A History of the PCMCIA Slot

Motherboard shares a great history of the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association slot. Now a glorious piece of obsolesce, the standard was inspired by what USB would become, a way to easily extend a computers capabilities without having to crack open the machine.

This history begins with the standard’s design as a collaboration between Poqet Computer Company and Fujitsu, all the way through it’s current use in CableCard.

Good night, sweet PCMCIA, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

Motherboard comments:

The problem with laptops has, at least in recent years, been one of expandability. Once you buy a machine, you’re generally stuck with it, unless you’re willing to take it apart with repairs that have more in common with surgery than mechanics.

Part of this has to do with the complexity of our modern machines, but a bigger part is the fact that, simply, upgradability has become less of a concern for manufacturers.

But there was a time when laptop upgrades were a big deal—and that time was the 90s.

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About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.

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