John C. Dvorak, the Lone Ranger of sanity at PC Magazine once again warns of things known, but forgotten, or pushed aside by the powers that be, In a column from a couple of days ago, he warns of the possible problems encountered by those who are using Solid State Drives. The kind that are being put, with great frequency, in low cost portable computers.

After relating what has personally happened to him with flash-based drives in his travels, he gives a story of what happened to hybrid hard drives, the technology that was to have made Vista a wonderful thing. (This is one reason why the idea of using a USB thumbdrive came about, it was to have partly ameliorated the slowness experienced by those who did not have a lightning fast PC when Vista was released.)

The article ends, in typical fashion, with a warning. One thing those who have not been around as long as Mr. Dvorak has could do is heed his words; he has rarely been wrong about the world of computers.

There are a number of hot memory technologies lurking in labs around the world, and unless flash can prove itself more reliable, storage technology will turn toward something entirely different—if something new actually makes it out of research and into development. Until then, people, always take an extra memory card with you when you travel! You won’t regret it. This happens to every shutterbug every so often. And as for the solid-state-drive revolution, well, good luck with that one.

Having had the same experience with thumbdrives, I’d definitely think twice about anything stored on anything flash-based, that did not have a backup on a more trustworthy medium.

One of the very bad things that has happened over the last twenty years in computers is that storage has gotten cheaper and more reliable. Why is this bad? Backup is something everyone should do, with all the data they wish to keep. And two backups are better than one.

Just a thought. (should you need more convincing, a trip to the column cited should help)

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