Memory Management in PCs: The Eighteen Most Misunderstood Acronyms

By Forgione, Dana; Smith, L. Murphy | The CPA Journal, September 1993 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Memory Management in PCs: The Eighteen Most Misunderstood Acronyms


Forgione, Dana, Smith, L. Murphy, The CPA Journal


Specific jargon and abbreviations provide a means of simplification in communicating complex ideas among members of any profession. While a convenience to experienced professionals, jargon can form a language barrier that is a formidable obstacle to newcomers. This is perhaps as much the case for accounting and information systems (AIS) professionals as it is for doctors, Lawyers, or engineers. Apart from all the accounting, auditing, legal, and client-industry specific jargon that modern-day accountants must be conversant with, there is also the plethora of computer and electronic engineering terminology that must be learned.

Some of the most confusing computer terms relate to memory-management in personal computers. For example, similar terms in personal computers. For example, similar terms are often used such as, expanded and extended, or high and upper memory. These terms refer to different concepts, in spite of the similarity of words. The acronyms commonly used for these concepts sometimes reflect the wrong characters as a means of distinguishment. For example, the difference between expanded memory and extended memory should be highlighted by emphasizing the "PA" of exPAnded or "TE" of exTEnded--otherwise the words are identical. Yet, the literature uses "El" (in EMS--expanded memory specification) or "XM" (in XM--extended memory specification) to describe the to terms, respectively. The letters EM and XM are both found in both terms, and do not distinguish the two terms at all for an uninitiated newcomer.

Random Access Memory (R1) in a PC starts with the first megabyte (1024k) of RAM divided into lower (conventional) memory, which is the base 640k found in most machines, while the remaining 384k of the first megabyte is known as High Memory. The High Memory consists of upper memory blocks (UMBs) where certain programs can be stored by using suitable memory management software. To add to user confusion, the first 64k of exTEnded memory (RAM just above the first megabyte) is known as the High Memory Area (HMA). It is the next area above the first 1024k, and has nothing to do with the 384k High Memory previously described. Needlessly confusing? Memory addressed above the first 1024k is exTEnded memory.

For the most part, exTEnded memo can be used only for RAM disks, disk caching software, and certain Windows uses, unless it is converted to exPAnded memory. ExPAnded memory is any mapped-into the memory that can be base 640k; that is, DOS can be tricked into accepting exPAnded memory as if it were conventional 640k memory. ExTEnded memory can be converted to exPAnded memory by using memory management software. ExPAnded memory has more versatile uses memory, such as being usable by spreadsheet programs for loading large files into RAM all at once.

The industry-standard specifications for exPAnded memory started with the Lotus-Intel-Microsoft Expanded Memory Specification (LIM-EMS), then the Enhanced Expanded Memory Specification (EEMS) endorsed by AST Research, Quadram, and Ashton-Tate. The EEMS increased the amount of accessible exPAnded memory beyond the early 64k amount provided under LIM-EMS. Current EMS standards have unified and elaborated upon both of these two early approaches.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Memory Management in PCs: The Eighteen Most Misunderstood Acronyms
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?