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Help - Connecting to Monochrome

24th February, 2000   

Unlike many internet sites, Monochrome is more than just a collection of web pages. Rather than providing web pages that may be displayed using a browser on your computer, Monochrome uses the 'telnet' protocol to allow you to run the Monochrome software.

Just as you need a web browser to display web pages, to use Monochrome, you need a telnet client. Telnet clients are available for a variety of operating systems, and may be downloaded if you do not have one. Alternatively, if you just want to see what Monochrome is like, and you have a web browser that supports Java (such as recent versions of Netscape or Internet Explorer), try the JavaTelnet Client, which requires no additional software to be downloaded.

Automatic Installer

If you don't want to have to worry about all of this and you're on a Windows system, you can install a pre-configured client. You can download this installer. This will install a preconfigured copy of the preferred connection client, PuTTY, so all you have to do is double-click the icon on your desktop. If you take this option, skip the next bit as your connection will automatically take you right to the login for Mono.

If you're manually connecting and all goes well, when you connect, you will be presented with a 'login:' prompt, at which you should enter the username of 'mono' to continue logging on to Monochrome. Once the large Monochrome banner has been displayed, you can then enter your account name and password to enter Monochrome itself.

Getting an Account

To really experience Monochrome, you should apply for a Monochrome account. Monochrome accounts are free, and allow to use all the facilities available on Monochrome. To apply for an account, you should fill in the online application form. Whilst you are waiting for your account to be created, you can use the 'guest' account, which does not need a password, but your access will be restricted.


After connecting to one of the Monochrome machines, and logging on using your account details, you will be asked for a terminal type to use. Depending on the telnet client you are using, you may find that a terminal type gets suggested for you; alternatively, try 'vt100' to begin with, and see the Terminals help file for details of how to choose a more appropriate terminal.

Many terminals are capable of displaying colour, which richly enhances the Monochrome experience. To see if your terminal is capable of colour, add '/a' to the terminal type. For instance, with the colour capable JavaTelnet Client, you would use a terminal type of 'vt320/a' rather than the 'vt320' suggested.

Further Details

If you want to see what you can do with Monochrome, have a look at the Beginner's Guide to Monochrome, or if you want more specific help about its features, check out the User's Guide. Details of exactly what happens when you connect to Monochrome are provided in the Logging On help file.