|Re: WP34S - Flashing Limits|
Message #2 Posted by Paul Dale on 10 Mar 2012, 11:19 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Les Wright
The documentation advises that there is a risk of, so to speak, wearing out the flash memory if it is used imprudently as there seems to be an upper limit of about 10,000 on how many times it can be rewritten.
The 10,000 times is a minimum. I haven't tested the 34S's flash, but when I did some stress testing on USB flash a few years back we comfortably exceeded the rated rewrites by an order of magnitude and in the end we gave up testing before destruction.
Assuming only 10,000 write cycles you can do twenty seven writes per day, every day, for a whole year and not quite reach the threshold. So at a couple a day, you'll likely make a decade without wearing the flash out. I believe that is about as long as the flash is rated to retain its contents.
The comment was originally put in the manual because there was a concern that a program that wrote to the flash could do so often and quickly. I don't think this is the case anymore. In the current firmware, SAVE, PSTO and PRCL are not programmable. So this avenue for self-destruction should be impossible in v3.
Any thoughts on this? I really see no purpose in having more than two units (heck, who needs more than one?), but I am tempted to get another for rainy day back up as I hope to enjoy my WP34S fascination for many years.
I wouldn't bother backing up all that often, the firmware doesn't show too many signs of being unstable or crash prone especially if you doing the same things over and over and not stressing the new features too hard. I usually set up my preferred settings, save to flash and basically never bother doing so again.
Programs are developed in RAM and then flashed to the library but the latter step isn't common.