Engines of Our Ingenuity

EXAMPLES OF COMPUTER MEMORY -- AS OF 2008
See Episode 2320


Computer Motherboard
This is a dual core computer motherboard, vintage 2008. The actual cores, the computer chip with two processors on it, is a tiny device hidden under the cooling fan on the right. The two green bars mounted on edge in the lower right are each one gigabyte of RAM memory. The aluminum structure in the center is a set of cooling fins -- in addition to the smaller fins located radially under the fan.

Early core memory
This is the two-kilobyte core memory of a computer from the 1960s. This image is 2.25 times actual size. (courtesy of Mike Dingus, UH Mech. Engr. Dept.)

Detail of old core memory
Detail of early core memory showing its connections to external wiring. The core elements are the tiny black-iron doughnut-shaped pieces circling the wires in the lower right.


Hard Drive

External storage
Some external information storage media familiar to computer users in 2008. Counterclockwise from the upper left: A CD-ROM disc, capacity = 700 megabytes, a one-gigabyte flash drive, a four-gigibyte flash drive, and a now obselete 1.44 megabyte floppy drive (so-named because its antecedents were much larger and actually were floppy.)

The Engines of Our Ingenuity is Copyright © 1988-2008 by John H. Lienhard.