Technology related to the development of computers is developing at such a fast pace that it is almost impossible to keep pace. Each new invention is superseded by yet another one and the cycle continues. Furthermore we find that computer hardware has so many different elements of it and although many of use computers most of us are unaware of many aspects regarding their functioning.
Amongst one of these inventions that have been around the market for quite some time now is the Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment. PATA is basically a standard interface which is used inside a PC to connect storage devices. It is used to connect various devices such as CD/DVD drives, solid state disks and hard disks.
However Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment does not allow hot swapping to take place. The device was initially launched as Advanced Technology Attachment. The world Parallel was added to the name of the device when the Serial Advanced Technology Attachment was launched in 2003. This helped to distinguish between the two. The SATA interface is different from PATA in the respect that it allows hot swapping plus it has a much faster data transfer speed.
The cable of Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment has the capacity to transfer sixteen bits data at one given time. The maximum cable length that you can get with PATA standards is eighteen inches. However you can add extensions to the original length to take it up to thirty six inches. This has not yet reported to have caused any problems. Large towers may require longer cables especially if they have external drives. Longer cables also help to improve the cooling within a tower.
The master and slave terminology is used for instances where you find two devices to be attached to one cable. Most people are misconceived about the phenomenon of attaching two devices to one cable. Generally people believe that both the devices will run according to the speed of the slower one. In reality however PATA has the ability to support independent device timing. One thing that is true is that both the devices cannot perform read and write operations at the same time.
A built in security feature is required by PATA specifications. You will find these disks to have a user and master password all the time. Users have the option to lock the device in high security as well as maximum security.
Generally you will find that there are a couple of terms that are used interchangeably with Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment. A few examples are Integrated Drive Electronics IDE and Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics.
There is a wealth of information regarding Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment available on the internet. You will be able to dig in to the different aspects of the device and remove your misconceptions about it as well.