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1 definition found
 for IBM 3270
From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  IBM 3270
      A class of terminals made by IBM known as
     "Display Devices", normally used to talk to IBM
     mainframes.  The 3270 attempts to minimise the number of
     I/O interrupts required by accepting large blocks of data,
     known as datastreams, in which both text and control (or
     formatting functions) are interspersed allowing an entire
     screen to be "painted" as a single output operation.  The
     concept of "formatting" in these devices allows the screen to
     be divided into clusters of contiguous character cells for
     which numerous attributes (color, highlighting, character
     set, protection from modification) can be set.  Further,
     using a technique known as 'Read Modified' the changes from
     any number of formatted fields that have been modified can be
     read as a single input without transferring any other data,
     another technique to enhance the terminal throughput of the
     The 3270 had twelve, and later twenty-four, special Programmed
     Function Keys, or PF keys.  When one of these keys was
     pressed, it would cause the device to generate an I/O
     interrupt and present a special code identifying which key
     was pressed.  Application program functions such as
     termination, page-up, page-down or help could be invoked by a
     single key-push, thereby reducing the load on very busy
     A version of the IBM PC called the "3270 PC" was released in
     October 1983.  It included 3270 terminal emulation.
     tn3270 is modified version of Telnet which acts as a 3270
     terminal emulator and can be used to connect to an IBM
     computer over a network.
     See also broken arrow.

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