ROM Cartridges. Lifespan, and other tidbits
hilpert at cs.ubc.ca
Tue Apr 19 10:45:37 CDT 2016
On 2016-Apr-19, at 8:13 AM, Paul Koning wrote:
>> On Apr 19, 2016, at 10:53 AM, Swift Griggs <swiftgriggs at gmail.com> 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.
PROMs tended to be relatively smaller in capacity than the other options and not likely to be found in a cart.
By the time you get into the production volumes of mast carts and large manufacturers, mask ROMS are going to be the economic preference.
As such, carts are going to be quite reliable - more or less as reliable as any other piece of hardware involving ICs and worked contacts.
>> 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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