By Jide Awe | Contributing Writer
Think of a computer
as a human brain. Your brain is a memory sponge. It contains a lifetime
of memories that cause us to act or react based on inputs. Inputs
come through our 5 senses. If you see and smell hot suya burning on
the grill (inputs) you know how to react based on previous experiences
(memory - " I HAVE TO EAT O!).
A set of miniaturized
circuits which represents the working memory of the computer. This
is where application programs (software) can be loaded from the outside
and then executed. The larger the RAM the better. A typical single
user computer system may contain approximately 8,000,000 bytes of
(This is often abbreviated as 8MB RAM.)
brain consists of the RAM and the CPU. The CPU and RAM work together
as the computer's "brain". Each day when we start up the
computer one of the first tasks will be to fill RAM with instructions
to give it an ability to do work. This work may be in the creation
of documents or tracking accounting data.
You control which
instructions will go into the computer's brain. You control the sets
of experiences you will provide the computer. Once in RAM, the computer
will evaluate inputs from many devices and react. The most typical
input device is a keyboard. As you type commands, the computer evaluates
them. Based on the set of instructions within its RAM, it will follow
some action: print a document, calculate, send information over a
telephone line, etc.
At some later
point you may empty the computer's brain and install a different set
of instructions, thus giving it a different ability.
The RAM is emptied when the computer is turned off - thus it is often
called "volatile" memory. WHAT YOU SEE ON YOUR COMPUTER
MONITOR IS ACTUALLY IN RAM ONLY - a temporary storage location. To
make it permanent we "save" it or "write" it to
a floppy disk or hard drive. These devices are non volatile storage
- they do not require electricity.
Each time the
computer is turned off, all information within RAM is lost. RAM is
called volatile memory because of the electricity requirement.
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