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First Nations Youth Perspective

Technology 101

System Memory

The system memory is the place where the computer stores all the programs and data that are currently in use. There are a few different levels of system memory, but today I will be dividing them into two categories, Random Access Memory (RAM), Read Only Memory (ROM), each with a specific function in system operation, and system performance.

RAM is a kind of electric pool of memory that is used by the computer to temporarily hold the current software being used (e.g. Operating System, Application Programs), and the current data being created by the user. Ram is located in the DIMM slots on a motherboard, the amount of DIMM slots available limits how much RAM chips can be installed. RAM is volatile, it only works when the computer is powered on, and any information stored here will be erased once the computer has been shut down. Thus Software programs must be permanently stored on a Hard Disk or some sort of media storage, so the computer can load and remove programs from the memory as instructed by the user. With software programs and operating systems becoming much more powerful, there has been a large increase in demand for lager quantities of RAM. For example in the year 2000 it was typical to see a computer ship with around 128 MB of RAM, but now computers are typically shipped with 2 GB of memory, which is a considerable increase and will only continue to do so with newer motherboards supporting 12+ GB of RAM. RAM can also be found on graphics cards and in the Cache memory of the CPU.

Read Only Memory Basic Input/Output System (ROM BIOS) is a group of integrated circuits that is in charge of starting the computer checking RAM, and loading the operating system. This memory is primarily used when starting or rebooting the computer. ROM can also be found in calculators and printers, as its primary function is to read information and process it during the time it resides in the memory. When it’s finished it clears itself and waits for the next entry. It does not do anything other than read information and process it based on the device, or in this case based on the type of computer.

That is all the info I have for this week Check again next Monday for more tech info.

April 6, 2009 Posted by | Earl Tatoosh - New Technology | Leave a comment