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Longevity of modern-day classic computer add-ons.

6 replies to this topic

#1 Keatah OFFLINE  


    Missile Commander

  • 21,448 posts

Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:52 PM

What is the projected longevity of classic computer add-ons? I say they are limited to the lifespan of the data in their onboard Flash memory. This is no different than a USB keydrive. As soon as the flash dies, so does the add-on. Modern day add-ons won't last as long as the original hardware.


This all includes anything with Flash, CPLD, FPGA, or even flashcarts/everdrives/harmony/melody. Anything containing non-volatile reprogrammable memory.

#2 save2600 OFFLINE  



  • 15,176 posts
  • Location:Wisconsin

Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:55 PM

It's the beginning of the end of our society as it were. Products prone to complete erasure. Such a natural process that it's eerily unnatural. Just ask any society before us. ;)

#3 Osgeld OFFLINE  



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  • Location:Nashville, TN

Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:57 PM

flash drives is a bit unfair as those things get written to a billion times and since no one unmounts them every bit gets instantly written unlike in the older days where it would buffer up and do a batch at once 


flash might have a problem again cause you are writing to it, clpd / fpga ... depends on the tech 

#4 AMenard OFFLINE  



  • 720 posts
  • Location:Beauharnois, Qc, Canada

Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:06 PM

It's the write cycles that kills flash memory cells as they've a max number of write cycle that they're rated for. But if you're using them as a read only storage they'll last for a very long time. In anycase flash medium, as any other medium should be backed up.

#5 wood_jl OFFLINE  



  • 6,909 posts
  • Location:West TN, USA

Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:03 PM

At the rate of price-decrease/capcity-increase, I just keep buying a new USB Flash Drive (or whatever) every 2 years or so, copy my frequently-used stuff to the new one, and retire the old one LONG before I hit the millions of read/write cycles necessary to tank it.  As a result, I have a sandwich bag full of 512k, 1mb, 2mb, 4mb, 8mb, 16mb, and even 32mb USB "thumb" (why do they use that name?) drives that work perfectly, and were simply obsoleted by higher-capacity, long before they exceeded their service lives.  As such, I don't really see a problem.  I see no end to this.

#6 Flojomojo OFFLINE  


    Telephone Sanitizer

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  • Location:Golgafrinchan

Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:27 PM

512K flash drive??? That's less storage than a floppy diskette. Typo?

#7 eightbit OFFLINE  


    River Patroller

  • 3,414 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:12 PM

The other problem is that when you buy flash now you do not know if you are getting "reclaimed flash". Don't ask me about how I know this as I cannot divulge further, but rest assured a lot of flash manufacturers are indeed doing this and there is a pretty good chance your "new" flash drive is not so new internally at all. Just back everything up and don't use flash drives for anything permanent. Same goes for SSD. Using good old platter drives, CD/DVD/BluRay/MDISC and good cloud storage options like Dropbox to keep multiple backups of your very important stuff is the way to go...and the way I have been doing it for a very very long time.


SSD for the OS only (for the speed) is great, but do not rely on it for any type of permanent storage. USB...use these only to transport stuff from one PC to another but never keep your "only copy" on one ;)

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