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The Origin Of The Term Dongle


Monsta®
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I came across the term in the mid 70's. Originally it was applied only to devices intended to lock software to one computer at a time - an anti-piracy device.

Then, I imagined it to be a play or corruption of dangle. It could even have been a typo. Because dongles dangled from the printer or serial port. It could also have been because the software DON't Go LEss one (is fitted).

Thinking back maybe the first one I saw was fitted to a Commodore PET, but soon many expensive pieces of software were shipped with either a serial (RS232) one or a PC Parallel Port one.

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