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Jan's Computer Basics:

Storage: Intro

What is Storage?

Input
Processing
Output
Storage

Circle of 4 arrows

Storage refers to the media and methods used to keep information available for later use. Some things will be needed right away while other won't be needed for extended periods of time. So different methods are appropriate for different uses.

Earlier when learning about processing, we saw all the kinds of things that are stored in Main Memory.

main memory diagram gif

Main Memory = Primary Storage

Main memory keeps track of what is currently being processed.  It's volatile, meaning that turning the power off erases all of the data.

  Poof!!

cloud gif

For Main Memory, computers use RAM, or Random Access Memory. These memory chips are the fastest, but most expensive, type of storage.


3 file cabinets with center drawer pulled outAuxiliary Storage = Secondary Storage

Auxiliary storage holds what is not currently being processed. This is the stuff that is "filed away", but is ready to be pulled out when needed.

It is nonvolatile, meaning that turning the power off does not erase it.

Auxiliary Storage is used for:

So, Auxiliary Storage is where you put last year's tax info, addresses for old customers, programs you may or may not ever use, data you entered yesterday - everything that is not being used right now.