Computer Tip 06 Memory and Bytes

check your memory….



READ ONLY MEMORY referred to as ROM

Read Only Memory (ROM) is used to hold the memory required for basic instructions the computer needs to start up the computer and any other simple instructions it may need.

some facts about ROM

     It cannot be written to

     It does not lose its data when the power is turned of



Random Access Memory (RAM) is the area in the computer that stores the data that can be accessed in any order and actually consists of information that is input into the computer by means of the keyboard and / or mouse.

RAM or computer memory is used as the working area for displaying and working with data, as a comparison, it is like placing files of documentation on your table to work on.

some facts about RAM

     Comes in a package referred to as Memory Sticks

     They reside in specific slots on the Mother Board

     It can be written to and read from

     It is very volatile, that is – when the computer is turned off, all data is lost

amount of RAM required

     For Windows 95/98    –           minimum                                –           128MB

     For Windows XP        –           minimum performance          –           128MB

     For Windows XP        –           optimal performance              –           512MB

     For computers with high video games                                   –           1-2GB


Complimentary-symmetry/Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) is used to hold computer configuration information and to maintain the time and date.

some facts about CMOS

     It does require power to retain its memory (power supplied by means of a battery)


The following applies to both memory (RAM) and storage (Hard Drives)

All memory storage is made up of bits, the smallest amount being 1 BIT.

     One BIT is either a 1 or a 0

     8 bits                           = 1 BYTE (bite) (approximately one letter of the alphabet)

     1,024 bytes                 = 1 KILOBYTE (KB) (approximately one page of text)

     1,024 kilobytes           = 1 MEGABYTE (MB) (approximately 1,000 pages of text)

     1,024 megabytes         = 1 GIGABYTE (GB) (approximately 1 million pages of text)

Benjamin J Caruana  Whittlesea U3A Inc.