CRAM

(redirected from crammed)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms, Wikipedia.

CRAM

(1) (Chalcogenide RAM) See phase change memory.

(2) (Card Random Access Memory) An early magnetic card mass storage device from NCR that was made available on its 315 computer systems in 1962. It offered reasonably reliable random access storage at a time when magnetic tapes with sequential access were the primary storage medium.

A Mechanical Wonder
CRAM used a removable cartridge housing a deck of 3x14" cards with a magnetic recording surface. There were initially 256, and later 512, cards in the deck, providing 5.5MB and 11MB of storage. With a roomful of 16 units connected to the computer, the total storage capacity was 176 megabytes, a rather large amount of random access capacity for that era.

With air blowing over them to keep them apart, the notched cards were suspended from eight rods that were selectively moved to release a specific card. The card was dropped and wrapped around a rotating drum using air pressure. After reading or writing, it was returned to the cartridge. Every once in a while, two cards dropped at the same time, causing a loud halt to the operation. See RACE and Data Cell.


CRAM Units
NCR's CRAM was a successful addition to its computer line, offering reliable random access during the 1960s. By the end of the decade, magnetic disks were becoming mainstream. (Image courtesy of NCR Corporation.)
References in classic literature ?
I told him on that day, when he crammed his head and shoulders into this cave, hunting for thy life, Little Frog--I told him that the hunter would be the hunted.
The shop was crammed with customers, and there were crowds of mice upon the biscuit canisters.
Next, he hastened to his room, tore off the spotted trousers which seemed in his eyes a link to bind him to the gallows, flung them in a corner, donned another pair, breathlessly crammed his night things into his portmanteau, locked it, swung it with an effort from the ground, and with a rush of relief, came forth again under the open heavens.
About five o'clock the gathering crowd in the station was immensely excited by the opening of the line of communica- tion, which is almost invariably closed, between the South- Eastern and the South-Western stations, and the passage of carriage trucks bearing huge guns and carriages crammed with soldiers.
Aramis blushed to the eyes, crammed in the letter, and re-buttoned his doublet.
Some men are said to wax valorous upon a full stomach, and such seemed to be the case with the Bannack braves, who, in proportion as they crammed themselves with buffalo meat, grew stout of heart, until, the supper at an end, they began to chant war songs, setting forth their mighty deeds, and the victories they had gained over the Blackfeet.
She was taught most that is suitable for a gentlewoman, without being crammed with superfluous accomplishments, and, aided by the good cure, a man who remembered her grandfather, had both polished and stored her mind.
They loaded their spits, therefore, and crammed their camp kettle with meat, and while the wind whistled, and the snow whirled around them, huddled round a rousing fire, basked in its warmth, and comforted both soul and body with a hearty and invigorating meal.
I was very stupid about machines, so I was to be greatly occupied with them; I had no memory for classification, so it was particularly necessary that I should study systematic zoology and botany; I was hungry for human deeds and humane motions, so I was to be plentifully crammed with the mechanical powers, the elementary bodies, and the phenomena of electricity and magnetism.