Recently, during one of my lectures, I told the students that there are three kinds of memory:
- Read-Write Memory (RWM). Data can be read out of RWM devices and, if required, new data can be written back into them. RWMs are more commonly known as Random-Access Memories (RAMs).
- Read-Only Memory (ROM). Other components in the system can read (extract) data from ROM devices, but cannot write (insert) new data into them.
- Write-Only Memory (WOM). You can write data into it, but you can’t read that data back out again.
In the end, I said that one of my slides contained an absolute nonsense, and that while I had been telling this nonsense, I had tried hard not to burst into laughter. So, I challenged them, that those students who find this nonsense would get an extra mark.
I was surprised how few students found it. They went through my lectures but overlooked this funny thing.
The nonsense is, of course, WOM. What is the point of writing data to a place from where you cannot read them back again?
Later, I gave them a quiz. To my surprise, even those students who had found the nonsense, wrote in the quiz that there are three kinds of memory: ROM, RAM and WOM. I still wonder why they did it.
Students, please, don’t believe everything the lecturer teaches you. He can teach you wrong things. Sometimes he wants to make fun of you. Other times he just makes mistakes. To err is human. Errare humanum est.
P.S. I found this WOM joke in the book: Clive Maxfield, Bebop to the Boolean Boogie. An Unconventional Guide to Electronics.