speed is measured in megahertz (MHz), or millions of instructions per second. The higher this
measurement, the faster the computer runs. Each microprocessor chip is given a number which
relates to its speed. You will find many systems numbered such as 486DX2/66 or 75 Mhz (or
higher depending upon the company producing the microprocessor and what number they give
it). The first three numbers in this case refer to the number given the microprocessor. The next
two letters refer to the model of microprocessor. The two to three numbers following the slash
refer to the megahertz speed of the microprocessor.
11. CPU and RAM. The computer's main memory is normally referred to as RAM (random-
access memory). This memory is the type most often used during normal computer operations.
As the computer executes programs (software), information is read into and out of RAM. RAM
is not permanent; it is volatile. When the computer is turned off, all information in RAM is lost.
Unlike ROM, RAM is read/write memory. You can write fresh information from an outside
source. RAM, you could say, serves as an electronic blackboard.
12. Storage Devices. The CPU may have one or more disk drives mounted into the system.
These devices are classified as mass storage devices. Storage devices are available in many
different sizes. Among the most common are floppy disks, hard disks, and compact disks.
a. Floppy disks, or diskettes, are perhaps the most popular mass storage devices for the
personal computer. They are removable and easily transported from one location to another.
Special care must be given to floppy diskettes in their handling. They are made from a thin sheet
of mylar (the same material that recording tape is made of ) and are subject to damage (destroyed
data). Storage measurement varies for these devices based on their capabilities (high or low
b. A hard disk is essential for most current software applications, and it makes computer
use much easier as well. Hard disks store many times more information than floppy disks.
Unlike the mylar floppy, a hard disk consists of a solid medium permanently enclosed in its own
drive device. Hard disks are durable and less subject to damage than floppy disks. A single hard
disk can store as little as 80 MB to as much as 1 GB or more of' information.
c. Use of Compact-Disk Read Only Memory (CD-ROM) disks has expanded as
technology has progressed. This may well become the storage medium of the future. One CD-
ROM disk holds more than 600 mb of information. Disks are being developed to hold as much as
5GB's of information. They are removable and less subject to damage than most storage
mediums. The applications for CDs appear limitless.
13. Computer Education. The majority of the people using computers are just that users.
They input data and run applications (software). Formal education is available, but not
absolutely necessary if you plan to use a computer. Most computer users are self-taught.
Although this may be time-consuming, and learning is achieved through trial and error, you can
learn to use computers. Another method of training is by taking computer classes. The best
method of computer training is hands-on. The majority of AFMIS users will receive their
training by OJT, so it is important that you, as a Food Sergeant, have an ongoing OJT program
that rotates sergeants and staff sergeants through the office.