Telemate is a telnet client, file transfer program, and terminal emulator. It was initially developed and published by Tsung Hu, later by White River Software, for MS-DOS in late 1988. The program saw continual updates until its final release in 1996. The program was primarily designed to connect to remote computers using a modem, especially to a bulletin board service (BBS).
The program has a whole host of features including:
- Supports for several protocols including: X, Y, and Z Modem, Telink, SEAlink, Kermit, FOSSIL, Modem7, and CompuServe Information Service Quick B.
- Emulates multiple terminals including: ANSI, VT52, VT102, AVATAR, PRISM, and Teleprinter.
- Includes customizable macros and a custom scripting language to automate communication processes.
- Supports up to 50 lines in text mode.
- Mouse and printer support.
- Uses EMS and XMS memory.
- PC Speaker alarm for connection, and support for AdLib piano roll music.
- A built-in phone directory with record keeping.
- Fully customizable UI.
A Windows 3 port was made in 1996 and released around the same time as the final DOS version. However, the growing popularity of America Online and the World Wide Web, ensured that these would be the last versions to be released.
When I was about 15-years-old, my mother hired a computer tutor for me. I only met with him a handful to times, but he lent me a 2400 BAUD modem and a copy of Telemate. With this, I was able to get connected to the various BBSes in my local area and got my first taste of inter-connected computer systems (as well as flame boards, warez, and my first girlfriend!). I used Telemate to play BBS door games like Legend of the Red Dragon, download dozens of shareware games and GIF images, and chat with people in my area. I remember telling my cousin that I had learned about BBSes and later saw him using a ASCII telnet client. I was proud that, for the first time, I had software superior to him. For several months, every day after school I would come home, and set the auto-dialer to my three favorite BBSes and be thrilled when I heard the connection alarm begin to play (I used the James Bond theme).
After my family signed up for America Online, I pretty much abandoned Telemate, and, when we bought a new computer, the computer which had my copy of Telemate was given to my step-brothers, and I never saw the program again. In 2020, while searching for old DOS software that I used in my childhood, I when digging around for this program. I couldn't remember the name, but I knew it was an ANSI-capable telnet client with alarm sounds. From that, I was able to find a copy. The first thing I did was re-listen to the alarm tunes!
- starbase21.net/telemate.html - Running Telemate in Windows.