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Terminals – Output devices Computer science topic GCE A level



Terminals – Output devices Computer science topic GCE A level

II.9 Terminals

Computer terminal is a special unit that can perform as both input and output. A terminal is an I/O device that uses a keyboard for input and a monitor for output. Hence, a terminal is also known as video display terminal (VDT). The terminals can be categorized into the following types

Terminals - Output devices Computer science topic GCE A level

  • Dumb Terminal: It refers to a terminal that has no processing or programming capabilities. It is designed to communicate exclusively with a host computer. Usually, it consists of a screen and keyboard used to access a host computer.
  • Smart Terminal: Smart terminal has built-in processing capability and memory, but does not have its own storage capacity. In comparison to the dumb terminal, smart terminal can communicate and retrieve the data and can perform a limited processing of its own, that is, editing or verification of the data.
  • Intelligent Terminal: An intelligent terminal has memory and in-built microprocessors, hence also known as user-programmable terminal. This terminal can independently perform a certain number of jobs without even interacting with the mainframe. Although they are intelligent terminals, some workstations are designed without disk drives. Due to this, the restricted data cannot be downloaded or copied.

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