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Computers and Jargon

How long has the phenomenon of a computer in the home been around? I have had a home computer since about 1988, when I decided to go free-lance, but even then, I was ahread of the field as most people in my discipline (technical author) still used pen and paper.

But, home computers, other than for home workers have been around for some time, and most are PCs.

So, why is it that people still don’t know the difference between the machine’s memory (RAM) and storage medium (hard disk)?

When a client complains that their PC is running slow, I examine it and usually find a plethora of little programs running in background, using up RAM and CPU processing capacity.

Or, I find that the hard disk is almost full, so there is no room for any virtual memory.

Of course there are several possible cures, the first of which is to buy a new machine with a bigger capacity.

Or, increase the RAM capacity, or the hard disk capacity, or both.

This is where the confusion sets in.

Whereas increasing the RAM is merely slotting in an appropriate memory bank into an available slot, replacing the hard disk with one of a higher capacity involves re-installing all the software and transferring the data, unless the original disk can be ghosted (copied faithfully from the old disk to the new one).

Try explaining that to the average user!

Many users think that they save their work to memory, and hav’t got a clue what the hard disk is for, and it can take longer th explain the difference between the two components than the upgrade itself!

Oh well, if everyone understood computers, I wouldn’t have an income, so I am not complaining – really, I’m not …

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. August 2, 2009 at 10:31

    Hi. Your site displays incorrectly in Explorer, but content excellent! Thanks for your wise words:)

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