Machine Independent Storage Idea...

Vincent Slyngstad vrs at
Wed Dec 6 09:26:08 CST 2006

From: "9000 VAX" <vax9000 at>
>I don't know how much times a flash memory can be written. It might be OK 
> make a bootable device from it.
> My concern is about how to make replacement RL02, RD53 or similar. Flash
> memory might not be good for this purpose.

It is true that the flash have a finite number of write cycles.  (If we
believe the manufacturers, the number of writes allowed is improving.)

However, even so, I'd think the reliability would compare favorably
with the old media.  One suggestion was to mimic a floppy disk drive,
(to cut down on the number of controllers that have to be implemented),
and I'd think that the flash would easily have a similar lifetime to
floppy media :-).

Part of the point was to be able to copy the data onto newer equipment,
which would also largely obviate the problem of finite media lifetime.
(If your flash is getting tired, just copy it onto a new one.)

Secretly, I believe that USB sticks will be out of fashion (unobtanium)
before their reliability for this purpose becomes much of an issue.
Meanwhile, CF or USB sticks would be a great transition for getting
the information off the existing aging media.

I can envision a floppy-to-CF gizmo attached to a CF-to-USB gizmo
attached to a USB-to-<future interface> gizmo, etc. as needed.


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