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Jack Palevich
Works at Google Inc.
Attended Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Lives in Medina WA
653 followers|296,891 views


Jack Palevich

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v1.0.59 will be published to Android Market in a few hours. New features:

+ Hardware-accelerated text drawing on devices running Android 3.0 or newer. This took a whole day to implement because I had to come up with a different way of drawing the cursor. The old way was using an "Xor" paint transfer mode, which is not supported in hardware accelerated graphics.

+ The cursor is now drawn correctly for "double-wide" characters.

+ The Help menu has been moved to the bottom of the menu.

(If you don't want to wait for the Play store version to go live, you can also side-load it from
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I've just pushed a new version of Android Terminal Emulator, v1.0.57 to the Play Store. It should go live in a few hours.

This should fix the problems people have been seeing with commands not working correctly on v1.0.56.

If you can't access the Play Store from your Android device, or you don't want to wait, you can also download the app from
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Thanks, and great work providing such an imperative utility for Android!
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Jack Palevich

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I have just published a new version of Android Terminal Emulator to the Play Store.

It may take a few hours to become available.

Version 1.0.54.


 + Option to send xterm mouse tracking codes

 + Option for keyboard shortcuts
    + Control-Shift-N creates new window.
    + Control-Tab cycles windows forward.
    + Control-Shift-Tab cycles windows backwards.
    + Control-Shift-V Pastes from clipboard.

 + xterm terminal emulation
    + Alt buffer
    + Application mode escape sequences for cursor keys.
    + Numeric keypad support.

 + Improved terminal emulation
  + Add support for ECMA-48 Status Report commands.
  + In 16-color mode blink attribute implies bright background color.

 + Tap on a URL to browse it

 + Updated launcher icons from


 + Improved Korean translation and
 + Improved Italian translation
 + Improved Hungarian translation
 + Improved Czeck translation
 + Improved Simplified Chinese translation
 + Improved Norwegian translation
 + Improved Russian translation

Bug fixes

 + Fix NPE in Telnet sample code.

If you are unable to access the Play Store, you can always side-load the latest version from;
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Jack Palevich

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Finished reading "Constellation Games" by Leonard Richardson. A fun first SF novel. Lots of beginner mistakes, could really have used an editor, giant plot holes, and a weak ending. But the core idea is lots of fun: a human blogger reviews ancient alien video games, and uses them to come to a better understanding of several alien species.
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Jack Palevich

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Today my son showed me a glider gun he hand copied in Conway's Game of Life. He made his father so happy!

I discovered Conway's Game of Life in a school library edition of Scientific American in '78, and spent the next few weeks hand simulating it on graph paper. Then I wrote a BASIC program. I was proud of figuring out to use the character set " ,';" to print out two lines of cells for each line of text.

(I can thank a summer math camp for my son learning about cellular automata.)
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Thank you so much for sharing this. I saw this simulation once on a documentary, but I couldn't remember anything about it. I've been searching for it ever since!
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Jack Palevich

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Ubuntu's ideas for a phone terminal emulator. The big new idea is to have a mobile aware shell that does command completion.
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Jack Palevich

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Version 1.0.58 has just been pushed to the Play store, and should be available within a few hours.

Or sideload from

New feature:

A Help menu, which links to a few short doc pages. Thanks to godlessfather on github for the pull request. (And I guess thanks to +Adam Hogan for the idea.

For the curious, the help pages can be viewed here:
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Thanks for ATE and for merging my little addition.
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Jack Palevich

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Mike Holmes draws himself and his cat in the style of 100 different cartoonists. A bit mono-maniacal, but who am I ( to criticize?
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Jack Palevich

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Sunset in water by Katherine P.
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Nice work Katherine! Might you have seen something like this in your travels this summer?
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Jack Palevich

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Fun fact: Android Terminal Emulator is my fourth terminal emulator.

The first was an un-named, unpublished program written in Z80-assembly for the Exidy Sorcerer home computer around 1980. I started writing it in Basic, but the Exidy Sorcerer Basic had a flaw that its keyboard scanning routine was incompatible with using the serial port. So all terminal emulators on that platform had to be written in assembly. I used an early Unix minicomputer to assemble this terminal emulator, then downloaded it using a hand-coded loader. Once I had a working bare-bones downloader it wasn't too hard to bootstrap it up to a larger program.

The second terminal emulator I wrote was named Chameleon. I wrote it in 6502 assembly for the Atari 400/800 computer around 1981. Chameleon was a VT-52 emulator. It had some clever features, like using the Atari 800's display list to speed up scrolling and implement panning to display a 40-character-wide window into 80 columns of text. Lines of text stayed in a fixed position in RAM, and scrolling was implemented by changing the order in which the Atari GPU hardware displayed the lines of text. You can see the configuration menu for this program in the screen shot below. The hardware of the Atari 400/800 provided some nice features (like smooth scrolling and a throbbing colored cursor) that I still haven't gotten around to adding to Android Terminal Emulator.

I was told that a few copies of Chameleon were bought by the National Security Agency, because the Atari 800's shielding made it especially resistant to electronic eavesdropping.

Chameleon helped me get a job at Atari. When I interviewed several people told me that my name was familiar. Then they said, "oh yeah, we see it on the title screen of the terminal emulator we use to log into our development mainframe every day." So it pays to advertise.

The third emulator, also my first open-source program, was a port of the Kermit file transfer protocol, translated from C to the Atari-specific Action! programming language. I wrote it in 1983, and you can still find the source on the web: .

...then a long hiatus until I joined the Android project in 2007. The early Android development phone model was called the "Sooner", and it had a nice, Blackberry-style physical keyboard. I thought it needed a terminal, so I wrote the terminal emulator as an exercise in learning the Android APIs, and, well, it grew from there.

Android Terminal Emulator is written almost entirely in Java, with just a little C code to access some low-level Linux APIs. That C code is what's keeping me from being able to support the original Google TV boxes, since they don't support the NDK.

The hardest part of developing Android Terminal Emulator has been making the keyboard input work correctly. The Android keyboard input APIs are not well defined when it comes to character-at-a-time input. There are many hardware-specific and Android-version-specific edge cases, and unfortunately I don't have a hardware budget to buy any devices to help debug problems.

I'm lucky enough to have access to Nexus devices as part of my day job. But it's quite frustrating to hear about problems with popular devices like some of the Samsung models, and not have any way of reproducing the problem to debug it. Perhaps someday someone with a Samsung model and some time will look into the problem, figure it out a work-around, and send me a nice patch!

Luckily there is the Hacker's Keyboard IME, which provides a good, free work-around for users who run into problems with keyboard input!

Well, anyway, it's been satisfying to see Android Terminal Emulator grow into a successful, popular program, and I hope it continues to be useful for many years to come.
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Have him in circles
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Developer, Dad
  • Google Inc.
    Programmer, 2007 - present
  • Atari Inc.
    Programmer, 1983 - 1985
  • Hewlett-packard
    Programmer, 1985 - 1987
  • Apple Computer
    Programmer, 1987 - 1991
  • Taligent
    Programmer, 1992 - 1995
  • Netscape Communications Corporation
    Programmer, Manager, 1995 - 1997
  • Microsoft
    Programmer, 1998 - 2006
  • National Bureau of Standards (now NIST)
    Lab techniciean, 1979 - 1983
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Medina WA
Berlin Germany - Warsaw Poland - Vientian Laos - Bethesda Maryland - Cambridge Massachusettes - Cupertino California - Sunnyvale California - Redmond WA - Athens Greece - Nea Erethrea Greece - Taipei Taiwan
Developer, Dad
Enjoying the web, Android, and my family.
Bragging rights
Father of 3, Worked on Xbox and Android. My code's used daily by hundreds of millions of people!
  • Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
    Computer Science, 1979 - 1983
Basic Information
Other names
John Howard Palevich
In the Cama Beach visitor's center. Open for breakfast and lunch. Soup, quiche, hot sandwiches, cookies and pies. Overlooks Cama Beach.
Food: GoodDecor: GoodService: Good
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
This service is located inside Fred Meyers in a jewelry store. I brought two thrift store watches here to have their batteries changed. The technician did a fine job, and also adjusted the bands to fit.
Public - 12 months ago
reviewed 12 months ago
We took our kids, ages 4-6, here yesterday, and everyone had a good time. It was a great way to beat the summer heat. I would recommend bringing lots of sunscreen and perhaps a portable tent, as there is not much shade. There's also some play structures and a big grassy field with an oval walking track that's good for scooters, tricycles and bikes.
Public - 5 years ago
reviewed 5 years ago
4 reviews
Extensive English language children's book section in basement. It also has a special room for reading stories to little kids. That room has over 100 giant-sized English-language children's books and four or five sets of small-child-sized chairs and tables.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago