Political correctness puts disk drives in a spin

Political correctness puts disk drives in a spin

Summary: Disk drives that use the IDE interface have been identified as containing language that could be interpreted as discriminatory or offensive in nature, and one organisation wants suppliers to do something about it

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TOPICS: Storage
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Disk drives may the latest victim of political correctness. According to a memo apparently sent out by the County of Los Angeles, the standard designation used for connecting two disk drives to a single IDE port, which entails setting one drive as a "master" and the second as a "slave" drive, is an example of equipment labelling that may be "construed as offensive or defamatory in nature".

According to the memo, which was apparently written by Joe Sandoval, division manager for purchasing and contract services in the Internal Services Department at the County of Los Angeles, and posted on urban legends Web site snopes.com, use of the terms "master" and "slave" is not acceptable as an identification label.

"We would request that each manufacturer, supplier and contractor review, identify and remove/change any identification or labelling of equipment or components thereof that could be interpreted as discriminatory or offensive in nature before such equipment is sold or otherwise provided to any County department," said Sadoval in the memo.

The sentiments of the memo's author may be laudable: "The County of Los Angeles actively promotes and is committed to ensure a work environment that is free from any discriminatory influence, be it actual or perceived," he wrote. But removing the universally adopted terms from drives may cause more problems than it solves, say manufacturers, as users -- including those employed by LA County -- would find the settings confusing if the labels changed.

One major drive manufacturer's response was of incredulity: "I thought the British were prim and proper," said a spokeswoman for the company, who asked not to be identified, "but what's up with these Americans? It's not a Schwarzenegger change is it? You'd have to be barking mad to do this." The spokeswoman said it is highly unlikely that drive manufacturers would take the request seriously.

IT director Andres Tomlin was similarly unimpressed. "This is another ludicrous example of "political correctness," he said. "This is political point-scoring and nothing to do with the reality of everyday life."

Topic: Storage

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18 comments
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  • Email just sent to Mr. Sandoval:

    No, Mr. Sandoval, I do not feel you are stupid. You are personally being held hostage by a race (it might be yours) that is blinded by the fact that it is not the only people to have ever been in bondage. It is incomprehensible that the governing body of a city would pay attention to a squeaky wheel, yet not notice that its not even on the right trail.

    I *do* feel you have a role in educating the city council (read -> laughing at their absurdity) when necessary. From the outside looking in, that body needs something to do besides attempting to change labels on disk drives.

    That's the way I see it from here,
    Bubba
    anonymous
  • Crazy thought that Master and Slave is not PC. Some officials have too much time on their hands. What could we have instead?

    Male/Female?
    Boss/Employee?
    Keyboard/Computer?
    People/President - No that doesn't follow!

    I'm sure others will come up with more creative suggestions.
    anonymous
  • Perhaps they should consider using a set of terms that are more "Alternative Lifestyle inclusive".

    They could call them Dominant & Submissive IDE drives. I'd imagine most tech types would have no difficulty remebering those terms.
    anonymous
  • Furthermore :

    Blacksmith is to be removed from history,
    all books mentioning it will have to be
    rewritten .

    A Blackbird is an animal thus referring
    that Blacks are animals, it must be renamed .

    Black Diamond water melons obviously
    are making racial references to Blacks
    liking water melons in a deragatory manner
    and they must rename their company .

    The term Black Holes must be stricken from
    science as it obviously refers to Blacks as
    a thing of negativity and destruction, and
    that they suck .

    Well maybe just the Ultra-PC crowd of black
    fanatics suck .......

    Hehehe, really ppl we have bigger and more
    important things to concern ourselves about,
    and ppl other than blacks were Slaves .

    Remember Spartacus ??? If you read history
    you will remember him .

    Peace,
    Duane Navarre
    American Indian
    anonymous
  • What a complete waste of time. I would suggest the author should try and sort out more important issues if they have this much time on their hands!
    anonymous
  • We all most likely have better things to do with our time, than read these and send replies.
    But, it is coming to something when all people seem to want to do is rename everything, whether it is politically correct or not.

    We eventually will not know what the hell we are talking about!

    Now, my son is 3years old, he will be known as Master until he is 16, when he officially becomes a Mister or Mr.

    Maybe all HDD's over 16 should be renamed Mr. drive.

    The slave drive renamed "unpaid helper" drive, or "mistreated" drive"!!!!!!

    No sorry, I agree with most, a total waste of time, why not call a spade a spade, and not a shovel, and have done with it.

    Any time something is running smoothly, or effectively, there is always someone at the top who wants to change it, usually because the one at the top now appears to be doing nothing, and may end up out of work because the yare no longer needed.!!!!!!!
    anonymous
  • Before going and hitting some manufacturers for labeling items please go and request that to be done by the film/media industry that allows more than labeling in use and available for a large population than what the computer industry does. I may not write proper english but I have seen and been through worst terms used on the media whether adults or youngsters/childern channels.

    why don't you start by correcting your language and worry about yourself before worrying what others use to identify things with.
    anonymous
  • Perhaps the traditional use of 'male' and 'female' in the building and engineering industries should be treated in the same way !!!!!!!!

    Where is the end to to all this 'Polical Correctness' gone mad and overzealous controls over our lives, etc. ..........

    It cannot get any better, it is a one way street.

    I'm sorry for the future generations who will, apparantly, have no freedoms and choices and will be 'controlled' in their lives by a 'Big Brother' mechanism rather than conscience or moral imperative.

    We're nearly there already!
    anonymous
  • I hate to think what they will make of male and female connectors!!
    anonymous
  • Slavery has been common throughout history, dating back to the ancient Egyptians and beyond, there's evidence of it being in practise for around 7000 years.

    This seems to me to be the knee jerk reaction of one individual and the subsequent overreaction of the county of Los Angeles.

    There's an inherrent guilt complex amongst a lot of americans over the fact that slavery wasn't formally abolished in the USA until 1865, little under a hundred and fifty years ago. We Brits have the dubious distinction of having done so 32 years earlier in 1833 but don't seem to have the same hang ups about it. Maybe we're thicker skinned (oh sh*t I mentioned skin attributes, that can't be PC).

    I don't personally think we should abolish the terms master/slave because of the neurosis of some Americans, especially as in this context the words have nothing whatsoever to do with the shamefull enslavement of the afro carribean races which occured in the latter have of the last millenium, they describe the topography of mechanical devices, nothing more.
    anonymous
  • We should offer alternative suggestions:

    Master - Pupil
    Master - Prodigy
    Parent - Child
    Lead - Understudy
    Primary - Secondary
    Major - Minor

    .. of course using: Boss - Suboridnate would only confuse the users as the general understanding is that the suboridnate is the one that does all the work! :)

    ... Or maybe we could standardize on not standardizing??

    Whatsit - Thingamajig

    Whew! Once we get this little PC mess cleared up in the tech industry - we should then move on to the plumber's terms... and mechanics... and farmer's and....
    anonymous
  • Well, I suppose Mr. Joe Sandoval and the County of Los Angeles think that it's pornographic to use the terms "male" & "female" when referring to a power cord's plug end as male and the wall socket as female.

    Some people's kids!
    anonymous
  • How completely ludicrous! Has this group of people got nothing better to focus their attention on? Like real discrimination instead of this pathetic interfering.

    Please keep your narrow minds out of technical terms - we work hard enough putting decent solutions in place without having to tolerate this stupidity.
    anonymous
  • It's hard to type with my eyes rolled toward the ceiling. Amazing what idiots will do for attention. I shouldn't be surprised, this country has long since been going to Hell thanks to political correctness.

    Or would that be "cold-impaired environs"? Wouldn't want to accidentally offend any devil worshipers out there...
    anonymous
  • We could save a shedload of money,AND time by finding these lackwits that spend their time declaring one thing or another coz it uses NON PC vocabulary.

    if the US hadn't built a lot of its trade and infrastructure off the backs of slave workers, then mayber we wouldn't need some officious ass issuing edicts.

    What next ??? an order to make HDD's in different colors as 'black' may be deemed 'offensive' to coloured folks.
    IMO people should worry about real issues and not plastic PC lameness
    anonymous
  • What an utterly stupid and ridiculous comment! Does Joe Sandoval live in the real
    world, or did he just dream up this story out of pure boredom whilst at work? It's people like this that CAUSE the problems, not fix them! The words "master" and "slave" have been used to label disc drives for ages and they are terms that everyone is familiar with. If it works, why change it? Joe Sandoval
    anonymous
  • RE: The earlier comment about blacksmiths. I am one (really) and I've had one or two people over the last few years suggest that I call myself a metalsmith to avoid any racist innuendo. Needless to say, I'm still a BLACKsmith (Because wrought iron is known as a black metal, not because of my colour at the end of the day. Brass/bronze are white metals, hence whitesmith)

    My suggestions?

    Bush and Blair
    Chimp and Poodle
    Saddam and WMD (er...maybe not)
    anonymous
  • What total nonsense! Does anyone other than idiot politicians give a hairy rat's a** about this? Can someone in L.A. please shoot this idiot Sandoval? This just totally blows my mind, I really can't believe that anyone outside an assylum would come up with such a lame brained idiotic idea as this. Maybe instead of shooting this moron Sandoval he should just get shipped to a nice cotton field and see what master and slave is really all about. Then the retard would at least be of some use.

    Sheeeeesh!
    anonymous