The Terminals Wiki

The Terminals Wiki is a wiki devoted to the computer terminal. I have created this wiki to collect in one place all the information on computer terminals, including links to manx and BitSavers as appropriate. Prior to creation of the wiki, information on computer terminals was sprinkled throughout various sites on the web. Like most wikis, the Terminals Wiki is a work in progress, but it now has a fairly broad sampling of terminals and over time more details will be filled in about each specific terminal.

The museum’s hardware collection has a large number of terminals, including some with graphics capability. Before graphics became commonplace with raster based workstations and personal computers, graphics peripherals were attached to a mainframe or minicomputer and shared between users. You interacted with the computer through the terminal in order to access these shared peripherals. Some graphics peripherals included an interactive terminal, but others such as plotters provided only output. A user would prepare their data at a terminal and submit it to the plotter for output.

The Terminals Wiki serves not only as a central collecting point for information about terminals, but also gave me experience in setting up a MediaWiki installation. Google Books was of great assistance in documenting the information on terminals, with a nearly complete collection of Computerworld and InfoWorld online. Using google books allowed me to give firm citations for the statements in the wiki, something that is necessary if such a wiki is to be useful as an academic reference and not just a collection of hearsay. The museum plans to add a MediaWiki installation focused on computer graphics based on the experience gained from the Terminals Wiki.

2 thoughts on “The Terminals Wiki

    • This appears to be a keyboard for a Decision Data 3791 terminal. Decision Data made compatible peripherals for IBM mainframe equipment.

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