Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The inventor of the Write-Only-Memory finally speaks

Hidden in anonymity since 1972, he finally tells the tale of how he created his legendary spoof:
I worked at Signetics as an engineer from about 1967 to 1979. One of my tasks in the Signetics MOS marketing group was to create data sheets for new products.

I wrote the 25120 WOM data sheet, copyrighted in 1972, as a lark to see what a Signetics WOM specification might look like.
WOM = Write-Only-Memory, a joke datasheet for a chip where you could write data but not read it.  Note that from a security perspective, this is pretty much unhackable ...

For those of you who don't have a yellowing photocopy of this stashed away in a manila envelope, here it is:


Backwoods Engineer said...

Somewhere, I have a yellowed photocopy of this. It was still circulating when I was a young engineer in the mid 80's. This was considered high humor among engineers then, though ROFL had yet to be coined.

ASM826 said...

The earliest known dated use of ROFL is March 30th, 2004.

Graybeard said...

Is there a link to said genius' name?

(ob acknowledgement - I had a copy for years. I think my first copy was in 1978.)

drjim said...

From Wikipedia:

The datasheet was created "as a lark" by Signetics engineer John G ‘Jack’ Curtis