As far as I know, a thumb drive's cycles are only decreased by writing, not reading. As such, shouldn't I be able to run uTorrent (Linux ISO's, etc) without actually decreasing the life of the drive any more than I would if i were to write the file to the drive in one fell swoop? Firefox, on the other hand, is constantly writing cookies and temporary files, which bothers me a bit more.
Anyone have any thoughts on the matter?
Running uTorrent might be problematic.
When you download torrent files, they don't arrive in order, and I think the circuit in charge of the Flash drive's write endurance would attempt to put the packets of data together in order that it was received in, which would end up heavily fragmenting your drive.
Then again, I don't use them all the time, and the stuff I use most is on a portable HDD, rather than Flash...also, their life time is usually right around 100,000 writes...that's a lot! and by the time it dies, something 2x larger in capacity will be 1/2 the price...
You would be correct if Barbie Girl was back on Billboard's top 40.
100,000 writes was the standard lifespan for flash drives back in 1997, which was much higher then the 10,000 write cycles we were getting in 1994.
Typical range today is 1 to 5 million write cycles.