Thursday, 16 January 2014

What is MEMORY

A personal computer must have a means of storing information (data) and instructions so that it can perform processing tasks on the data. Personal computers have two types of memory. These are discussed below.

>> Read Only Memory (ROM) <<

ROM is a small area of permanent memory that provides startup instructions when the computer is turned on. You can not store any data in ROM. The instructions in ROM are set by the manufacturer and cannot be changed by the user. The last instruction in ROM directs the computer to load the operating system.

Every computer needs an operating system. This is a special computer program that must be loaded into memory as soon as the computer is turned on. Its purpose is to translate your instructions in English into Binary so that the computer can understand your instructions. The operating system also translates the results generated by your computer into English when it is finished so that we can understand and use the results. The operating system comes with a computer.

>> Random Access Memory (RAM) <<

This is the area of memory where data and program instructions are stored while the computer is in operation. This is temporary memory. NOTE: The data stored in RAM is lost forever when the power is turned off. For this reason it is very important that you save your work before turning off your computer. This is why we have peripheral storage devices like your computer’s hard disk and floppy diskettes.

>> Permanent Memory (Auxiliary Storage) <<

Your files are stored in permanent memory only when saved to your disk in a: drive or saved to your computer's hard disk,
Drive c: In the Floyd College labs, you can also save your work to a network drive. We will discuss this in class.

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