How A Computer Works Analogy

I work in a retail environment and sell computers and software for a living. While trying to help my customers relate to how a computer works, I came up with this analogy.

When you walk into your office and sit down at your desk, it is like turning your computer on. You are like the brain of your computer. The faster and more flexible you are, the better you are at getting things done. This is just like the speed of the computer’s processor.

The more RAM, which is the memory in your computer, the bigger your desk is. An example is a 4 foot x 4 foot desk is 4GB of RAM, and a 16 foot x16 foot desk is 16GB of RAM. The bigger the size of your desk, the more things you can have open, or on your desk and you will be able to work faster with them because you have space to keep everything organized, rather the cluttered together on your desktop.

Your storage space, the number of file cabinet drawers in your office, is just like the hard drive in your computer. Again, the faster, more flexible and versatile the processor is in your computer, the quicker you will be able to pull this information in and out of your filing cabinets or hard drive. For example, you pull the information out of the drawer, which is the same as retrieving it from the hard drive; modify it or create new information in your word-processor; and then put it back in the filing cabinet drawer, which is the same as saving it to your hard drive.

When you turn off your computer, you get up, walk out of the office slamming the door behind you. Any work in progress or information left open on your desk gets swept off by the breeze from closing the door and you lose it.

And that is my analogy of how a computer works!

Dave Altman

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