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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

There is NO "memory" on your Hard Drive


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bobtomay

 
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Just real easy and simple here.

Your hard drive does not have memory. Hard drives have what is commonly and quite simply referred to as "space". As in 'used space' and 'free space'.

The term memory implies your RAM (random access memory).

When someone asks how much "memory" you have on your computer, the answer would not be 250GB or 500GB relating to the hard drive. It would be 2GB or 4GB related to the amount of RAM on your machine.

If someone asks how much storage space you have (or hard drive space), now you could total up all your available hard drives to provide an answer of 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 3TB, etc.

Nothing stored on your hard drive is taking up memory until it is launched and then stored in memory ("RAM") for faster access to the data it requires to run. Meanwhile, an application is taking up "space" on your hard drive whether it is running or not.

Your data is not stored in memory, it is stored on your hard drive.
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Having a monday eh bob?? seems a bit of an oddball rant.
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This annoys me as well, especially when people think that having a lot of stuff on their computer, even with plenty of extra space, will slow it down because it takes "memory". I am talking about just music and pictures, and applications that are not running. It doesn't slow down your computer having a ton of stuff on it, if it isn't even running, unless you have VERY little space left on your drive.
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bobtomay

 
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What's the drag is someone starting out a post asking about memory and then rambles on in a walloftext or similar, taking you until the end of the post to finally figure out they're not really talking about memory at all.

Had a friend that bought one of my old computers. A month or so later he asked me about getting more memory, if it would be useful, and how much it would cost. Well, I knew it only had 1GB RAM in the machine. So, after 5-10 minutes of conversation about it, pointing him to newegg and a couple different manufactuers I'd recommend he asks, "How many songs would I be able to store with that much memory?". ugh

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Amen.

Most of the time, it's better not to use a term than to use it wrongly. You confuse yourself and the people trying to help you at the same time.
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well, there's cache.. but almost no consumer pays any real attention to it...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysfunction View Post
well, there's cache.. but almost no consumer pays any real attention to it...
Are you trying to prove my point?
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In all fairness to Dsyfunction, he was replying to a post no longer there.
Someone that liked to put up the same post in multiple locations.
Probably should have deleted his also, but, ah well.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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about the use of the term memory or cache? since that cache chip certainly is a memory chip.

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I hate it when people refer to the entire computer tower as the "hard drive".
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well, seeing as most of us on this thread have been here a while, i think that is important to remember that not everyone is as technically savvy as we are. most of the same questions arise and we faithfully answer them. it may drive you mad, but overall we enjoy supporting these forums. let us think about the good time and vaguely remember the bad.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
Just real easy and simple here.

Your hard drive does not have memory.
Nope it doesnt have memory, it is memory!
Just happens to be a different type of memory. A HDD is actually non volatile memory.

But i do agree when someone asks how much memory you have the correct answer is the RAM size. Personally I just avoid the word memory when talking about computers.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fov View Post
Nope it doesnt have memory, it is memory!
Just happens to be a different type of memory. A HDD is actually non volatile memory.

But i do agree when someone asks how much memory you have the correct answer is the RAM size. Personally I just avoid the word memory when talking about computers.
I knew someone would want to come along and muddy up the waters instead of just leaving it easy for the beginners to actually say and ask questions about what they are wanting in a way that can be easily understood by those wanting to provide some help.

Since you have now brought it up, how about you go ahead and explain to the beginners reading this thread the differences between the different types of memory; random access memory, read-only memory, volatile memory, non-volatile memory and all the varying types of RAM and ROM (e.g. NVRAM, PRAM, PROM, EPROM, etc.). And you may as well get into what cache is and does also.

Nevermind. They don't want to know all that. They just want to know how to fix or take care of their problem without having to know all the technical details. Many of those providing some help don't even know all the technical terms and what they mean today.

The fact is that the storage area (or read-only memory) of non-volatile memory devices have a commonly accepted term. That simple term is and has been quite simply "space", at least for the duration of the time I have owned a personal computer.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Sorry Bob, I bit my lip for so long but I just couldn't do it any longer.

I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment in getting users to mean RAM with the word memory and use Hard Drive, storage or space to mean their HDD.

Having said that, it doesn't mean we have to say an untruth by saying the HDD is not memory.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fov View Post
Having said that, it doesn't mean we have to say an untruth by saying the HDD is not memory.
But in generally used parlance, it's not. We don't say "save that important document to your memory", we say "save it to your hard drive". As much as you say you understand the sentiment, it seems you're missing the point.

Too often we spend a lot of time just trying to figure out what a user is trying to say when we're helping them. The intent of this this thread is simply to make the distinction. There's absolutely no reason to pick nits here, except if you have some uncontrollable urge to express your superior knowledge of IT. And if that's the case, save it, those of us who have been around computers a long time know exactly what you're talking about, but we don't need to muddy the waters with the noobs, capisce?

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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