-mobile HSDPA network, which can give you noticeably lower latency than EDGE / GPRS, and near-DSL speeds. Your ssh sessions stay connected in the background until you tell them to disconnect, and the keyboard is pretty comfortable to use.

    Some random notes:

    • + Terminal with default font is 80x25!
    • + the trackpad button is the Ctrl key, hitting it twice sends the Esc key. Works great with screen.
    • - no cursor buttons, and the trackpad can be quite finicky when trying to send several l/r u/d
    • - the HTC Slide uses the older ARMv6 cpu, so no 3D-intensive apps like Google Earth Mobile or high-end games. Other than that, it runs everything fine
    • - sending some special characters in ConnectBot can be a chore, such as pipes and < > ... need to call up the softkeyboard for those, by first closing the physical keyboard, tapping on the softkeyboard icon, then calling up the "num" then "alt" keyboard :-/ . Probably better to make aliases for your often-used command strings. But that's something that could be remedied in software, hopefully... ConnectBot doesn't appear to use the physical Symbol key well.
    • Same setup (CyanogenMod+3G Slide) on my phone, plus I've noticed that there's ssh/scp (from dropbear, I think) pre-installed and available from within the terminal, along with netcat, which is nice when I'm more worried about performance than privacy/security (e.g. transferring files between a computer on my LAN and my phone).

      The keyboard's a little awkward (requiring a couple of extra clicks to get to "|" and so on) but otherwise I'm pretty pleased.

      I heard rumors that Gingerbread would support bluetooth k

  • I've found Connectbot on Android to work quite well. Far as the typing goes, screen and keyboard size are always going to be an issue for commandline on a smartphone. If you need to do serious work, you need to bring your laptop along (and if you're often away from wifi when the need arises, consider a cell broadband card or tethering of your smartphone). But if you just need to check on something or run a script real quick, Connectbot will do the job just fine.

    The physical keyboard on the phone is nice, I'

  • iSSH on the iPhone might not be the best out there, but it does what it needs to do. I have a 3 watt cellular repeater on my car, which gives me 5 bars no matter where I am....

    • by nloop (665733)

      I'd hate life if I had to use the iphone keyboard for work related SSH. I've heard you can do swype now at least, but that's still not ideal for terminal usage.

      Also, iSSH is $10 and last I checked there wasn't a free ssh client. I like my iPad but the app prices in general are just bizarre.

  • iPhone with iSSH (Score:5, Informative)

    by trevc (1471197) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @09:51AM (#34776122)
    iPhone with iSSH by Zinger-Soft works great for me. You can use an external Bluetooth keyboard. Nice thing is, you can run the iPad version as well for the one price. www.zinger-soft.com
    • by gseidman (97)

      Another vote for iSSH on iPhone. Even if you don't have a hardware keyboard, it has a keyboard mode that makes it semi-transparent and another that keeps the text from scrolling under it. Great use of configurable pie menus for macros and keys that aren't on the virtual keyboard. The X server works very nicely, and I believe it does VNC as well (though I've never used it). It also takes advantage of iOS's almost-multitasking to keep connections open in the background while you switch to another app. It's ev

  • I use SSH on my Nexus One every so often. I am not a sysadmin, just a linux enthusiast, but in my experience the lack of modifier and function keys makes tasks difficult, especially not having TAB for auto completion. But being able to have remote access from anyway is incredibly useful. I'd wager that a smart phone with a near full hardware keyboard would work just fine. Also I think something like the Galaxy Tab or iPad could have a full software keyboard and work because now you have the screen resolutio
    • by Improv (2467)

      If you tap the white scroller and hit "I", you get a tab.

      I've been having problems with connectbot not knowing how big the popup keyboard is going to be, and needing to repeatedly summon/dismiss the keyboard to see where I'm typing. Frustrating!

  • My virtual keyboard is translucent, allowing the reading of the bright green text underneath. More than enough to edit a config file and restart a service. Nothing beyond an emergency warrants me using my phone like that.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @09:56AM (#34776188) Homepage

    Honestly, if you SSH in a LOT using a phone will anger you a lot. I got a tiny netbook with a WWAN card (inside!)
    Dell mini 10 with a pciE wwan card works great. and it is small enough to carry with me everywhere.

    I'd end up killing people if I had to spend more that 30 seconds working in SSH on a phone.

    • The wwan card isnt even needed

      when waiting for my adsl connection to finally be hooked up, i used the wifi hotspot on my htc desire for the occasional email-check with my laptop (before any screams "gmail APP!!!" that doesnt work for my work's lotus notes crap...)

      It is incredibly easy, the app ships by default, easy peasy!

    • by ScentCone (795499) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @11:25AM (#34777562)
      I'd end up killing people if I had to spend more that 30 seconds working in SSH on a phone.

      It's possible you should consider a different line of work. Perhaps landscaping (no chainsaws, though, for you), or something like playing the panflute in one of those fake ethnic bands that work city parks.
  • As long as you're sufficiently nearsighted (or corrected enough to focus at a few inches away), you can't beat the iPhone for screen resolution. There is no better pocketable display for reading itty bitty text.

  • X through SSH for server admin? Really? If someone asked for this on one of my boxes I wouldn't let them touch it with a 10 foot pole. Best car analogy I can come up with is a mechanic who doesn't know how to drive a stick well enough to put my car on the lift. Funnily enough we have a DBA who insists on using remote X sessions, then opens up the console in the X session to do his work and wonders why we have memory overhead issues.

    Also, I used an old Treo 600 for on the run server admin using TuSSH back in

    • A lot of commercial software installations on Unix require a X session. e.g. Oracle. Not that I am condoning using X on servers, but sometimes it's a necessary evil. Secondly if you have memory overhead issues due to a few X sessions, may be it's time you took a good look at your infrastructure and consider an upgrade of equipment.
      • Yeah, it's for Oracle that he does it. I didn't know it was needed. Although there's times where he's just checking on cron jobs and whatnot but still insists on using it, but it's likely that he's just gotten used to it like knarfling points out below.

    • by Xtravar (725372)

      Sometimes it's not for adminning, it's for uh displaying things remotely and securely, if you know what I mean.
      iSSH for the iphone/ipad has X built in.

    • Funnily enough we have a DBA who insists on using remote X sessions, then opens up the console in the X session to do his work and wonders why we have memory overhead issues.

      Blame Oracle for this one. Although it can run in a CLI environment, it cannot be installed on a headless system. You have to install a Graphical Desktop in order to install Oracle. I could not believe it until I started working at a company that could afford the outrageous prices Oracle charges. (My other pet peeve with Oracle is that during the install process, you have to run a script as root. It cannot be sudo, it cannot be as a user with root privileges, it must be run as a user named "root.")

      Once some

  • I have an HTC Touch Pro 2 and it has a keyboard that has never been matched in a modern smartphone, as far as I know. It runs Windows Mobile 6.5, which is a dead OS, but PuTTY runs great.

  • by ledow (319597)

    Use a netbook, or a laptop. God, I wouldn't want to think what tab completion and a dodgy touchscreen keyboard on a critical server could do to a shell.

    If the machine is up enough to SSH in, it's not an emergency. If you truly are the only person who can log into it (locally or remotely) to fix the problem, please don't do it from a smartphone. Actually log in, take your time and fix the problem rather than bashing out commands in some substandard SSH client that will probably be insecure.

    It's 2011. I'm

    • "If the machine is up enough to SSH into, it's not an emergency"? Really?
      • Segfaulted Apache
      • Runaway MySQL query
      • DDOS attack
      • DNS server dies
      • Full disks prevent writing session files

      I'm barely awake and those popped right off my head. Either you've been fortunate enough to only have IT gigs where you weren't the only person running the servers, or you've never had anything go wrong. Either way, get your ass to Atlantic City while your luck is holding out.

    • by old_skul (566766)

      I'm pretty sure you have never, ever done any real systems administration of any sort. For you to make uneducated, broad statements such as this...if I had mod points, I would mod you trolling. Having worked in IT for 20 years, I can tell you that there's been plenty of scenarios in which a smartphone with an SSH client was or would have been invaluable. When I'm on call, and I'm at a restaurant, and a critical service gets broken by someone and I need to intervene, a netbook or laptop aren't practicable.

  • If you can wait a few months Perhaps the Motorola Atrix [engadget.com] is just what you are looking for. It doesn't have a physical keyboard attached but comes with a dock that looks like a netbook with full keyboard and LCD. It has a dual core processor and a desktop like interface when docked.

  • It has its own issues (mostly limitations due to the iPhone not having a physical keyboard so you have a lot of floating menus that have to be tapped to toggle on/off). Although it's not free -- $9 for pro, $4 for lite -- at that price I don't have crazy expectations that it will grant world peace or anything... works for me. http://www.ajidev.com/touchterm/index.html [ajidev.com]
  • I use connectbot a lot, but the android soft keyboard sucks for programmers -- it's possible to create custom input methods, has anybody done so?
  • They all support ssh and support it well (also VNC and tons of other admin tools). Just pick one with a keyboard you like.

    Having a trackball or optical sensor is also useful, in particular if you want to run VNC and other remote graphical applications, since you need a mouse for those (touch is usually used for pan and zoom).

  • Uses the armel Debian userland in a disk image and chroot.
    http://pavelmachek.livejournal.com/73828.html [livejournal.com]
    Been something actually making me thinking of finally getting a smart phone.
  • install connectbot on in, and happy SSHing.

    it uses the right side alt and shift keys in clever ways to extend the keyboard, also uses the trackpad's central button as ctrl, so sending ctrl+c or ctrl+d is easy. it can even import a private key from a file and/or generate a key and export the public part to include in an authorized_keys file.

    not everything is flowers tho.

    i'm still using version r484 from march 2010 because versions after that have a badly broken copy/paste. anything after r484, the only way t

  • 2005? I remember asking this question in 2000, when I got my first Kyocera Smartphone. Hell, even before that I had a modem for my Palm 5 running ttssh.

    I remember finding a quiet spot at the Hammerstein Ballroom during a String Cheese Incident show to log into the servers @ Exodus and restart the AFS server, then all of the WebLogic boxes on my palm pilot.

    It seemed so esoteric then, these days it's just quaint.

  • I used MidpPSSH on my BB 7105t back in 2006.

    My G1 runs CyanogenMod 6.1.0, and does SSH out of the box. You can find one for $50 in CL, root it and load any of several recovery images and ROMs that will let you configure WiFi without a SIM, and you got yourself an entirely usable SSH terminal. Other Android phones may do this also. If you can get a MyTouch (Magic), do that instead, the G1 has serious memory limitations and you really need the 2708 hack to make it stable.

    Bonus points for having a minimal b

  • by AC-x (735297) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @11:48AM (#34777992)

    It's a bit oldskool but the G1 keyboard has all the numbers on a separate row. A quick google image search [google.co.uk] shows a few other models with full keyboards too.

  • by Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) on Thursday January 06, 2011 @06:00PM (#34784244)

    Virgin Mobile has a nice $25/month "Beyond Talk" deal for unlimited data and SMS and 300 minutes/month for voice (with higher priced plans if you use more voice), motto Go crazy on Android. It's prepaid if you want it to be, so it's nice that way. They only sell a single phone, the Samsung Intercept, but I've found it to be really nice for what I do: it's got a slide-out keyboard with a separate number row and with separate buttons per key (no membrane keyboard). I spend lots of time on SSH via ConnectBot and have found it to be pleasant to use.

    It's not the most powerful processor and the resolution isn't mindblowing and it's still Android 2.1, but I run my terminal at 80x21 and am quite happy with it, especially for the price.

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