After I wrote my first book, I expectantly waited every day for my mail, hoping to receive requests for my autograph. The result was proof of the adage be careful what you ask for. My mailbox was stuffed with numerous requests for my autograph. Alas, these requests came from those who wanted to share my money, not my fame. My autograph was requested on checks to pay my mortgage, credit cards, insurance, phone service, electricity; well, you get the picture.
These companies who love sending me bills could not possibly keep track of their thousands of customers by using pencil and paper. Instead, they use computer programs, which harness the computer s ability to store very large amounts of information and to retrieve that stored information very quickly.
We use our memory to store and recall information. So do computers. However, a computer s memory is very different from ours. This chapter will explain how a computer s memory works.
Information, also called data, comes in different forms. Some data is numeric, such as the amount of my gas bill. Other data is text, such as my name on my gas bill. The type of data, whether numeric, text, or something else, quite logically is referred to as the data type. The data type you choose will affect not only the form in which the data is stored, but also the amount of memory required to store it. This chapter will explain the different data types.