Here's a musical mashup that will probably make you question why so many movies have references to a mainframe computer. After watching this catchy megamix of mainframe computer references from the funny folks at Slacktory, you might wonder what the heck a mainframe computer is.
I'm guessing they mean a central server, but after seeing this video, I think it's a catch-all term for hacking that makes screenwriters sound more tech-savvy than they really are. If you ask yourself that question, you probably gave the idea more thought than most Hollywood screenwriters have.
The video contains clips from two dozen different films as characters, usually in a suspenseful and intense hurry, make references about hacking into or getting their own mainframe computer hacked. Cue intense music and close-up shots of people typing, and you've got a typical computer-based Hollywood thriller. I'll never be able to see a movie with a mainframe computer reference the same way again.