The Birth of Random-Access Memory

The Birth of Random-Access Memory

Whether you’re streaming a movie on Netflix, playing a video game, or just looking at digital photos, your computer is regularly dipping into its memory for instructions. Without random-access memory, a computer today can’t even boot up.Over the years, memory has been made up of vacuum tubes, glass tubes filled with mercury and, most recently, semiconductors.But the first computers didn’t have any reprogrammable memory at all. Until the late 1940s, every time a machine needed to change tasks, it had…