RAM is short for Random Access Memory, the volatile memory that a computer uses while it is powered up. Think of it as a magnetic container that holds water, once the electricity is turned off the water evaporates and vanishes into thin air. If you needed any of that water you would have to move it to other forms of permanent containers like bottles or gallons before turning the electricity off. RAM is what the computer uses to load applications from permanent storage devices like Hard Drives or DVD’s and execute the instructions from those programs. The reason we use RAM is because it is much faster to access than the Hard Disks, or other formats of permanent storage, making the computer run faster. Your data is also loaded into RAM, and the applications manipulate that data as needed. The resulting data set like edited pictures, excel documents, word documents can be saved to you Hard Drive for permanent storage and later retrieval as reference material or for further manipulation.