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I've recently discovered and started playing nethack. I know I can play it locally, but I'm sitting at different computers all the time so I found that let's you telnet into their servers to play the ASCII art terminal game. On most computers, the telnet session appears fine and I have no problems. But on my main laptop, some things don't display correctly. I don't telnet into anything else (RDP and VPN meet my usual needs) so my only point of reference is this nethack server.

The biggest visible malformations is when I go to look at the list of running games. The game however looks just fine.

malformed table in telnet

This should be a neatly laid out table (as it is on every computer other than my laptop). As I move up and down the list, the rows tend to be added to the bottom of the window instead of updated in place.

I wish I had other examples outside of this game to say why my telnet is messed up. I don't know where to look. My cmd is at the normal 80x25 dimensions, changing any of the Edit Options doesn't seem to impact this. What else can I do?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is likely incorrect terminal emulation.

I can confirm the same behavior for the games list on on my Windows 7 system using Microsoft's telnet.

Windows telnet should default to VT100 emulation. Apparently, sometimes it does not. You can force the right emulation, however by running telnet without arguments, using the set term vt100 command to explicitly set emulation, and then opening the connection:

c:\> telnet
Microsoft Telnet> set term vt100
Microsoft Telnet> open

See the Telnet documentation for more information.

You may always want to check out Putty, which is a much better client than Microsoft's.

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I second the recommendation to use putty – Nifle Feb 16 '13 at 9:36
I know of putty and acknowledge it as a great tool. However, given this is my only use of telnet (and that your fix works) I probably won't be installing it on this computer. I'm glad you brought it up though. – Corey Ogburn Feb 16 '13 at 17:44

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