SATA for «Advanced Technology»

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Do you know that authors of books about computer science stuff have really great sense of humor? They really do! And sometimes that sort of books is funnier, than some collection of anecdotes.
Yesterday I found another example of that. It was in “Modern Operating Systems” by Andrew S. Tanenbaum and Herbert Bos. When I was reading the book and started laughing, my wife was curious. I tried to explain the joke to her, but I failed. However, it is common situation in our family. My wife now is finishing her bachelor degree of philosophy in HSE and she usually shares with me about some philosophy stuff that she’s read, heard or discussed. At least she tries to, because I almost always don’t understand 90% of her stories.

Nevertheless, here is the quote from Tanenbaum, which seems to me really funny:

«SATA stands for Serial ATA and ATA in turn stands for AT Attachment. In case you are curious what AT stands for, this was IBM’s second generation ‘‘Personal Computer Advanced Technology’’ built around the then-extremely-potent 6-MHz 80286 processor that the company introduced in 1984. What we learn from this is that the computer industry has a habit of continuously enhancing existing acronyms with new prefixes and suffixes. We also learned that an adjective like ‘‘advanced’’ should be used with great care, or you will look silly thirty years down the line. »

As nowadays SATA is really old technology and many modern SSDs can’t work with it(they are connected via PCIe), it is awkward to see “advanced technology” in the middle of this acronym. So, next time when you decide to add “advance”, “new technology” or “cutting edge” or similar adjective to the name of your program or technology, just think about SATA. 😉

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Do you know that authors of books about computer science stuff have really great sense of humor? They really do! And sometimes that sort of books is funnier, than some collection of anecdotes.
Yesterday I found another example of that. It was in “Modern Operating Systems” by Andrew S. Tanenbaum and Herbert Bos. When I was reading the book and started laughing, my wife was curious. I tried to explain the joke to her, but I failed. However, it is common situation in our family. My wife now is finishing her bachelor degree of philosophy in HSE and she usually shares with me about some philosophy stuff that she’s read, heard or discussed. At least she tries to, because I almost always don’t understand 90% of her stories.

Nevertheless, here is the quote from Tanenbaum, which seems to me really funny:

«SATA stands for Serial ATA and ATA in turn stands for AT Attachment. In case you are curious what AT stands for, this was IBM’s second generation ‘‘Personal Computer Advanced Technology’’ built around the then-extremely-potent 6-MHz 80286 processor that the company introduced in 1984. What we learn from this is that the computer industry has a habit of continuously enhancing existing acronyms with new prefixes and suffixes. We also learned that an adjective like ‘‘advanced’’ should be used with great care, or you will look silly thirty years down the line. »

As nowadays SATA is really old technology and many modern SSDs can’t work with it(they are connected via PCIe), it is awkward to see “advanced technology” in the middle of this acronym. So, next time when you decide to add “advance”, “new technology” or “cutting edge” or similar adjective to the name of your program or technology, just think about SATA. 😉

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