Do not call them PCMCIA Cards (was "An interesting eBay find ....)

Barry Watzman Watzman at
Wed Jul 15 13:59:02 CDT 2009

The correct name for what you are [incorrectly] calling a "PCMCIA Card" is a
"PC Card".  PCMCIA is the name of the organization that owns the trademarks
and they changed the name of the CARDS from "PCMCIA cards" to "PC Cards"
more than a decade ago (early 1990's), but people just won't let go.  The
"MC" in PCMCIA stands for "Memory Card", which was [ALL] that they were when
they came into existence, but that hasn't been the primary use of these
cards in almost 20 years.  And the "A" stands for "Association".  Neither is
appropriate to the cards themselves as they are used today, and "PCMCIA
Card" is not in accord with the organization's registered trademarks [They
own both the standard and the trademarks, they get to decide the "right"
names for them.]

PC Cards come in 3 mechanical form factors [thicknesses]:
	Type I, II and III

PC cards also come in two electrical types (unrelated to type I, II or III]:

	32-bit (aka "Cardbus")

A "Cardbus" card is still a PC Card.

Note that, electrically, a 16-bit PC card is the laptop equivalent of an ISA
card and a 32-bit (or "Cardbus") PC card is the laptop equivalent of a PCI
card.  You can put any function onto a PC card that a desktop slot of the
corresponding type would have supported (and, conversely, you cannot, for
example, create a 16-bit PC card USB adapter with USB ports; the necessary
resources and data rates don't exist on the ISA bus, a PCI slot is

32-bit PC Card slots are generally backwards compatible to 16-bit cards.
The reverse is not true.  Laptops (and desktop card slots) changed from
16-bit to 32-bit in approximately 1997, about the time of the Pentium [one]
120 to 166 MHz class CPU.

From: Richard <legalize at>
Subject: Re: An interesting ebay find and what to do with scsi do-dads
> Also, the memory card reader has a slot for a type 1 or 2 pcmcia card.
>  What could I put in this?  A pcmcia flash memory drive seems obvious.
>  What else?

There's scads of PCMCIA cards out there. has 4 pages of search
results for PCMCIA.  Firewire, modem, wireless, memory card adapters, etc.
"The Direct3D Graphics Pipeline" -- DirectX 9 draft available for download

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