While browsing the Inquirer today I discovered the reason why I can only fit PC Card and CardBus cards into one of the two slots on my year-old laptop: One of the slots is actually an ExpressCard slot. I'd heard of this format, but hadn't realized that ExpressCard is incompatible with the PC Card format, and some of the cards are a wierd L-shape. But externally, ExpressCard slots look identical to PC Card slots, and a PC Card can fit halfway into an ExpressCard slot before it gets stuck. What was that committee smoking?
The way to tell the slots apart is that the little eject buttons have a tiny “O” or an ”X“ symbol on them to indicate the slot type. I noticed these symbols when I first got the laptop, but I though they were just decorative. Now I know the secret.