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PalmPilot: The Ultimate Guide, Second Edition by David Pogue

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Understanding Palm Memory

The PalmPilot uses memory (RAM) in some remarkable ways. For one thing, RAM takes the place of the hard drive on a traditional computer. All of your data, as well as any programs you install yourself, reside permanently in memory. Only the battery juice keeps these programs and data from vanishing into the ether. (The built-in programs—Memo Pad, Address Book, Mail, and so on—are permanently burned into the ROM circuitry, so you never need to fear losing them.)

Note

Because the built-in programs are stored in the device’s ROM, you can’t delete them. The Memo Pad, Address Book, To Do, Date Book, Mail, and Expense programs are permanently part of your PalmPilot.

On the other hand, even if you never use some of these programs, you shouldn’t be bothered by their undeletability. Because they’re etched permanently in silicon, they use up no RAM at all.

In this day of PCs that come with 64MB of RAM, you might have been startled when you first learned that your new palmtop came with only half of a megabyte (original Pilots) or, at most, four megs (on Palm IIIx units).

But the truth is that PalmPilots—and Palm programmers—use RAM far more efficiently and compactly than desktop computers. A chess program that might require 4 megabytes of memory in Windows requires only 17K on the PalmPilot. It’s the rare PalmPilot owner, therefore, that ever comes close to exhausting the RAM that came built into the palmtop.

The memory-management center on a Pilot or PalmPilot model ...

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