Linux Journal: Acronyms and Abbreviations

“While I was looking for some ideas for the next Linux Buzz, a
banner ad on the Linux Journal site momentarily confused me. It is
the banner for Code Fusion and it was talking about an IDE. While I
visualized an IDE disk drive only momentarily, I realized that
lots of people could be confused by many of the acronyms and
abbreviations we use. So, that quickly became my subject for the

“As IDE inspired this column, let’s start there. When talking
about an interface to a disk drive, CD-ROM or tape drive, IDE is an
abbreviation for Integrated Drive Electronics. IDE disks replaced
MFM (Manchester Frequency Modulation) and RLL (Run Length Limited)
disks. Clearly, MFM and RLL were pretty useless terms for the
computer user. Both these terms referred to the way data was stored
on the disk. Data encoding was done by the controller card. The
significance of IDE was that the data encoding was moved from the
controller card to the disk drive itself.”

“The other IDE? The one that was in the banner ad. Integrated
Development Environment. This is where you can write and test your
code without leaving one program. For me, this is an alternative to
edit with vi, compile and link with cc, execute and then possibly
debug with gdb. For Emacs users, they will say that Emacs is an