dumb terminal


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Wikipedia.

dumb terminal

[¦dəm ′term·ən·əl]
(computer science)
A computer input/output device that lacks the capability to process or format data, and is thus entirely dependent on the main computer for these activities.

dumb terminal

(hardware)
A type of terminal that consists of a keyboard and a display screen that can be used to enter and transmit data to, or display data from, a computer to which it is connected. A dumb terminal, in contrast to an intelligent terminal, has no independent processing capability or auxiliary storage and thus cannot function as a stand-alone device.

The dumbest kind of terminal is a glass tty. The next step up has a minimally addressable cursor but no on-screen editing or other features normally supported by an intelligent terminal.

Once upon a time, when glass ttys were common and addressable cursors were something special, what is now called a dumb terminal could pass for a smart terminal.

dumb terminal

A display terminal that provides keyboard input and screen output and no data processing capability. Dumb terminals flourished in the days of minicomputers and mainframes. See smart terminal, 3270 and VT100.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the 1960's the mainframe computer, with its dumb terminals, was the only productive computing system available.
That means that your computer will remain a dumb terminal.
To place typical dumb terminals on such a system required the use of "terminal servers," which were then very expensive.
Problem is, there are scads of dumb terminals still in use at CB&T's branches.
There was a huge discussion on the Dynix listserv not long ago basically lamenting the demise of terminals and castigating Dynix, and other companies, for their wholesale rush to replace those dumb terminals with PCs.
You can't hook a cheap dumb terminal to a wide area network such as described above just by plugging into the backbone.
Having previously relied on a peer-to-peer PC network and a Lucent System 25 PBX, the dealership needed separate wiring for each phone, PC, and dumb terminal used to access the dealership's ADP mainframe system, resulting in unsightly tangles of cord at each desk.
Tenders are invited for Providing of Dumb Terminal with Key board of PRS and UTS and Annual maintenance contract rate for 4th and 5th years are required.
Tenders are invited for Supply And Installation Of Dumb Terminal With 15.
Now, an engineer in the field could enter a customer number on a web page or through a wireless device and see the live customer data that they would have to get someone else in the office to provide using a dumb terminal emulator.
CAPITAL SAVINGS: VDI allows a customer to reuse its existing personal computers as dumb terminals or use thin clients which are at least $300 cheaper than an average physical desktop
Or, if you have some space and funds for more workstations, you can still save money using products like Discover-Station, which allows one server to power up to 10 dumb terminals.