How does computer memory work?

I recently had to go and do some emergency white goods/appliance shopping at a local out of town retail park. I was in one of the big electrical/computer/domestic appliance stores, waiting (what a surprise) to be served at the laughingly entitled Customer Service desk. This was quite near to the display of laptops that they had for sale, and as I am always interested in seeing what is on offer, I was perusing the display nearest to me. There was a family group there too, also looking at laptops. I have long ago stopped giving people advice in shops about what not to buy, but I was interested to listen to part of their selection process. Without a word of a lie, this is, verbatim, what they said:

“Let’s get this one – the laptop bag is better than that one”!

This caused my radar to start tingling, but the next comment kind of took away any further action or comment that I might have been capable of:

“How long is the memory in this one?”


I’m seriously thinking of getting an ibook – 900Mhz G3 with extra RAM and Airport – just waiting to confirm the price. Although it wouldn’t be as fast as that PC over there (points figuratively to the desk on his left), it would be faster then this imac here. I’d probably use it as my main machine, especially when I get the wireless network sorted