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Friday, October 16, 2009

How Computers Store Information

When you use a telephone, it does not store information. You speak into the phone, the person on the other end hears what you say and then your words are gone. An answering machine is different. It answers the phone and stores the information given by the caller.

How Computers Store Information

To process information, computers need to be able to store it. Otherwise, like the phone, information would come and go before anything could be done with it.

Computers store all kinds of information. They store the information you give them, instructions from the software you're using, plus the instructions they need to operate. To store all this, they use two basic kinds of storage. Temporary storage is for information actively being used for processing. Random Access Memory (RAM) accepts new infomation for temporary storage. Long-term storage is for information computers use again and again, such as the instructions the computer prepares itself with every time you turn it on. These instructions are stored in Read Only Memory (ROM), a type of memory that does not accept new information.

Computers also use a variety of devices to store information that isn't actively being used for processing. Hard Drives, Optical Disks, Storage, and Removeable Media.

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