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Offtek have been supplying laptop memory, computer memory and memory for all devices online since 1997 and have quickly established ourselves as one of the UK's premier memory distributors as well as one of Europe's largest online memory suppliers.

We offer fast, free UK delivery including a 60 day money back guarantee and ensure your order is 100% compatible.

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The Lowdown on ROM

ROM, or Read-only Memory can also be referred to as firmware and is a circuit built into your computer and programmed with data specific to the machine it’s installed in during manufacturing. Whilst ROM is used in computers all around the world, they can also be found in many other electronic devices. For example, ROM is used in many modern calculators and computer peripherals, like laser printers which use it to store information relating to typeset and fonts.

Fundamentally, there are 3 basic types of ROM and they include:

  • ROM itself
  • PROM (Programmable Only Memory), which can only be written to once
  • EPROM, which can be erased using UV light and reprogrammed using a pulsed voltage

(There is another type of ROM, which is identical to EPROM, apart from the fact that it can be electrically erased under software control).

In essence, ROM chips are quite different from RAM, as they use a diode to create a 1 and then break the connection to form a 0. Usually, ROM is created from hard wired logic and the data is encoded into the silicon inside, in the same basic way as a processor. It is created with to perform a very specific function, which cannot be altered, with good reason.

One common misconception is that only RAM is able to access data in a random way, but that isn’t true. ROM can also access data in the same way, it just can’t be written to.

The Benefits
The benefits of ROM lie in its permanence. Once the relevant data has been stored there, regardless of power supply, it will always be there (unless drastic action is taken, like taking an axe to it!). This non-volatile nature of ROM is shared by another component inside a computer, the hard disk

Another benefit is that ROM is very hard to tamper with the information stored inside, which means you’ll never get a virus altering code in a ROM module.

The BIOS on computers is the most prevalent way that ROM is used in the modern age and it is just as vital to the overall operation as any other components. Inside the BIOS you’ll find a lot of important data (which is permanent and not erased when power is lost) that pertains to boot up sequences and the operation of all of the hardware inside a modern laptop or PC.

The History of Everex Computers

Founded back in 1983, Everex computers is a California based manufacturer of PC and laptop hardware. The Fremont company was created by John Lee, Steve Hui and Wayne Cheung, was formerly a giant in the tape backup market, with more than a 50% of the market share at its height. During its boom period, Everex created and shipped its first Hard Disk Drive, a product range that enjoyed considerable success and strong sales. In 1985 it supplied OEM computer hardware to 3rd party ‘White label’ companies, which was the IBM-AT 1800 system. This was followed by their ‘STEP’ line, including the industry-leading 286 and 386 hardware systems.

By 1990, the company began to diversify its product line, resulting in an annual turnover in the region of $450m and a workforce more than 2000 strong. Its product range contained a comprehensive line of fax modems, graphics boards, tape drives controllers, monitors and memory enhancement products.

The following period wasn’t kind to Everex, as just 3 years later, the company was forced to file for bankruptcy, before being bought out by Formosa Plastics Group. This made them stablemates with the likes of First International Computer, noted as being the preeminent manufacturer of motherboards at the time.

This, however, was something of a temporary reprieve, as the company filed for liquidation and ceased to exist, with its infrastructure and assets being transferred to new owner Newmarket Technology at the end of 2008. Everex may no longer be active, but it must be said that it played a big part in the evolution of the home computer. They certainly weren’t the only big player at the time, but what they brought to the table changed the development of the personal computer forever.

The company enjoyed a short and eventful 25 year existence:

1986 - Everex launches its hugely successful 286 ‘STEP’ line
1987 - The company was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange
1992 - Northgate Computers held lengthy merger talks with Everex, which ultimately were unsuccessful
1993 - The ESIX brand is sold, with their Storage arm going to Exabyte as the company files for bankruptcy
1998 - The ill-fated ‘FREESTYLE’ PDA is launched, just months before it was abandoned
2007 - A busy year for Everex, as it launches its first 17 inch Vista notebook, a line of economy Linux notebooks and an environmentally friendly ‘green’ range of hardware that included the gBook and the gPC mini Mac
2008 - The company is bought out and effectively closes its doors

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