wpe41.gif (23084 bytes)CIS3355: Business Data Structures
Fall, 2008

RAM Allocation
(Chapter 3 in the text).

Data structures are really nothing more than logical implementations of physically stored data. Therefore, understanding data structures assumes an awareness of how data types are stored in Random Access Memory (RAM). This chapter is intended as a (very) brief (and simplistic) description of how the basic data types are stored in RAM.

There is a simple axiom which we apply throughout this text:

Give me an address and tell me what type of data is stored there, and I will tell you the value of that data type.

This axiom applies to ALL data types. In fact it is the essence of programming. In the first generation of software (machine level), it was the programmer’s responsibility to assign instructions and data to specific addresses in RAM (in binary, of course). In later generations of software, through the use of mnemonics and variables, it no longer became necessary to keep track of ‘true’ memory locations. But the basic functioning of the computer has not really changed. Whenever we make reference to a variable, we still are referring to some address in memory, even though we do not know what address that is (unless we ask the program to tell us the address).

This page was last updated on 05/20/03.