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I INTRODUCTION A. CPU AND P RIMARY S TORAGE The CPU is the part of the computer that takes incoming information (input) and processes it. Then the CPU places the processed data (output) in the desired place. What is important about the CPU is the model number. The model number tells us what other computers will be compatible with ours. Storage is also an important part of the computer. If you cannot store programs, then you cannot run programs on your computer. Therefore it is important to know how much primary storage that your computer has so that you can choose programs that will fit into your primary storage while being run. 1. ROM ROM stands for read only memory. Read only memory is important because this type of memory does not lose its contents when you shut off the computer. In computer terms, ROM is non-volatile. The directions that tell your computer what to do when you turn on the power are permanently stored in ROM. Another significant aspect of ROM is that since it is read only, you cannot write information into this area of memory. 2. RAM RAM stands for random access memory. Random access memory is the area of primary storage where programs are run from. When you start up an application, the program is copied into RAM and run from there. RAM can be written to and read from. It is also said to be volatile because when you turn off the power, the contents of RAM are erased. B. S ECONDARY S TORAGE Secondary storage is also an important issue when purchasing a new computer. Because secondary storage stores data and programs that are not currently being used, it is important that you have enough storage to keep all of your information. The hard disk is much like a floppy disk. But unlike a floppy disk, you cannot carry it around. The hard disk is installed inside your computer.
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2009 for the course CSE 101 taught by Professor Allusethis during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.

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