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sata = serial ATA, and serial is what the s in sda represents to the best of my knowledge. Sata drives will be sdX devices on all standard operating systems unless some weird stuff is being done under the covers.
I think it has more how the disto was setup. At some point most distro's changed how the drives are "seen". They are seen as scsi would be my opinion if it is sda. Even usb devices are considered scsi only in they way the software interacts with them. That is on most newer distros.
Thanks for all of your answers, and I did have the clue that Debian fdisk -l lists my SDCardReader as /dev/sdb so, yes, the card reader is listed similarly as the SATA drive.
I added an old Quantum Fireball 1.3 gigabyte drive as an IDE slave, with a CD-RW as the IDE master, and GRUB, was installed on that old 1.3 gibabyte drive.
Another question I have about this drive is that it has a 4 pin MOLEX power connector AND a 15 pin power connector attached, yet the drive seems to run OK with either the 4 pin connector or the 15 pin SATA connector.
Should the drive have BOTH power connectors?
The very short wire lengths between the 4 pin and 15 connectors, for each pair of them in the wiring harness, seems to preclude the possibility of connecting all FOUR power connectors to a pair of SATA drives, if I add a second SATA drive...)
So I'm guessing that only 1 power connector per drive is OK.