Have you noticed that there is a lot of confusion about computer Memory and Disk Storage? Here’s a simple explanation of Memory to dispel the confusion.
What is Memory?
Technically, memory can be anything used to store data, but it is most commonly referred to as quickly accessed forms of storage. Memory saves your computer from having to access the hard drive every time it needs to process a command. Instead, the computer selects a temporary memory device to store all of the commonly used commands so they can be pulled back up quickly.
Let’s take a quick look at three different types of memory.
Read Only Memory
Read Only Memory (ROM) is a type of memory where information has been pre-recorded and is only available to be read. There is a slight variation, called PROM, or programmable read only memory, which is a set of memory devices, like a writable CD, that can be programmed, but then never changed. Once the memory is on the device and the session is closed, the memory cannot be added to or changed.
Random Access Memory
Random Access Memory (RAM) can be accessed from any point at any time, as long as you know the exact location of the cell the memory is stored in. Most of a computer’s quick access memory is stored in RAM. The disadvantage to RAM is that when the computer loses power; the memory is erased.
This memory comes in the form of flash drives, also known as thumb drives or memory sticks, and the cards you insert into your digital camera and phone.
Flash Memory has a couple of advantages.
- It can be erased and reprogrammed easily.
- There are no moving parts in Flash Memory which means that there is less likelihood of failure.
- It is the most cost-effective type of memory produced today. In fact, you will find that they are even starting to make ‘hard drives’ from flash memory.
If you need help with your computers or with any of your IT functions, get in touch with Philip. Phone 950 3675 or email Philip@softpro.co.nz