[NTLK] Linear Flash Cards

James Fraser wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 2 04:23:53 EST 2012


--- On Sat, 12/1/12, Chris Browder <kcfoxie at gmail.com> wrote:

> At this point, I'm torn on do I attempt the cheaper card...
> or just pay the ~$30 for the 20MB that is "known good."

The key question to ask a seller of used Linear Flash cards seems to be, "What application/device was this card used in?" rather than, "Is this card 'known good'?"

LF cards have a generous, but finite, number of write cycles they are good for.  In some applications, LF cards are written to constantly.  Unfortunately, there are a -lot- of used LF cards floating around that have comparatively little life left in them due to their being employed in applications where the card is written to quite often:

>Cards that have been used in routers, especially old CISCO routers, are
>quite a different story. These routers used to write that often that the
>cards sometimes reached the end of their useful life after a couple of >weeks of usage. I once learned this the hard way when all my notes from a
>developer conference were suddenly gone. The card I was using had died out
>of the blue. I later learned that it was used in a CISCO router before I
>bought it. If you are interested in a used card, make sure to ask the >seller in what kind of device it was used previously.


What this means for you, the (potentially) hapless end user, is that you can purchase a card that is currently "known good" but that is a relatively few write cycles away from conking out the way that Frank Gruendel's card did. Naturally, I only saw Frank's informative post well after I'd bought a fair number of "known good" cards myself; now I have no idea how many write cycles are likely left on those cards.  Please do not be a Silly-Nilly by following in my footsteps. 

At one time, Frank had a number of 20MB LF cards available at a reasonable price point that were known to have a low number of write cycles.  Whether he's still offering them is something only he would be able to tell you.  You can find him on the list, or reach him via his site (http://www.pda-soft.de) and ask.  Likewise, a WTB post to the list might yield a reply from someone who has a spare flash card lying around and can tell you from whence it came.

Otherwise, you're stuck with having to interrogate eBay sellers as to where the cards thay are offering came from, exactly, and they don't always know (or care).  At the very least, I would hope the eBay seller you mentioned who is asking ~$30 for a 20MB card is offering some sort of warranty on the things.


James Fraser

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