The ROM Cartridge
A ROM cartridge is a circuit board containing a read-only memory (ROM) chip and a connector encased in a rigid shell. These cartridges could be used for games or programs.
Fairchild invented the ROM software cartridge for use with its Fairchild Channel F video game system in 1976. Soon, home computers like the [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/181421/inside_the_atari_800.html|Atari 800|Atari 800]] (1979) and the [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/183105/ti994a.html|TI-99/4|TI-99/4]] (1979) had adopted the ROM cartridge, using it for simple software loading and distribution. Lotus even made a cartridge-based version of Lotus 1-2-3 for the [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/175431/1_ibm_pcjr_1984.html|IBM PCjr|IBM PCjr]] (1984). ROM cartridges were fast and easy to use, but they were also relatively expensive--a drawback that sealed their doom.
Photos: Benj Edwards/IBM/[[xref:http://www.oldcomputers.net/|Steven Stengel|Steven Stengel]]