"The Parallel ATA standard is the result of a long history of incremental technical development, which began with the original AT Attachment interface, developed for use in early PC AT equipment. The ATA interface itself evolved in several stages from Western Digital's original Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) interface. As a result, many near-synonyms for ATA/ATAPI and its previous incarnations are still in common informal use. After the introduction of Serial ATA in 2003, the original ATA was renamed Parallel ATA, PATA for short."
In other words it is the older IDE or PATA interface rather than the newer SATA interface. If your motherboard supports it and you have a ribbon cable with a spare spot and you set the jumper on the drive correctly, you can use it. If you have a relatively new computer and have not purchased the drive, make life easier and purchase a SATA CD/DVD (or CD/DVD/BluRay) drive.
You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.