Graphical User Interfaces and Terminal Emulation

These days, we take the simplicity of working with computers for granted. If you're like most people, you're reading this page from a computer running a Windows operating system, though if you fall outside of the majority, it could be the increasingly popular Mac OS X from Apple, or maybe even a PC running Linux. Whatever the case, your operating system is doing an impeccable job of making using your computer a breeze and this is largely thanks to its graphical user interface or GUI. Once upon a time, there were no GUIs -- there were only text based terminals. In this article, we'll take a look at the evolution of computer access from crude terminals to graphical user interfaces, as well as looking at the role that terminal emulation plays today.

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Mainframes and Cloud Computing: Similarities and Differences

Since the arrival of cloud computing, the debate has raged: is cloud computing really just the mainframe re-imagined? Or are the differences significant enough that these two technologies should be considered opposite? In this article, we'll take a look at both the similarities and differences of mainframe and cloud computing technology, including scalability, security, and terminal emulation considerations.

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What is CICS?

Here's an important thing to remember about big businesses: when downtime occurs, it impacts them in a big way. Downtime is, quite simply, an absolute disaster. And when we talk about "big business" we're not just talking about your run-of-the-mill corporation, either. We're talking about Fortune 500 -- the largest corporations in the world. Now, because they cannot afford downtime, these mega corporations require "mission-critical" transaction systems to run on powerful mainframes. This is where Customer Information Control System (CICS) comes in. Many of these companies -- up to 90 per cent of the world's Fortune 500 companies, it has been estimated -- use CICS for their rapid, high-volume online processing needs, with the help of terminal emulation software to access the CICS servers.

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What is a Thin Client?

A thin client is a type of computer or piece of software that relies on another more powerful computer to do most of its work. Connected to a network, the thin client computer or software provides an interface through which the user communicates with a network server computer. Because the thin computer is not powerful, it is virtually useless on its own; however, when connected to a centralised network server computer, it is capable of displaying all the information that a user requires. Powerful mainframe computers, for example, can be accessed through thin client terminal emulation.

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