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ROM To Spare Running out of memory? Power up with an add-on CD-ROM drive.

By David Doran

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The massive file sizes of today's multimedia softwareapplications require far more storage space than the traditional3.5-inch floppy disk can hold, which is why internal CD-ROM driveshave been standard on PCs and laptops since the mid-1990s.Accordingly, most software manufacturers are now releasing theirproducts only in CD-ROM format. A single CD can store moreinformation than 300 3.5-inch floppies and is much cheaper toproduce.

If your PC or laptop pre-dates the advent of CD-ROM, don'tworry: There's no need to scrap the whole system. You can buyan external CD-ROM drive that can be cabled to your PC'sparallel (printer) port.

What if you need CD-ROM capability on the road, or a laptop isyour primary computer? A portable CD-ROM drive can be installed inan open modular drive bay (if your laptop has one) or hooked up tothe port of an internal PCMCIA card you install in your laptop(most CD-ROM drives come with one).

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