Data on SSDs powered off die quickly, summed by Michael Tsai. Key in on the /. post's use of "unverified" in "unverified backups", which implies (explicitly says?) you have to tend your backups whether they're of old data or not.

Quoting from MacWorld:

A new research presentation shows that solid state drives can lose data over time if they aren't powered on, especially in warmer environments. A powered-off drive in 104 degrees Fahrenheit may start seeing data loss after a couple of weeks.

Quoting from from a Slashdot user, no less (long time no see, /,):

That said, anybody conversant with SSD technology knows that SSDs are unsuitable for offline data storage as data obviously has potentially far shorter lifetimes than on magnetic disks, which in turn again have far shorter data lifetime than archival-grade tape. These is absolutely no surprise here for anybody that bothered to find out what the facts are. Of course, there are always those that expect every storage tech to keep data forever, and those dumb enough to have no or unverified backups and those often on media not suitable for long-term storage.

Hadn't really given data's lifespan on SSD much thought. Kinda makes you miss EPROM rot, which seems glacial by comparison. I guess I should expand my adage about digital data from, "If you don't have it in three places, you don't have it at all," to, "If you haven't verified you have it in three places in the last three weeks..."

Also means that the way I kinda store old laptops as "backups" needs to change, and quickly. I haven't retired an SSD powered computer yet, but it looks like it'll be a more complicated process when I do.

The weird thing about "live" digital data (where "live" means "electronic", versus, say, a printout or punch card) is, though it's easily copied everywhere and you can store crudloads of it, that the medium is more like sourdough starter (or a dog, if sourdough bread is foreign) than paper in that it requires constant feeding. Makes you appreciate those About Box museums a little more.

I wonder how degraded my home movie VHS tapes are... YouTube posts of old VHSs aside, our magnetic (and now even moreso with solid state) legacy might be much more ephemeral than film and paper have trained us to expect.

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