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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
write-only memory
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1. jargon, humour (WOM) The obvious antonym to "read-onlymemory" (ROM).
Out of frustration with the long and seemingly useless chain
of approvals required of component specifications, during
which no actual checking seemed to occur, an engineer at
Signetics once created a specification for a write-only memory
and included it with a bunch of other specifications to be
approved. This inclusion came to the attention of Signetics
management only when regular customers started calling and
asking for pricing information. Signetics published a
corrected edition of the data book and requested the return of
the "erroneous" ones. Later, around 1974, Signetics bought a
double-page spread in "Electronics" magazine's April issue and
used the spec as an April Fools' Day joke. Instead of the
more conventional characteristic curves, the 25120 "fully
encoded, 9046 x N, Random Access, write-only-memory" data
sheet included diagrams of "bit capacity vs. Temp.", "Iff
vs. Vff", "Number of pins remaining vs. number of socket
insertions", and "AQL vs. selling price". The 25120 required
a 6.3 VAC VFF supply, a +10V VCC, and VDD of 0V, +/- 2%.