Learn about the technologies behind the Internet with The TCP/IP Guide!
NOTE: Using robot software to mass-download the site degrades the server and is prohibited. See here for more.
Find The PC Guide helpful? Please consider a donation to The PC Guide Tip Jar. Visa/MC/Paypal accepted.
View over 750 of my fine art photos any time for free at DesktopScenes.com!

[ The PC Guide | Introduction to the PC | How the PC Works | The Computer's Primary Jobs ]

Information Storage

The computer stores different types of information in different ways, depending on what the information is, how much storage space it requires, and how quickly it needs to be accessed. This information is stored in its "short term" memory and its "long term" memory.

Your system memory (or RAM) holds information that you or the computer are working with right now. This is the computer's "short term memory", and is designed to be able to feed information to the processor at high speed so the processor isn't slowed down too much while waiting for it. However, this short-term memory disappears when the computer is turned off. This is why you must always save a file that you are working on before turning off the machine.

Longer-term storage is provided by your hard disk drive, floppy drive and other devices, where information is stored permanently in the form of files, ready for you to retrieve when you need it. When you want to use your spreadsheet program, for example, the computer loads the instructions that are stored on the hard disk that tell the computer how to run it, from long-term storage (your hard disk) into short-term memory.

Next: Information Movement and Communication

Home  -  Search  -  Topics  -  Up

The PC Guide (http://www.PCGuide.com)
Site Version: 2.2.0 - Version Date: April 17, 2001
Copyright 1997-2004 Charles M. Kozierok. All Rights Reserved.

Not responsible for any loss resulting from the use of this site.
Please read the Site Guide before using this material.
Custom Search