Chapter 15. Principles: Freezing Time
The term memory covers a lot of territory, even when confined to the computer field. Strictly speaking, memory is anything that holds data, even a single bit. That memory can take a variety of forms. A binary storage system, the kind used by today's computers, can be built from marbles, marzipan, or metal-oxide semiconductors. Not all forms of memory work with equal efficacy (as you'll soon see), but the concept is the same with all of them—preserving bits of information in a recognizable and usable form. Some forms of memory are just easier for an electronic microprocessor to recognize and manipulate. On the other hand, other sorts of memory may roll or taste better.
When discussing the remembering capabilities of computers, engineers usually distinguish between memory and storage. Although both let your computer recall details and data, the two have different purposes and use different technologies—and a raft of different terminologies. Although the two concepts can be distinguished (and named) in many ways, the most useful is as primary and secondary storage.