Re[2]: To Dialog or Not To Dialog

Subject: Re[2]: To Dialog or Not To Dialog
From: Joyce Flaherty <flahertj -at- SMTPGW -dot- LIEBERT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 1996 00:29:57 EST

Referring to the hard disk as memory annoys me as well.

OTOH, do we know anymore where the OS is storing information.
I'm running NT with 40 Mb RAM. NT established a swap file
of 40 Mb, which I reset to 20 Mg. I started ten applications
(just to determine if I could). I didn't notice any degrade
in system response whatsoever. Obviously the OS is swapping
out to the hard drive, but what? If I don't know what for
sure, then the user doesn't need to know either. If it's
important, then we will both know.

Anyone remember trying to run Windows 2.0, PageMaker,
and a graphics program with 2 Mg RAM. Solution: attach
a portion of the hard drive as "memory."

Having said this, I still prefer:
memory and DASD.

joyce flaherty
flahertj -at- smtpgw -dot- liebert -dot- com

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: To Dialog or Not To Dialog
Author: jposada -at- NOTES -dot- CC -dot- BELLCORE -dot- COM at INTERNET
Date: 4/5/96 3:11 PM


At 02:33 PM 4/3/96 MST, you wrote:
>I bet we all know a few people who still refer to the hard disk
>as "memory." I know several, and some are computer
>professionals {{shudder}}. It's a clear case of being taught
>the incorrect term--probably for simplicity's sake--in the
>beginning.

But it is memory.

Reply---------------------

Ah...but it's not. It's storage. When the computer reads the data, then it's
in memory. Just because it's magnetic storage doesn't mean it's in memory.
The computer can't do anything with it while it's on the hard disk and if the
storage is removable media, then it knows nothing about it (assuming standard
data processing conventions). It doesn't "remember" it. It's like you having
information in a box. You own it, but you can't use it until you read it --
place it into memory (your own).

It may seem like splitting hairs, but it has major significance.

End Reply--------------------

If you're trying to communicate something about RAM, you should use RAM, not
memory. For example, "The TSR stays dormant in RAM until you hit Alt+A to
make it active."

Similarly for hard drive.

But if it doesn't matter where the storage location is, what's wrong with
memory? For example, "The information is stored in memory for use later on."
Here, I'm trying to communicate that the information is retained, and it
doesn't matter to the reader which storage location is used.

Reply----------------------

It always matters. The line above about "... in stored in memory for use later
on" has two VAST different meanings based on where it is. There is nothing the
same about either version.

End reply ---------------



John Posada
Technical Writer
Bell Communications Research, Piscataway, NJ
(908) 699-5839 (W)
jposada -at- notes -dot- cc -dot- bellcore -dot- com (W)

"Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things"
- Vice President Dan Quayle 11/30/1988
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