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.
Hardware and Software: The Basics
Six Categories of Hardware
Two main types of software
Software contains the instructions that the hardware executes to perform an information processing task
Without the aid of software, the computer hardware is useless
•Application software is used for specific information processing needs, including:
–Customer relationship management
–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
Application Software (Continued)
•Vertical market software :
application software that is unique to a particular industry
–Nursing allocation software
•Horizontal market software :
general enough to be suitable for use in a variety of industries
–Inventory management software