Laptop computers have become a very efficient mode of mobile computing today. Many of them fill in the communicative networking’s that make cell phones indispensable along with the superior processing power of personal computers. Most new laptops and notebooks have built in wireless connectivity options, but there are some who still do not have wi-fi connectivity need an extensible card that plugs right into them to give them an additional facility. Many new wireless internet providers provide such cards that are used in laptops very efficiently. They provide the most elegant solution to wireless networking when a laptop does not support such functionality.
So what exactly is this card that provides such an amazing functionality in a small package? This card is the PCMCIA card, known as the PC Card. The PCMCIA is an acronym for Personal Computer Memory Card Association – an association that sets the standards for the PC Card, the extra connectivity add-on card the size of a credit card that is used so widely. This non-profit trade organisation defines the standards for not only the PC Card, but also its successor, the ExpressCard and other memory add-ons, modules and other functionality adders. These cards were so popular that there were three variants designed and accepted by the PCMCIA:-
- Type I: 3.3mm thick cards that were designed by the first ever PCMCIA meet. These were simple memory cards that were used in RAM modules, flash drive addons, and Static Random Access Memory cards.
- Type II: These were thicker, 5.0 to 5.5mm cards with the first input/output support allowed devices to act as peripherals – such as TV tuner devices, modems and other network cards to be attached as a sort of dongle at the sides of laptops. Laptop manufacturers also started building support for PCMCIA cards so that such devices could be tethered to the laptops.
- Type III: At 10.5mm, these devices could incorporate a wide array of devices such as bigger interfaces and hard drives could be accepted into the PCMCIA adapters and ports.
These adapters and cards eventually became standardised and accepted use in all laptops and portable computers such as netbooks and notebooks. These devices have not only added functionality to the laptops but have become a new way of providing services to the mobile consumer by many internet providers. This is how the future works out for those computers that are behind the times.