Random access memory is where data in current use is kept so that they can be quickly accessed by the CPU. RAM is much faster than most other storage in a computer, such as the hard disk. The data in RAM stays only as long power is sent to it, in other words, as long the computer is running. When the computer is turned off, RAM loses its data. When the computer is powered on, data is loaded into RAM, usually from the hard disk.


Paul McCartney's second album (actually credited to Paul and Linda McCartney), released in 1971. Ram is McCartney's finest solo album, parts of which even eclipse his work with the Beatles. Songs like "Too Many People", "Dear Boy" and "Ram" display emotional depth and complex song structure (reminiscent of The Beach Boys at their best). Paul may have been depressed about the Beatles’ acrimonious split – the back cover features a photograph of two beetles engaged in a sexual act. Unfortunately this album features “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”, a cute but annoying song played to death on oldies radio.

RAM is a mobile data network utilizing the Mobitex Communications system. It's a cellular and packet-based network operating at the 800mHz range, and frequently used in the operation 2-way pagers and vehicle dispatch systems.

It has the upside of being a very simple to use system, and has a very acceptable range due to the radio requencies used. The Mobitex system employs is also an open design allowing for easier adoption. Coverage is available in most US Metropolitan areas.

The drawbacks are its low data transmission speed, usually maxing out at 8Kbps, and difficulties in working on a 'true' IP level; most RAM traffic must pass thorugh a proxy before it can got the the mobile device in question (Though this is a problem with the service networks themselves, not the system as a whole).

Several devices use this network, the most well known being the RIM 950 and 957 2-way communcators and the USR Allpoints Wireless Modem.

Primary competitors to RAM include ARDIS and CDPD.

RAM is also an acronym for Radar Absorbing Material, a substance typically applied to an object to reduce its Radar Cross Section (RCS). RAM is usually designed for a particular application. Its dielectric properties are designed so that it is most absorbtive at a range of radar frequencies where RCS denial is most desirable.

RAM in the computer industry has 2 meanings, both relating to memory but each in a different context:

  • The first explanation for RAM is Random Access Memory, this is the name that was given to the very first FET-based silicon memory. That technology and name are still used today. Random access refers to the memory's ability to access any memory cell directly, as opposed to sequential data storage systems such as a tape drive, where one must process data sequentially in order to reach a certain point.
    Per definition, many of today's storage systems can be categorized as random access memory. A compact disk, a ROM chip and a hard drive are all random access storage systems.
  • The second explanation for the term is Read And Modify. This definition is used to display the difference between RAM and ROM: Where the ROM memory can only be written to once, the contents of RAM memory can be (re)written many times.

Random Access Memory can be divided in 2 groups, based on how information is retained, namely DRAM and SRAM:

  • DRAM or Dynamic RAM can store data as long as it's powered, but requires refreshing to retain data. It is a small, relatively simple circuit and is generally the slower form of the two. This type of RAM is mainly used as working memory.
  • SRAM or Static RAM stores data as long as it is powered, does not need refreshing and is the faster form of the two. It is also the more expensive one, and is used mainly in CPU caches.

Today, the term Random Access Memory is mainly used to refer to a computer's main/working memory. It is the third fastest memory subsystem in your computer, after the CPU's L1/L2 caches. When you power up your computer, it will load the operating system into RAM and boot. When you run a program, the program code and data that it requires, will be loaded into RAM. Any task that has to be executed, must to be loaded into RAM before it can be processed by the CPU.

RAM is a volatile memory, which implies that all data in RAM is lost when you turn off your computer. That's why computers have a hard drive to permanently store data, and it is also the reason you shouldn't just turn off a computer by pulling the plug.

Ram (?), n. [AS. ramm, ram; akin to OHG. & D. ram, Prov. G. ramm, and perh. to Icel. ramr strong.]


The male of the sheep and allied animals. In some parts of England a ram is called a tup.

2. Astron. (a)

Aries, the sign of the zodiac which the sun enters about the 21st of March.


The constellation Aries, which does not now, as formerly, occupy the sign of the same name.


An engine of war used for butting or battering.

Specifically: (a)

In ancient warfare, a long beam suspended by slings in a framework, and used for battering the walls of cities; a battering-ram

. (b)

A heavy steel or iron beak attached to the prow of a steam war vessel for piercing or cutting down the vessel of an enemy; also, a vessel carrying such a beak.


A hydraulic ram. See under Hydraulic.


The weight which strikes the blow, in a pile driver, steam hammer, stamp mill, or the like.


The plunger of a hydraulic press.

Ram's horn. (a) Fort. A low semicircular work situated in and commanding a ditch. [Written also [ramshorn[.] Farrow. (b) Paleon. An ammonite.


© Webster 1913.

Ram, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Rammed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Ramming.]


To butt or strike against; to drive a ram against or through; to thrust or drive with violence; to force in; to drive together; to cram; as, to ram an enemy's vessel; to ram piles, cartridges, etc.

[They] rammed me in with foul shirts, and smocks, socks, foul stockings, greasy napkins. Shak.


To fill or compact by pounding or driving.

A ditch . . . was filled with some sound materials, and rammed to make the foundation solid. Arbuthnot.


© Webster 1913.

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