The 3270 Terminal Emulator is a computer-based emulator that replicates the functionality of the IBM 3270 mainframe computer terminal on a PC or any of a similar microcomputer system.
The 3270 series terminal was introduced in 1972 by IBM. They viewing terminals were also known as display devices. The 3270 greatly decreased the frequency of I/O interruptions of transferring big blocks of info as known as data streams. It used a coaxial cable to transfer this data.
IBM doesn’t make these terminals anymore but many people use the 3270 Terminal Emulator to get to main frame-based applications. This emulator is also referenced as a green screen emulator or a green screen application (not to be confused with green screen videography.) The 3270 terminal is becoming more and more rare as nobody makes them anymore.
This process of transferring data was very advanced for the 1970’s and really got a lot of “tech buffs” back then excited about electronic computing and more and more innovations came as a result and eventually led to the super computers that we enjoy today.
The 3270 Terminal could be directly connected to the IBM Model 25 mainframe. It used block codes instead of character codes and many felt this method to be inferior. The block mode worked way better on such a slow connection and with such slow mainframes.
By the late 90’s pretty much all of the 3270 terminals started disappearing and were replaced with 3270 Terminal Emulators running on a Windows-based personal computer.
Today’s computers can perform the work of thousands of these terminals and take up considerably less room especially with the release of the recent MacBook Air, ZenBook, and other ultrabooks that are both powerful and slim and sleek. Comparing these new laptops, tablets, and desktop computers is not even fair in the slightest so I will conclude with the comparisons. Let it be known that the 3270 Terminal was great for its time!