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Computer Memory

 

Computer Memory

In computing, memory refers to the physical devices used to store programs (sequences of instructions) or data (e.g. program state information) on a temporary or permanent basis for use in a computer or other digital electronic device. The term primary memory is used for the information in physical systems which function at high-speed (i.e. RAM), as a distinction from secondary memory, which are physical devices for program and data storage which are slow to access but offer higher memory capacity.

There are two types of memory

Read only memory

Read only memory (ROM) is the permanent memory which is used to store important control programs and systems software to perform a variety of functions, such as booting up or starting up programs. ROM is non-volatile. That means the contents are not lost when the power is switched off. Its contents are written at the time of manufacture, but in modern (2012) computers may be changed using special software.

Random access memory

Random access memory (RAM) is used as the working memory of a computer system. It stores input data, intermediate results, programs, and other information temporarily. It can be read and written. It is usually volatile, that is all data will be lost when the power is turned off. In most cases it is loaded again from hard disk.

 

 

Concept of hardware and software

Hardware and Software: The Basics

Hardware – physical aspects of computers, telecommunications, and other information technology devices
Example: Keyboard, monitor
Software -a general term for the various kinds of programs used to operate computers and related devices
Example: Microsoft Excel

Six Categories of Hardware

§Input Device
§Output device
§Storage device
§Central processing unit (CPU)
§Telecommunications device
§Connecting device
 

Two main types of software

Application software - software used to solve specific problems or perform specific tasks
 
System software - handles tasks specific to technology management and coordinates the interaction of
all technology devices
Operating system software - supports the application software and manages how the hardware devices work together
Utility software - provides additional functionality to the operating system

Software contains the instructions that the hardware executes to perform an information processing task

Without the aid of software, the computer hardware is useless


Two categories of software
Application

System

Application Software

Application software is used for specific information processing needs, including:

Payroll

Customer relationship management

Project management

Training

Word processing and many others

Personal productivity software :

used to perform personal tasks such as writing a memo, creating a graph, or creating a slide

presentation

Examples:

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Excel

Internet Explorer

Quicken

Application Software (Continued)

Vertical market software :

application software that is unique to a particular industry

Patient-scheduling software

Nursing allocation software

Horizontal market software :

general enough to be suitable for use in a variety of industries

Inventory management software

Payroll software


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