a large computer, often the hub of a system serving many users.
the central processing unit of a computer
“central processor of a computer system,” 1964, from main (adj.) + frame (n.).
A large, often powerful computer, usually dedicated to lengthy, complex calculations or set up for use by many people simultaneously. Compare personal computer.
A large, powerful computer system. A mainframe computer typically carries out complex calculations and is shared by many users. (Compare personal computer.)
A term originally referring to the cabinet containing the central processor unit or “main frame” of a room-filling Stone Age batch machine. After the emergence of smaller “minicomputer” designs in the early 1970s, the traditional big iron machines were described as “mainframe computers” and eventually just as mainframes. The term carries the connotation of a machine designed for batch rather than interactive use, though possibly with an interactive time-sharing operating system retrofitted onto it; it is especially used of machines built by IBM, Unisys and the other great dinosaurs surviving from computing’s Stone Age.
It has been common wisdom among hackers since the late 1980s that the mainframe architectural tradition is essentially dead (outside of the tiny market for number crunching supercomputers (see Cray)), having been swamped by the recent huge advances in integrated circuit technology and low-cost personal computing. As of 1993, corporate America is just beginning to figure this out – the wave of failures, takeovers, and mergers among traditional mainframe makers have certainly provided sufficient omens (see dinosaurs mating).
Supporters claim that mainframes still house 90% of the data major businesses rely on for mission-critical applications, attributing this to their superior performance, reliability, scalability, and security compared to microprocessors.
[French man gohsh] /French mɛ̃ ˈgoʊʃ/ noun 1. a dagger of the 16th and 17th centuries, held in the left hand in dueling and used to parry the sword of an opponent.
noun 1. the most important or central thought of a paragraph or larger section of text, which tells the reader what the text is about: Find the main idea in each paragraph.
[meyn] /meɪn/ adjective 1. chief in size, extent, or importance; principal; leading: the company’s main office; the main features of a plan. 2. sheer; utmost, as strength or force: to lift a stone by main force. 3. of or relating to a broad expanse: main sea. 4. Grammar. syntactically independent; capable of use in isolation. […]
[meyn-land, -luh nd] /ˈmeɪnˌlænd, -lənd/ noun 1. the principal of a country, region, etc., as distinguished from adjacent islands or a peninsula: the mainland of Greece. 2. (in Hawaii) the 48 contiguous states of the U.S. [meyn-land, -luh nd] /ˈmeɪnˌlænd, -lənd/ noun 1. the largest of the Shetland Islands. About 200 sq. mi. (520 sq. […]