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Computers 101 - This will help you if you think you are clueless with computers

Whether you own a computer or even just a smartphone (which is really just a small computer) and you don't consider yourself 'techy' then spare a few minutes and I will educate you on the three basics.

If you know these three basics, you will have a much better understanding of how a computer works and this will help you immensely in your life choices in future, both in personal life and at work.

CPU

The 'central processing unit', also called the processor, can be thought of as the engine of a computer. It processes instructions.

As time goes by, processors get better and faster. This is why when you buy a new computer, it is faster. Because technology has progressed.

Historically, processing power doubles roughly every 18 months.

RAM

RAM stands for 'Random Access Memory'. It is usually measured in GB (gigabytes). Think of it as like a whiteboard that the computer can use to perform complex operations.

Imagine if you had to perform all kinds of mental operations in your head, with nowhere to temporarily write anything down. That's what RAM is for and why it is like a whiteboard. The more RAM you have, the more your computer can do without slowing down. For example, you could open more tabs in your browser app.

It's just a temporary area available to the computer. When the computer is turned off or restarted, you lose any 'notes' that you had taken.

Storage

Storage is just what it sounds like. It's a place where you can put things and keep them for as long as you want, like putting clothes in your wardrobe.

On your computer or phone, storage is where you can save your photos, for example. Most phones come with a fixed amount of storage and if it's not an iphone, you can extend this storage using an SD card.

These days, cloud storage is becoming more popular. This means if you've taken thousands of photos and videos, you can instead store your media in the cloud on platforms like icloud or Dropbox or Google Drive.

A lot of people refer to storage as 'memory'. It's better not to refer to it in this rudimentary way. Really, memory is RAM and not storage. Better still, just don't use the term 'memory' as it is easily confused.

I hope you found this useful!


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