Talk:Computer data storage
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Computer Memory vs Mass Storage
I have an idea which I think could help the "Computer Storage - cleanup or merge" question:
Because this topic is really so broad,
1. have a main article on "COMPUTER STORAGE" which focusses on mass storage devices - including all forms of rotating media and all devices which are accessed <other than> via the CPU's address bus. That would include all magnetic and optical disk drives, all flash "drives", SD and CF cards etc as well as "tertiary" storage devices (which are rare). Mass storage devices are accessed by "external" busses such as ATA/IDE, SCSI, USB etc. and are typically accessed by block or sector but not by individual byte. Redirect "storage" to this article, but also redirect "primary storage" or "main storage" to the COMPUTER MEMORY article below.
2. have another main article on COMPUTER MEMORY which focusses on all forms of memory devices which are directly connected to the CPU's address bus and are therefore individually byte-addressable. That would include all types of RAM - static RAM, dynamic RAM, SDRAM, DDR RAM etc as well as the old magnetic core memory and even tube memory, and all types of ROM - PROM, EPROM, EEPROM etc. "Computer memory" should also include primary and secondary CPU cache memory. Redirect "memory", "RAM", "ROM" etc and "primary/main storage" to this article.
My reasons for this suggestion are:
a) the distinction between Memory and (Mass) Storage is fundamental to the architecture of any computer. Memory is what the CPU addresses via its address bus using memory read/write cycles at the internal CPU bus speed. Mass storage devices, by contrast, require relatively slow input/output cycles and interrupt calls to access them, via a variety of busses which are external to the CPU, not integral to it;
b) the concepts of "primary" and "secondary" storage blur the above clear distinctions and are less helpful in explaining the respective functions of the two;
c) I recognise that many operating systems also confuse and blur the distinction between memory and mass storage, by the use of "virtual memory" and the like on one hand, and "RAM disks" on the other. However this does not alter the fundamental differences noted above;
d) the often-quoted volatile/non-volatile definitions are not relevant to the distinction between memory and mass storage devices because they can each be both (lthough volatile mass storage is not very useful!). Indeed when large cheap non-volatile solid-state memory is available (which will probably happen within the next few years) the need for mechanical, rotating non-volatile mass storage devices (for example) will be eliminated. Mass storage devices will then also actually be memory (just as flash drives etc already are);
e) if consensus is reached on this suggestion I would be ready willing and able to start compiling the article on Computer Memory, about which I have some reference material as well as some experience and knowledge. I would also include a history of Computer Memory, going back to the vacuum tube memory of the mid 1940's, as well as the magnetic core memory of the 1950's and 60's.
I'm quite new around here, so I'm not sure about the procedure from here in. I've added this topic to my "watch" so I'll just wait and see what happens and hope that somebody will respond one day!
Now I've saved this page and I see my User Name didn't show up as I expected - I guess my login timed out while I was writing it - it took a while!
Anyway, my User Name is NevilleRaymond. It might show up now because I logged in again ....
My 2 Cents
I would also agree that that there is nothing that madates a computer to be electronic. I do not think that this should even be an article page for "Computer Storage" perhaps instead this should be called somethinge else like Digital Storage or more appropate ? Information Storage, there is even talk on this page about punch cards. How about Computer Storeage Therois and methods ? I came across this page when looking for places to physically put computers, and this page covers nothing of recommened enviromental seetings, humidity, ambient tempature, grounding practices, etc. What conditions must be required for accessing our computer storage in the attic from the basement?
Permission to Include External Link
I'd like to include a link to the Computer Storage Knowledge Center at Computerworld.com
- Storage Knowledge Center Computerworld Magazine - The Storage research center includes the latest news, features, analyses, forums, best practices, research links and more.
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