An information storage device (10) includes a drive module (14) releasably coupled to an interface module (13), where an information storage cartridge (11) can be removably inserted into the drive module in an approximately vertical direction. The drive module has a light source and magnifying lens which highlight indica located on the cartridge. Guide structure ensures that the cartridge can be inserted only with a single proper orientation. The drive module includes a display (236) which provides operational status information, and which is visible through an opening (411) provided in the interface module. The interface module has at least two ports (307, 308) conforming to a selected communication protocol, to permit the information storage device to be daisy chained with other compatible devices. A button (301) for initiating cartridge removal is actuated in an approximately vertical direction.