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Dumb Terminals
A computer terminal is an electronic or electromechanical hardware device that can be used for entering data into, and transcribing data from, a computer or a computing system. The teletype was an example of an early-day hard-copy terminal and predated the use of a computer screen by decades. Early terminals were inexpensive devices but very slow compared to punched cards or paper tape for input, yet as the technology improved and video displays were introduced, terminals pushed these older forms of interaction from the industry. A related development was time-sharing systems, which evolved in parallel and made up for any inefficiencies in the user's typing ability with the ability to support multiple users on the same machine, each at their own terminal or terminals. The function of a terminal is typically confined to transcription and input of data; a device with significant local, programmable data-processing capability may be called a "smart terminal" or fat client. A ter ...
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Z3 (computer)
The Z3 was a German electromechanical computer designed by Konrad Zuse in 1938, and completed in 1941. It was the world's first working programmable, fully automatic digital computer. The Z3 was built with 2,600 relays, implementing a 22- bit word length that operated at a clock frequency of about 5–10  Hz. Program code was stored on punched film. Initial values were entered manually. The Z3 was completed in Berlin in 1941. It was not considered vital, so it was never put into everyday operation. Based on the work of the German aerodynamics engineer Hans Georg Küssner (known for the Küssner effect), a "Program to Compute a Complex Matrix" was written and used to solve wing flutter problems. Zuse asked the German government for funding to replace the relays with fully electronic switches, but funding was denied during World War II since such development was deemed "not war-important". The original Z3 was destroyed on 21 December 1943 during an Allied bombardment ...
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Digital Equipment Corporation
Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC ), using the trademark Digital, was a major American company in the computer industry from the 1960s to the 1990s. The company was co-founded by Ken Olsen and Harlan Anderson in 1957. Olsen was president until forced to resign in 1992, after the company had gone into precipitous decline. The company produced many different product lines over its history. It is best known for the work in the minicomputer market starting in the mid-1960s. The company produced a series of machines known as the PDP line, with the PDP-8 and PDP-11 being among the most successful minis in history. Their success was only surpassed by another DEC product, the late-1970s VAX "supermini" systems that were designed to replace the PDP-11. Although a number of competitors had successfully competed with Digital through the 1970s, the VAX cemented the company's place as a leading vendor in the computer space. As microcomputers improved in the late 1980s, especially ...
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DECwriter
The DECwriter series was a family of computer terminals from Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). They were typically used in a fashion similar to a teletype, with a computer output being printed to paper and the user inputting information on the keyboard. In contrast to teletypes, the DECwriters were based on dot matrix printer technology, one of the first examples of such a system to be introduced. Versions lacking a keyboard were also available for use as computer printers, which eventually became the only models as smart terminals became the main way to interact with mainframes and minicomputers in the 1980s. There were four series of machines, starting with the original DECwriter in 1970, the DECwriter II in 1974, DECwriter III in 1978, and the final DECwriter IV in 1982. The first three were physically similar, large machines mounted on a stand normally positioned above a box of fanfold paper. They differed primarily in speed and the selection of computer interfaces. The IV ...
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IBM 2741
The IBM 2741 is a printing computer terminal that was introduced in 1965. Compared to the teletypewriter machines that were commonly used as printing terminals at the time, the 2741 offers 50% higher speed, much higher quality printing, quieter operation, interchangeable type fonts, and both upper and lower case letters. It was used primarily with the IBM System/360 series of computers, but was used with other IBM and non-IBM systems where its combination of higher speed and letter-quality output was desirable. It was influential in the development and popularity of the APL programming language. It was supplanted, starting in the mid-1970s, primarily by printing terminals using daisy wheel mechanisms. Design The IBM 2741 combines a ruggedized Selectric typewriter mechanism with IBM SLT electronics and an RS-232-C serial interface. It operates at about 14.1 characters per second with a data rate of 134.5 bits/second (one start bit, six data bits, an odd parity bit, and one ...
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Digital Current Loop Interface
For serial communications, a current loop is a communication interface that uses current instead of voltage for signaling. Current loops can be used over moderately long distances (tens of kilometres), and can be interfaced with optically isolated links. There are a variety of such systems, but one based on a 20 mA current level was used by the Teletype Model 33 and was particularly common on minicomputers and early microcomputer which used these as computer terminals. As a result, most computer terminals also supported this standard into the 1980s. History Long before the RS-232 standard, current loops were used to send digital data in serial form for teleprinters. More than two teleprinters could be connected on a single circuit allowing a simple form of networking.E. A. Parr, ''Industrial Control Handbook'', Industrial Press Inc., 1998, , page 648 Older teleprinters used a 60 mA current loop. Later machines, such as the Teletype Model 33, operated on a lower 20  ...
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Paper Tape
Five- and eight-hole punched paper tape Paper tape reader on the Harwell computer with a small piece of five-hole tape connected in a circle – creating a physical program loop Punched tape or perforated paper tape is a form of data storage that consists of a long strip of paper in which holes are punched. It developed from and was subsequently used alongside punched cards, differing in that the tape is continuous. Punched cards, and chains of punched cards, were used for control of looms in the 18th century. Use for telegraphy systems started in 1842. Punched tape was used throughout the 19th and for much of the 20th centuries for programmable looms, teleprinter communication, for input to computers of the 1950s and 1960s, and later as a storage medium for minicomputers and CNC machine tools. During the Second World War, high-speed punched tape systems using optical readout methods were used in code breaking systems. Punched tape was used to transmit data for manufacture ...
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Telegraphy
Telegraphy is the long-distance transmission of messages where the sender uses symbolic codes, known to the recipient, rather than a physical exchange of an object bearing the message. Thus flag semaphore is a method of telegraphy, whereas pigeon post is not. Ancient signalling systems, although sometimes quite extensive and sophisticated as in China, were generally not capable of transmitting arbitrary text messages. Possible messages were fixed and predetermined and such systems are thus not true telegraphs. The earliest true telegraph put into widespread use was the optical telegraph of Claude Chappe, invented in the late 18th century. The system was used extensively in France, and European nations occupied by France, during the Napoleonic era. The electric telegraph started to replace the optical telegraph in the mid-19th century. It was first taken up in Britain in the form of the Cooke and Wheatstone telegraph, initially used mostly as an aid to railway signalling ...
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Teletype Model 33
The Teletype Model 33 is an electromechanical teleprinter designed for light-duty office use. It is less rugged and cost less than earlier Teletype machines. The Teletype Corporation introduced the Model 33 as a commercial product in 1963 after being originally designed for the United States Navy. There are three versions of the Model 33: * Model 33 ASR, (Automatic Send and Receive), which has a built-in eight-hole punched tape reader and tape punch; * Model 33 KSR (Keyboard Send and Receive), which lacks the paper tape reader and punch; * Model 33 RO (Receive Only) which has neither a keyboard nor a reader/punch. The Model 33 was one of the first products to employ the newly-standardized ASCII code, which was first published in 1963. A companion Model 32 used the older, more-established five-bit Baudot code. Because of its low price and ASCII-compatibility, the Model 33 was widely used with early minicomputers, and the large numbers of the teleprinter which were sold strongl ...
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Teleprinter
A teleprinter (teletypewriter, teletype or TTY) is an electromechanical device that can be used to send and receive typed messages through various communications channels, in both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint configurations. Initially they were used in telegraphy, which developed in the late 1830s and 1840s as the first use of electrical engineering, though teleprinters were not used for telegraphy until 1887 at the earliest. The machines were adapted to provide a user interface to early mainframe computers and minicomputers, sending typed data to the computer and printing the response. Some models could also be used to create punched tape for data storage (either from typed input or from data received from a remote source) and to read back such tape for local printing or transmission. Teleprinters could use a variety of different communication media. These included a simple pair of wires; dedicated non-switched telephone circuits (leased lines); switched ne ...
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Selectric
The IBM Selectric typewriter was a highly successful line of electric typewriters introduced by IBM on 31 July 1961. Instead of the "basket" of individual typebars that swung up to strike the ribbon and page in a typical typewriter of the period, the Selectric had an "element" (frequently called a "typeball", or less formally, a "golf ball") that rotated and pivoted to the correct position before striking the paper. The element could be easily interchanged to use different fonts within the same document typed on the same typewriter, resurrecting a capability which had been pioneered by typewriters such as the Hammond and Blickensderfer in the late 19th century. The Selectric also replaced the traditional typewriter's horizontally-moving carriage with a roller ( platen) that turned to advance the paper vertically, while the typeball and ribbon mechanism moved horizontally across the paper. The Selectric mechanism was notable for using internal mechanical binary coding and two m ...
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Teletype Model 33
The Teletype Model 33 is an electromechanical teleprinter designed for light-duty office use. It is less rugged and cost less than earlier Teletype machines. The Teletype Corporation introduced the Model 33 as a commercial product in 1963 after being originally designed for the United States Navy. There are three versions of the Model 33: * Model 33 ASR, (Automatic Send and Receive), which has a built-in eight-hole punched tape reader and tape punch; * Model 33 KSR (Keyboard Send and Receive), which lacks the paper tape reader and punch; * Model 33 RO (Receive Only) which has neither a keyboard nor a reader/punch. The Model 33 was one of the first products to employ the newly-standardized ASCII code, which was first published in 1963. A companion Model 32 used the older, more-established five-bit Baudot code. Because of its low price and ASCII-compatibility, the Model 33 was widely used with early minicomputers, and the large numbers of the teleprinter which were sold stro ...
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