PCMCIA (Was: The origin of the phrases ATA and IDE [WAS:RE: formatting

Alan Perry aperry at snowmoose.com
Tue Oct 3 19:29:55 CDT 2017

On 10/3/17 4:25 PM, Fred Cisin via cctalk wrote:
>>> Q: was the card slot in the Poqet "PCMCIA"? ("People Can't Memorize
>>> Computer Industry Acronyms"  ("Personal Computer Memory Card Industry
>>> Association", for those who want more formality))
>>> Maybe later ones were, but the first ones were just "card slot" "that
>>> happened to match PCMCIA when that came out
> On Tue, 3 Oct 2017, Warner Losh wrote:
>> PC Cards, defined by the PCMICA standards body, appeared to always be
>> called that.
> The slots in the Poqet predate the PCMCIA specification.
> In the original release, Poqet NEVER mentioned "PCMCIA".
> It seems likely/obvious? that the Poqet engineers worked from a 
> pre-release version of the spec, but they scrupulously avoided 
> mentioning that until after PCMCIA became "official"
> They do seem the same as PCMCIA Type1, Rev1/0, other than that the 
> Poqet calls for cards that can handle lower voltage, and only work 
> with SRAM and ROM cards.  The Poqet can NOT use a PCMCIA modem, SCSI 
> interface, etc.
> The one that the CIS department at the college bought came with a ROM 
> card of Lotus!  When the Poqet was sent back to Fry's for repairs soon 
> after, the Lotus card "disappeared" at Fry's.

The Poqet predates the PCMCIA spec, but products based on unapproved 
drafts is hardly a new thing in the computer industry.

Stealing from Wikipedia -
"The PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) 
industry organization was based on the original initiative of the 
British mathematician and computer scientist Ian Cullimore, one of the 
founders of the Sunnyvale-based Poqet Computer Corporation, who was 
seeking to integrate some kind of memory card technology as storage 
medium into their early DOS-based palmtop PCs, when traditional floppy 
drives and harddisks were found to be too power-hungry and large to fit 
into their battery-powered handheld devices. When in July 1989, Poqet 
contacted Fujitsu for their existing but still non-standardized SRAM 
memory cards, and Intel for their flash technology, the necessity and 
potential of establishing a worldwide memory card standard became 
obvious to the parties involved. This led to the foundation of the 
PCMCIA organization in September 1989."


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