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Old 25th Sep 2012, 12:10   #1
Gareth Halfacree
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Hitachi targets quartz glass for long-term storage

Just don't drop it, whatever you do.
http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardwar...tachi-quartz/1
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Old 25th Sep 2012, 13:02   #2
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I always thought the problem with 'long term' storage was not the media, but the hardware needed to read it.

There's plenty of old data stored on various formats out there...but the hardware needed to read them, dies long before the data does.
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Old 25th Sep 2012, 13:36   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
I always thought the problem with 'long term' storage was not the media, but the hardware needed to read it.

There's plenty of old data stored on various formats out there...but the hardware needed to read them, dies long before the data does.
Precisely. Hieroglyphs stored on stone tablets are still with us 3,000 after they were written - the problem is reading the language, not identifying the shapes.
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Old 25th Sep 2012, 13:48   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
I always thought the problem with 'long term' storage was not the media, but the hardware needed to read it.

There's plenty of old data stored on various formats out there...but the hardware needed to read them, dies long before the data does.
Precisely. Hieroglyphs stored on stone tablets are still with us 3,000 after they were written - the problem is reading the language, not identifying the shapes.
The data on the disc is not in some "magical format" it's binary data.

Binary.

It's either 1 or 0, the same as sectors on a HDD platter, the pits on a CD/DVD or the flip flops in a static RAM chip. Imagine writing your name in the sand, then writing your name on a piece of paper. The process is the same and the storage method is the same, only the medium differs.

You can see the shapes on a stone hieroglyph just fine but you have no idea what they say.
Data on old formats is the opposite problem.
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Old 25th Sep 2012, 13:53   #5
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Well, the binary code is the simplest one so reading shouldn't be an issue, but interpreting the meaning. Simple logic/math rules (predicates) can be used as a guide of how to understand and link the pseudo-random bits for the far future generations.
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Old 25th Sep 2012, 13:58   #6
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"impressively capacious" as they have demonstrated a storage density 15% greater than CD-ROM.

That's CD-ROM, not DVD-ROM or BD-ROM.

They're talking about 40MB per square inch!

It's a long way from electronic quantum holography that has been demonstrated to store at a rate that's equal to 3 Exabytes per square inch (That's three million terabytes to you and I)

We don't need archival mechanisms that will store data for millions of years. We need massively high capacity storage solutions that are robust and cheap enough to use and replace later on with the next big thing.

If they can get the storage density up to usable levels and it's cheap to write and read (Ha! I found the flaw. It's cost) this could be a winner.
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Old 25th Sep 2012, 14:02   #7
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Originally Posted by Guinevere View Post
"impressively capacious" as they have demonstrated a storage density 15% greater than CD-ROM. That's CD-ROM, not DVD-ROM or BD-ROM. They're talking about 40MB per square inch!
Yes, in a first-generation lab prototype. It's likely to be significantly higher than that when (if) it reaches shop shelves.
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Old 25th Sep 2012, 14:28   #8
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Technology will march on, adapt or die.
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Old 25th Sep 2012, 16:37   #9
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Am i the only one who is thinking of the tacky laser cut crystal ornaments with the colour changing LED base that you can buy?

I have one with 'Jay' laser etched inside (family has some bizarre ritual of buying ker-ings and **** with my name in/on).

Im guessing this is the same principle, just with some kind of practical application...rather than tatty gift shop w**k
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Old 25th Sep 2012, 16:40   #10
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Come on I want my B5 data crystal already!
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Old 25th Sep 2012, 17:52   #11
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"Designed to last a million years", better keep that receipt safe...
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Old 25th Sep 2012, 20:48   #12
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is the R&D sponsored by facebook?
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Old 25th Sep 2012, 22:05   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJay View Post
Am i the only one who is thinking of the tacky laser cut crystal ornaments with the colour changing LED base that you can buy?

I have one with 'Jay' laser etched inside (family has some bizarre ritual of buying ker-ings and **** with my name in/on).

Im guessing this is the same principle, just with some kind of practical application...rather than tatty gift shop w**k
I was thinking much the same, but with Christmas tree ornaments. It can store all of your photos and videos from previous years in a tacky little ornament to put on future trees!

Also, I never figured your username was your actual name. Jay pride! (pun intened )
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Old 26th Sep 2012, 08:05   #14
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I think people need to look beyond their own domestic uses for technology to see the true benefit in something like this - obviously nobody needs such robust storage for home use, and I doubt this will ever see a place in the home. But it would be IDEAL for use in extreme environments. Interplanetary / interstellar travel would be a good example - the harsh EM radiation, magnetic fields, temperature extremes of deep space and the shock / heat of launch and reentry are all tough on existing storage media, so something like this (literally carved in stone!) would be ideal. You could use it on a terraforming mission to carry DNA strings for reconstruction of Earth organisms (I'm getting a bit sci fi but this has in seriousness been suggested).

Or say we discovered a distant civilisation - a probe enclosing a message from us would take (at least) thousands of years to travel to another star, and it would be relatively trivial for any sufficiently technologically advanced civilisation to decode a series of optical binary digits in a rock - and bear in mind that they'd need to be at - at least - 19th century human level for us to pick them up in the first place from radio transmissions at the time their signals were sent - add on signal transit time, probe construction time and the time it would take the probe to reach them and they would likely either have reached a technological level far in advance of our state of the art, or have wiped themselves out. They could safely and non-destructively examine the object, would quickly realise it contained ordered binary data, and reconstruct the bitstream. Assume it was primarily ASCII or Base64 encoded text - they'd work out very quickly that it was an 8 or 6 bit (respectively) encoding scheme, especially if we started with some sort of header to guide them to that conclusion. Conveying text information would be difficult with no common language, but numerical information could be exchanged. You could also convey bitmap images (either as binary data strings or by physically engraving the image in the rock using the same laser technology), in which you'd show schematics for more complex data formats. Think of the resources humanity would throw at decoding a message from an alien civilisation. One can imagine that they would do the same, and they'd very quickly get to the point where they could access any data format we had sent, including video and audio, star charts, maps of Earth, etc. There would be debates for years about what to include, because we wouldn't necessarily want to give away too much information to an unknown alien race, but we could send whatever we liked, assuming data density did go up a fair amount from 40 MB/in2...

Anyway, there's my flight of fancy for this morning :-)
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Old 26th Sep 2012, 08:15   #15
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Come on I want my B5 data crystal already!
How does one type a nerdly snort? :P
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Old 26th Sep 2012, 09:12   #16
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Holy ****. They're developing goa'uld control crystals.
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Old 26th Sep 2012, 09:36   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
I was thinking much the same, but with Christmas tree ornaments. It can store all of your photos and videos from previous years in a tacky little ornament to put on future trees!

Also, I never figured your username was your actual name. Jay pride! (pun intened )
That is the ultimate in tackiness!

And yep, they think its such an unusual name (not really) so come any kind of gifting period, i get **** with my name on it. : P
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Old 26th Sep 2012, 16:56   #18
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Babylon 5 Data Crystals are HERE!

Let's rejoice.
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