CD-ROM also called "Compact Disc Read-Only Memory" is data contained in an optical pre-pressed compact disc. These are non-writable or non-erasable disc and computers can only read them as suggested by their name. James Russell, the inventor, was working in the Pacific North-west National Laboratory for the United States Department of Energy. The laboratory was then, in 1965 operated by Battelle Memorial Institute.
He proposed an idea for the storage of information on photosensitive film preserved digitally by using a laser for the purposes of recording and for playback. He, on a piece of paper, sketched a more realistic and ideal recording instrument that could replace vinyl records, as the idea was to record and replay without any physical contact between any parts of the system. He was working on this idea of Optical Digital Recording or ODR and was awarded 100 Research and Development awards for his work in 1974.
The first disc player, however, was made in 1980. The idea was left neglected until Philips and Sony licensed it with a name CD-ROM or "Compact Disc Read Only Memory "misleading the world by allowing people to believe it was their invention in the mid-1980s.
The technology created was done using a CD format which was introduced with the idea of storing data in the form of graphics, text and hi-fi stereo sound in a compact disc.
It is supposed that the original standard was first proposed in the Yellow Book by Philips and Sony. It was the succession of the first book called the Red Book published in 1980 that outlined the Digital Audio CD original specifications of 74 minutes of audio and 99 tracks. However, the CD-ROM, with its data holding the capacity to store almost 650 million bytes, became the standard for the computer-based CD, thus making any computer with a CD-ROM drive eligible for reading this format.
The CD ROM’s were standardised in 1989 with the ISO/IEC 10149 standard and ECMA-130 standard respectively. The Green Book, which was the third book released on this subject mostly covered the interactive technology of CDs in order to combine the audio and data tracks and to synchronise them with a full motion video system. However, this specific technology was marketed solely by Philips
The first software from Microsoft was launched in 1987, called the Microsoft Bookshelf on CD-ROM. The Commodore Dynamic Total Vision or CDTV was released in January 1991, by Commodore, costing just $1,000 and featured a CD-ROM drive. While the first Macintosh by Apple to feature a CD-ROM drive in 1992 was Macintosh IIvx. Video game manufacturers started using CD-ROM drives in 1992 to deliver their products to the market. This is when the advancement in speed, efficiency, and cost all became unbeatable.
The transfer speed has increased from single speed 1x to seventy-two speed 72x while the introduction of the CAV drive took it to another level bringing the CD-ROM into the 21st Century.