dumb terminal


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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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.

This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In the 1960's the mainframe computer, with its dumb terminals, was the only productive computing system available.
DUMB TERMINALS - Computer workstations with a monitor and keyboard that connect to a mainframe.
When we replaced Geac with Dynix, we managed to catch the first wave of something called "Ethernet," along with a new data communications technology called "Frame Relay." To place typical dumb terminals on such a system required the use of "terminal servers," which were then very expensive.
West Communications, said the concept is based on the Minitel, a dumb terminal the French government distributed to consumers some years ago to avoid the cost of printing telephone directories.
Turning a personal computer into a dumb terminal is tricky, because the keyboards on the two kinds of devices are substantially different.
The workstation might be a dumb terminal connected to a mainframe or minicomputer; a smart terminal containing some intelligence; a word processor with, perhaps, some special-purpose intelligence; or a general-purpose microcomputer.
A dumb terminal in a video center can simply be disconnected, carried to the back of the store and hooked up for use in receiving direct store deliveries.
When used in this way, the VTLS-IW would act as a dumb terminal rather than a workstation.
There are many advantages in using an Apple II over a dumb terminal. They are easy to network.