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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.

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[Jargon File]

(1995-04-14)


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