Below is what it says on their website about the memory in my system. But im not sure what it means...? Virtual memory? Page file? As you can see, i have 2 sticks of 512, so why should i care if my virtual memory is 2gig? I mean, its not like "2 gig is virtually as much as 1 gig" is it?!
Best to refer to RAM - that's chips on modules that plug into the motherboard - as Memory.
and Hard Drive as Storage.
As I'm sure you're aware RAM loses it's contents when the system is off - the Hard Drive does not.
Windows is a Paging, or Virtual Memory Operating system. It uses a Virtual Memory (in your case) of 2GB - made up of 1GB of RAM and 1GB of PageFile on the Hard Drive.
It shares it's work out between the two parts - the RAM being much faster, of course. That's why putting more RAM into a system can speed it up, as the PageFile is used less. The speedup effect diminishes as more RAM is added and the PageFile becomes seldomly used.
Because just RAM wouldn't be enough - some applications are far to large to fit most peoples real RAM.
A Virtual Memory system is simply one where the system is likely to need more RAM than may be present. So it constructs a Virtual Memory out of the real RAM that's available, and uses a file on the Hard Drive (the Page File) for the rest.
This means that whatever system the OS is installed on, it can guarantee a standard sized (virtual) memory space for programs to operate in.
This ensures that application programmers know where they stand, instead of having to worry about the physical memory available in all the different systems their program might be run on.