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How Computers Work, Ninth Edition by Timothy Edward Downs, Ron White

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Chapter 10. How a Computer’s Long-Term Memory Works

How a Computer’s Long-Term Memory Works

MAGNETIC disks are the most common form of permanent data storage. Their capacities can range from a few hundred kilobytes to scores of gigabytes, but they all have some elements in common. For one, the way that a drive’s mechanism creates the ones and zeros that make up the binary language of computers might differ, but the goal is the same: to alter microscopically small areas of the disk surface so that some of the areas represent zeros and others represent ones. The new disk uses only those two numbers whether it records a great novel or this week’s grocery list.

Another common element among ...

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