The origin of the phrases ATA and IDE [WAS:RE: formatting MFM drives on a IBM PC]

Warner Losh imp at
Tue Oct 3 18:03:42 CDT 2017

On Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 4:57 PM, Fred Cisin via cctalk <cctalk at
> 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

PC Cards, defined by the PCMICA standards body, appeared to always be
called that. I did a lot of looking for oddball early systems and couldn't
find anything that was PC Card-ish but not actually a PC Card. The closest
was the MECIA controller that NEC used in their PC-9801 laptops which
limited severely what could or couldn't be mapped on very odd ways. (NEC
moved on to a standard PCI device by the time they did the PC-9821 ones). I
couldn't find any 486 or 386 laptop that had an expansion slot that wasn't
PCMCIA or something totally different. This was in the late 90's and early
2000's when I was the PC Card guy in FreeBSD... Of course, my inability to
find them on ebay or the like doesn't mean they didn't exist... I also had
trouble finding the IBM KING variation of the ExCa standard that Intel
implemented, but I know it must have existed because older PC Card code
supported it...


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