Thursday, October 28, 2010

❏This vs That ❐: ROM vs. RAM

Welcome to Thursday's

A lot of you use the terms ROM or RAM - but do you really know the difference?

RAM is an acronym for Random Access Memory and ROM is an acronym for Read Only Memory and each has become a vital element in today’s computer system.

Random access memory is used for a number of reasons and its necessity has grown over the years. With the design of more complex systems and software the necessity for larger amounts and faster speeds of memory have grown. RAM offers a very fast memory access. This is the memory that computer programs load data to when they are running and need quick access to ensure smooth operation. When the computer is turned off all the data in RAM is wiped. It may be wiped at various times during operation too.

ROM, or read only memory, is generally slower than RAM. Most computer systems have a far greater amount of ROM than they have of RAM. Read only memory is the memory that software and data files are written into. This memory exists in the form of a hard drive in most systems, while RAM exists in the form of chips. Your system has to have sufficient ROM to hold the operating system and the programs you use. Speed remains important though since the program must be loaded from the ROM to the RAM. This memory remains when you turn the computer off, though it is constantly updated while the computer is on. For example each time you save a file or install or remove software, ROM is updated.

There is one interesting application of ROM that has no real parallel in RAMROM can be used as virtual RAM.

ROM or Read Only Memory is where all of your programs are stored till needed; this is the hard drive. Programs stay on the ROM until you delete them.

RAM or Random Access Memory is where all the programs that are currently being used are held. The RAM is cleared when you lose power or you shut down your computer.

Discrete vs. Discreet

The adjective discreet means prudently self-restrained or tactful. Discrete means distinct or separate.


  • The movie focuses on the city's picturesque aspects while offering only discreet glimpses of its less pleasant realities.
  • By law, small businesses can work with individual employees to develop discrete solutions.

Usage Notes:

  • "A number of usage books define discreet as 'prudent,' 'judicious,' 'tactful,' or 'circumspect' and discrete as 'separate' or 'distinct,' with the implication that these are two completely different words which should not be confused. However, the history and spelling of discreet and discrete are more closely intertwined than is commonly realized. . . .

    "Since the first half of the 17th century, the two spellings have been perceived as separate words with separate meanings. In that time confused spellings have undoubtedly occurred (hence the interest shown by usage book writers). The words are, after all, homophones and can be confused simply by transposing two adjacent letters."
    (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, Merriam-Webster, 1994)
  • "These two words, originally derived from the same Latin word, are pronounced identically and also share the idea of 'keeping apart.' But they have acquired quite different meanings. . . .

    "Discreet is the more usual word and tends to be applied to people; discrete rather applies to ideas, categories, etc. and is found in more technical or impersonal contexts."
    (Philip Gooden, Who's Whose: A No-Nonsense Guide to Easily Confused Words, Walker, 2004)


1 comment:

  1. hi thx for passing by and leaving a comment have a blog full of different articles its really nice ....thx for reminding me to show the date ....:) and i would like to be part of your gallery


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