ROM Cartridges. Lifespan, and other tidbits

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Tue Apr 19 10:13:39 CDT 2016

> On Apr 19, 2016, at 10:53 AM, Swift Griggs <swiftgriggs at> wrote:
> Well, after discussing all things that can go wrong with a floppy disk to
> corrupt or destroy it, it makes me wonder about another vintage media
> format: the cart.  

You mean a ROM cartridge as opposed to a magnetic tape cartridge, right?  ("Cart" is also broadcast radio slang for magnetic tape cartridges, vaguely like an 8-track tape in appearance.)

> How long will they last?

That would depend on the ROM type: mask, PROM, EEPROM.  I don't know which was used.  Fuse PROM supposedly may suffer from "fuse regrowth" depending on manufacturer and process used.  But if well made I would expect them to last as long as any other solid state electronics.

> Why does blowing on them help? (mosture? cleaning action?)

Placebo effect?  :-)  I can't see how it makes any difference, unless the contacts are dirty.  If they are, they should be cleaned, with a proper cleaning method.


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