Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Life Of Your Memory Card

I recently received this article by Barry Smith – Very informative whether you are take pictures as a beginner, a pro, or somewhere in between.
They’re ultra small, decidedly clever, mostly reliable and offer remarkable storage capacities. But beware of their fragility…mistreat them and they’ll snap back with distressing damage. Reliability has increased to about a million write cycles from the past. Now the tricky bit: a single write cycle is not merely the action of writing a single image to the card. The cars write a single block at a time; this may total a couple of kilobytes each. Even if the computer is not interfering with the data on the card it still continuously accesses the card. This action is similar to a write cycle. The longevity of your card is directly affected and can be decreased quite significantly. Some people say they’ve ;lugged their card into the computer and started reading the image directly from the card: “If you think about how many millions of times the computer will be accessing the card just to read parts of the picture, byy reading and reading and rewriting – even small changes- you might reduce the card’s life expectancy by half just by reading a single picture.

Some helpful tips on extending the life of your card:
• The best approach is to load your memory card, copy the images on it directly to your hard drive. Then take the card out.
• Keep the card in the computer no longer than necessary. Do the image downloading from the card, then extract it. Left in the computer it will continuously access the directory, checking the byte order, to see if there are any changes etc. This action is identical to a write cycle so the life of your card is reduced. Don’t work on the image while it’s still on the card. You culd easily knock out half of the life expectancy of the card just by doing that with a single image.

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