No matter what you do with your computer, storage is an important part of your system. In fact, most personal computers have one or more of the following storage devices:


The hard drive and circuit board combination
that typify IDE devices

Usually, these devices connect to the computer through an Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) interface. Essentially, an IDE interface is a standard way for a storage device to connect to a computer. IDE is actually not the true technical name for the interface standard. The original name, AT Attachment (ATA), signified that the interface was initially developed for the IBM AT computer. In this edition of HowStuffWorks, you will learn about the evolution of IDE/ATA, what the pinouts are and exactly what "slave" and "master" mean in IDE.