Now you can store your data on paper!



  • Brillant! 

     

    It's probably not THAT stupid, but I'd like to know how much a scanner for that would cost, and how big it is lol. 



  • Brilliant!!! Now when Enron needs to dump some evidence, they run everything through the shredder!!!

    Seriously though, I would think a SIM-sized piece of data paper would be easily bent/torn/crumpled/burnt/etc, and that storing everything on paper would just lead to more data loss. Forget long-term storage of backups, the paper would rot, yellow, etc, and all of a sudden you have nothing....



  • Unintentional comedy at its finest.



     



  • I like it... paper would probably be less vulnerable to scratches than discs, because with the increased capacity you could replicate the data several times so you're more likely to get a perfect copy.

    And imagine if they printed magazines that were 200 pages of this stuff?  What's that, like an entire back-catalogue of EMI's music that can be copied in a regular colour photocopier for a few quid?  hmm...
     



  • To back up your data, scan in data paper, print it, place it on a wooden table, take a picture...



  • [Zeus] : Damn!! Prometheus has escaped again. What is he going to do now?



  • [quote user="versatilia"]I like it... paper would probably be less vulnerable to scratches than discs, because with the increased capacity you could replicate the data several times so you're more likely to get a perfect copy.

    And imagine if they printed magazines that were 200 pages of this stuff?  What's that, like an entire back-catalogue of EMI's music that can be copied in a regular colour photocopier for a few quid?  hmm... [/quote]

    I'm left wondering if you need special ink that doesn't fade and always produces the same color tones. Color fades over time, so I would think that it'd be a problem in the long run... Also, scanners don't all produce the same results from the same image. There's alot of details that are left out that leave me wondering how possible this really is... especially considering the claims they are making for storage capacity.
     



  • Now you can store your data on paper, put it on a wooden table...

     dllexport: ok. you win.
     



  • [quote user="Arab News"]Sainul says the biggest advantage of the new technology will be the
    biodegradable nature of his storage devices which will do away with
    e-waste pollution.[/quote]

    I think we can agree that in addition to such advantages, this new media also offers some disadvantages... such as it's biodegradable nature.

    I also like how the journalist talks about "having it on the monitor". The sentance "So wait, scan drive would be part of your computer." isn't really perfect grammar either.



  • Data density

    I call bull.

    He claims that a disc using his technology can store at least 90 GB.  Let's suppose that the disc is the same size as a CD or DVD, 8 cm diameter.  It would have a surface area of less than 8 square inches.  If printed at 300 dpi in 24-bit color, that would hold an image containing only 2 MB of data.  And that's assuming that ordinary paper can actually preserve a pixel-perfect image and that the scanner can read it perfectly.
     
     Saving digital data on paper does have applications and they already exist: bar codes and matrix codes.  I remember computer magazines printing code as scannable dots back in the 1980's.  Paper might be an affordable solution for saving a few KB of data, but I don't see how it can compete with the data density of CDs.



  • [quote user="AlpineR"]

    I call bull.

    He claims that a disc using his technology can store at least 90 GB.  Let's suppose that the disc is the same size as a CD or DVD, 8 cm diameter.  It would have a surface area of less than 8 square inches.  If printed at 300 dpi in 24-bit color, that would hold an image containing only 2 MB of data.  And that's assuming that ordinary paper can actually preserve a pixel-perfect image and that the scanner can read it perfectly.
     
     Saving digital data on paper does have applications and they already exist: bar codes and matrix codes.  I remember computer magazines printing code as scannable dots back in the 1980's.  Paper might be an affordable solution for saving a few KB of data, but I don't see how it can compete with the data density of CDs.

    [/quote]

     
    Aah... but, it doesn't use 1s and 0s, it uses multicoloured geometrical shapes!

     
    Although I'm not entirely sure if the geometrical shapes part of it actually increases the amount of data that you can fit. Considering that to do that kind of stuff you have to use several pixels to draw each shape,  and single pixels may well just end up the same as that. I also wonder how many colours they are able to 'reliably' differentiate?



  • [quote user="AlpineR"]

    I call bull.

    He claims that a disc using his technology can store at least 90 GB.  Let's suppose that the disc is the same size as a CD or DVD, 8 cm diameter.  It would have a surface area of less than 8 square inches.  If printed at 300 dpi in 24-bit color, that would hold an image containing only 2 MB of data.  And that's assuming that ordinary paper can actually preserve a pixel-perfect image and that the scanner can read it perfectly.
     
     Saving digital data on paper does have applications and they already exist: bar codes and matrix codes.  I remember computer magazines printing code as scannable dots back in the 1980's.  Paper might be an affordable solution for saving a few KB of data, but I don't see how it can compete with the data density of CDs.

    [/quote]

    Oh boy, you missed the part about the comparison between the weights of his "storage  device" and CDs/DVDs. It's a different thing that it's a WTFey comparison.



  • Twenty years ago BYTE Magazine printed program listings in a machine-readable barcode-like format.  They did this for only a few issues; not many readers were rigging up scanners and using the listings.

    Also about 25 years ago, SoundStream (pioneers in digital sound recording) developed a system for distributing music on microfiche.  The Compact Disc, developed about the same time, was more successful.

    Why do so many of my posts begin "Twenty years ago..."?  You will not always have Newfweiler with you, but the WTF's will always be with you.

     



  • [quote user="AlpineR"]

    If printed at 300 dpi in 24-bit color, that would hold an image containing only 2 MB of data.

    [/quote]

    Ah... but a regular color printer doesn't print in 24-bit color but 3-bit color. There are only three colors of ink (not counting K as it can't be separated from C+M+Y), and a drop of ink can only exist or not exist.



  • Yup, twenty years ago ... or maybe thirty ... my uncle had a programmable calculator that stored programs on barcode-like strips.  I'm trying to remember if it was IBM (he worked there) or HP.



  • In high school I owned a Texas Instruments calculator that did the same thing. It was an SB something.

     



  • Load of crap.

    Here's the REAL innovation:

     

    San Diego, CA. Nov. 21, 2006. Is it time to say goodbye to e-Mail?

    A San Diego based programmer has developed an innovative technique that promises to replace e-Mail within the next 2 years. This new technology, called TrueMail (TM), allows messages to be delivered worldwide, even in remote areas with no internet access, by utilizing a simple paper support and proprietary imaging technology.

    There is no limit to the size of the messages that can be sent. Even attachments will not be a problem anymore - never again will you lose that important 120 pdf file because your inbox is too full.

    But how does this work? According to the developer of the system, it is extremely simple. You type you message as usual, using you favorite word-processing software. And here is the first trick: a variation of the well proven print-photo-wooden table scheme. You must photograph the message on the screen (there is a fix in the works to get rid of the pesky vsynch lines), have the film developed at COSTCO, get your prints, and place them in a special container called "the Carrier". The Carrier has a special sealing device (Spit-o-Seal), which protects data from unauthorized access (you might think of it as a modern-day PGP key). This device  is activated by the sender's saliva and permanently seals the Carrier for secure transport.

    The next phase (Transport) is the real breakthrough, thanks to a proprietary technology called "iMAGE-TVT" (Image Transport Verification tool). The ITVT is applied by the sender on the Carrier using a patented Stick-On technology. The ITVT features a special pictograph, which marks the authenticity of the message and the authorization for Transport.

    When the message is ready for Transport, it is placed in a specal container called the OutBox. Every evening, around 5 p.m. an associate of the TrueMail system will pick up all pending messages, and through a worldwide network on interoperating people it will be delivered to the Recipient.

    Carriers are available in all shapes and sizes, so there is no limit to the amount of COSTCO prints you can send, depending on your specific needs. You can also send enlargements, in case the recipient is optically challenged. TrueMail is also considering adopting another variation of the print-photo-wooden table scheme, called the speak-record-playback-filmscreen-on-vcr-schema, which will allow future developments such as video and audio messages.

    TrueMail is currently in contact with the US government to transfer all the current unsecure secret service messaging to the new Spit-o-Seal technology for maximum security.

     

     



  • I think the key phrase is: "The extremely low-cost technology".

     There are parts of the world where paper is much more common and inexpensive than DVD-Rs.
     



  • I can see the data recovery services needed to recover your DB backup after you forgot to remove it from the back pocket of your pants before laundry day.



  • Hurray!  They re-invented 2-d barcodes!  UPS should sue.

     



  • [quote user="nuclear_eclipse"]Brilliant!!! Now when Enron needs to dump some evidence, they run everything through the shredder!!!

    Seriously though, I would think a SIM-sized piece of data paper would be easily bent/torn/crumpled/burnt/etc, and that storing everything on paper would just lead to more data loss. Forget long-term storage of backups, the paper would rot, yellow, etc, and all of a sudden you have nothing....[/quote]

    Actually, good paper with good ink stored in the right environment will last longer than any other medium, short of chiseled stone.

    I don't know about this guy's format specifically -- it sounds like it'd be really error prone.  But point is, there are tons of books from a hundred years ago, and many that are far far older that are still perfectly readable today.  And printing's cheap.  There's not a single digital medium available today that you can guarantee will be readable in 2106; but a book certainly will be.

     



  • [quote user="merreborn"]

    But point is, there are tons of books from a hundred years ago, and many that are far far older that are still perfectly readable today.  

    [/quote]

    Is that true?  I have read many times that most books made before roughly the 1970s are printed on acid-based paper, which after only a few weeks of exposure to air will flake apart like a gourmet pie crust.



  • "...and later to fit into their bodies."

     

    So you're eventually supposed to shove this stuff up your ass.  Okay, that explains a lot.

     



  • @merreborn said:

    Actually, good paper with good ink stored in the right environment will last longer than any other medium, short of chiseled stone.

    I don't know about this guy's format specifically -- it sounds like it'd be really error prone.  But point is, there are tons of books from a hundred years ago, and many that are far far older that are still perfectly readable today.  And printing's cheap.  There's not a single digital medium available today that you can guarantee will be readable in 2106; but a book certainly will be.

     

    How does this take into account for the fact that most old books, although "readable" even today, are not in a condition that they could be used as a normal book for fear of falling apart or disintegrating? Most old books must be kept in hyper-sterile environments under incredibly well-trained attention in order to preserve them. Compare this to modern storage techniques, such as hard drives and optical disks, which can technically last incredibly long without any special maintenance, or even to magnetic tape drives, which at the most require the skills of a monkey to duplicate to a new tape or refresh every 8 or 10 years...



  • [quote user="nuclear_eclipse"][quote user="merreborn"]Actually, good paper with good ink stored in the right environment will last longer than any other medium, short of chiseled stone.

     

    I don't know about this guy's format specifically -- it sounds like it'd be really error prone.  But point is, there are tons of books from a hundred years ago, and many that are far far older that are still perfectly readable today.  And printing's cheap.  There's not a single digital medium available today that you can guarantee will be readable in 2106; but a book certainly will be.

     

    [/quote]

    How does this take into account for the fact that most old books, although "readable" even today, are not in a condition that they could be used as a normal book for fear of falling apart or disintegrating? Most old books must be kept in hyper-sterile environments under incredibly well-trained attention in order to preserve them. Compare this to modern storage techniques, such as hard drives and optical disks, which can technically last incredibly long without any special maintenance, or even to magnetic tape drives, which at the most require the skills of a monkey to duplicate to a new tape or refresh every 8 or 10 years...[/quote]


    You're presenting things incorrectly from the perspective of an archivist/preservationist/conservationist.

    First off: paper from pre-1870 (or thereabouts) is still good, because it isn't wood paper at all. It's made of cotton and other cloth material. (Called "rag stock".) In the late 19th century, a process was created to turn wood fiber into paper. At first, most paper produced (as I recall, until about 1930) was part cotton, part wood. Then the process started using wood only. Unfortunately, the original process left the wood fibers partially acidic. As time passed, they would absorb moisture in the air and the fibers would be eaten away by the acid, making the pages crumble. Paper from about 1930 to about 1970 is in the worst condition, paper with partial wood, partial cotton is next worst.

    You can deacidify the paper (at great expense and in relatively small batches; as of a few years back, there were only two companies in the world which did this), if it has not degraded too much, and there are various not-terribly-satisfactory methods for dealing with paper which is nearing the "crumbles to powder" stage.

    But modern paper is -- or at least, can be; not all manufacturers make good paper -- acid-free. Acid-free wood paper is estimated to last a century or two.

    Why is this important? Because archivists want a format you can set up and leave, and not have to worry about whether people in the future will be able to read it. Digital information gives them fits. Magnetic tape degrades to the point of being unreadable after a few decades (NASA has lost a lot of its stored info from early space flights, for example) and in any case it is becoming increasingly expensive to get a reader; in a few more decades it may not even be possible to find one.

    (Oh, and did I mention: archivists don't want to copy data and throw away the original if that can possibly be avoided. They know from experience that researchers often want the original form of whatever-it-is, so they would rather have a format which will be the same in a century if they can get it.)

    CDs are slightly better than magnetic tape -- a manufactured CD is expected to last roughly 50 or 60 years if stored properly, while a CD-R is expected to last a bit less, and a CD-RW roughly half that. (It has to do with the composition; as time passes, different materials age differently and some shrink or grow with age, and in a multi-layer object like a CD, the different layers eventually change size and come apart, even if they are individually still okay.) Archivists have made an effort to come up with generic instructions on how to build a plain old CD Player and what the CD data formats look like, so that in 40 years their archive CDs will still be accessible to anyone who wants them, even if the format dies out for day-to-day use. (That's no joke -- look what happened commercially to 8-track tapes, floppy disks, Zip disks, videotape casettes...)

    But even that's not really "Good Enough". As manufactured items go, the ideal is modern microfilm. Polyester microfilm, if stored properly (low temperature and humidy -- dig a hole and bury it in a sealed container, if all else fails) can theoretically last up to 500 years, and the only technology needed to view it is magnification, which is easy.

    So what this is targeted at, most likely, is archivists. The message is: "here is a format which will last about twice as long as even the best regular CD, and potentially requires no more complicated equipment to play back than that format." If that is true, then it doesn't matter whether computer geeks buy it, archives and academic libraries will.

    (How do I know all this? I worked for a preservation department at an academic library as a student, and then took a class in preservation a couple years ago. It's a fascinating subject if you approach it in the right frame of mind.)



  • [quote user="VGR"][quote user="merreborn"]

    But point is, there are tons of books from a hundred years ago, and many that are far far older that are still perfectly readable today.  

    [/quote]

    Is that true?  I have read many times that most books made before roughly the 1970s are printed on acid-based paper, which after only a few weeks of exposure to air will flake apart like a gourmet pie crust.

    [/quote]

    I work in used books (started working with the books, now I work with the software that sells the books).  We've processed thousands of books printed between 1940 and 1970.  We don't afford them any special handling at all -- the things sit in open-topped boxes for years at a time, and then sit on open shelves for years at a time.  We don't have issues with any of them "flaking apart".  However, you're absolutely right -- acid-free papers do age better.  You wouldn't want to put your archival data on newspaper -- you do have to use archival-quality inks and paper.



  • [quote user="nuclear_eclipse"]
    ....Compare this to modern storage techniques, such as hard drives and optical disks, which can technically last incredibly long without any special maintenance, or even to magnetic tape drives, which at the most require the skills of a monkey to duplicate to a new tape or refresh every 8 or 10 years...[/quote]

    Just to add a bit of weight to all the corrections here, I was once employed to back up 20 year old (at the time) 2" broadcast video tape.

    All of the tapes had been stored in a designated library with temperature, humidity, etc regulated and played only a few times.

    With many of the tapes, I had one go at dubbing them to newer digital mediums because the oxide was falling off as it passed through the transport and over the head. I had to do a lot of cleaning.

    Digital signals are different in that they consist of square(ish) wave forms that better distinguish between two discrete values, so they are easier to recover if they are slightly degaussed. If the tape suffers dropouts, however, the whole stream is pretty screwed and it takes a bit more calculation to recover than with an analog signal. So, given my personal experience with tape, I would say that if you're expecting to recover 20 year old data, expect to be dissapointed, or at least to have to do a lot of work on error correction and always clean your tape heads.

    Optical mediums are even worse, unless you store them at low temperature in shielded, evacuated containers.

    As for the article, I'm extremely dubious about the claims made about capacity as well as the ability for scanners to register the images effectively, but I think pigment based inks on high quality paper are an excellent solution for long term storage.

    Maybe it has something to do with the "rainbow format", or the "bubble gum tree protocol" or something.



  • Eight to ten years ago I read about a new technology allowing a few (i think) megabytes of data to be stored on A4 paper sheets, using a carefully designed pattern with a high degree of redundancy, that could be printed out on any printer and easily scanned in.

    I don't remember the name and I can't find a reference to it now, so I guess it never really took off - or maybe just within certain circles.

    The basic concept of paper-based storage is rather attractive from an archival point of view, as others have pointed out. Still, I'm not sure I believe the claims about storage density that that article makes.

    Here is a nice reference page on 2D encoding methods.



  • [quote user="merreborn"]

    Actually, good paper with good ink stored in the right environment will last longer than any other medium, short of chiseled stone.

    [/quote]

     Perhaps a stone chiseling drive will be the next innovation, though I see problems installing one in a laptop
     



  • CD-Rs are really the way to go in some respects... because the Red and Yellow book formats are time-tested, well documented and well understood.  I think it's a pretty safe choice for at least the next 20, if not 50 years. I don't see parts becoming unavailable for some time now; laser diodes and worm gears, stepper motors and simple microcontrollers aren't going anywhere.



  • [quote user="hk0"]

    CD-Rs are really the way to go in some respects... because the Red and Yellow book formats are time-tested, well documented and well understood.  I think it's a pretty safe choice for at least the next 20, if not 50 years. I don't see parts becoming unavailable for some time now; laser diodes and worm gears, stepper motors and simple microcontrollers aren't going anywhere.

    [/quote]

    I've heard that each manufacturer uses a different dye formulation for CD-R, and all the dyes will eventually fade (some formulations sooner than others) leaving the CD-R's unreadable.  Is this true?  Regular CD's have physical pits, not colored dyes.

     



  • [quote user="newfweiler"][quote user="hk0"]

    CD-Rs are really the way to go in some respects... because the Red and Yellow book formats are time-tested, well documented and well understood.  I think it's a pretty safe choice for at least the next 20, if not 50 years. I don't see parts becoming unavailable for some time now; laser diodes and worm gears, stepper motors and simple microcontrollers aren't going anywhere.

    [/quote]

    I've heard that each manufacturer uses a different dye formulation for CD-R, and all the dyes will eventually fade (some formulations sooner than others) leaving the CD-R's unreadable.  Is this true?  Regular CD's have physical pits, not colored dyes.

     

    [/quote]

    Yes this is true for both cds and dvds, the lifespan of an everyday cd-r or dvd-r/+r that you buy in the shops is between 2-5 years depending on the manufacturer. Hence why they should only be used for short term storage, or a temp backup.

     



  • [quote user="nuclear_eclipse"][quote user="merreborn"]Actually, good paper with good ink stored in the right environment will last longer than any other medium, short of chiseled stone.

    I don't know about this guy's format specifically -- it sounds like it'd be really error prone.  But point is, there are tons of books from a hundred years ago, and many that are far far older that are still perfectly readable today.  And printing's cheap.  There's not a single digital medium available today that you can guarantee will be readable in 2106; but a book certainly will be.

     

    [/quote]

    How does this take into account for the fact that most old books, although "readable" even today, are not in a condition that they could be used as a normal book for fear of falling apart or disintegrating? Most old books must be kept in hyper-sterile environments under incredibly well-trained attention in order to preserve them. Compare this to modern storage techniques, such as hard drives and optical disks, which can technically last incredibly long without any special maintenance, or even to magnetic tape drives, which at the most require the skills of a monkey to duplicate to a new tape or refresh every 8 or 10 years...[/quote]

    Actually hard drives aren't designed to just sit and moulder for years at a time. They'll sieze up, typically, presumably because of microscopic leaks that eventually gum up the works. There's a sometime-phenomenon of the same sort with always-on drives too - after years of continuously running, when they're shut off the magnetic head can get stuck in gunk off the end of the track that it hasn't passed over in years. Apparently you can often bump it free when that happens, though.

    As mentioned, microfilm needs nothing but a magnifying glass, whereas every digital technology requires either lasers, high-res optical scanners, or matching pinouts, all of which need complex microchips to access and decode their contents.



  • I suppose this technology puts "natural resource preservation" out the window. I thought everybody was trying to get away from paper...



  • Wow... this hit slashdot even. It's now being spread that it's a scam though, and I believe that it is. No matter how I try to play with the numbers, it's IMPOSSIBLE to achieve the storage density they are claiming. I'm finding it impossible to believe that they have even achieved 0.1% of their capacity claim.



  • [quote user="GoatCheez"]Wow... this hit slashdot even. It's now being spread that it's a scam though, and I believe that it is. No matter how I try to play with the numbers, it's IMPOSSIBLE to achieve the storage density they are claiming. I'm finding it impossible to believe that they have even achieved 0.1% of their capacity claim.
    [/quote]

     

    Everyone's refering to this guy's blog post for a good debunking:

    http://itsoup.blogspot.com/2006/11/scam-of-indian-student-developing.html 

    My favorite of his points:  Currently, the most high density barcode stores (drumroll) under 2k!

    A leap from 2kB to 256 GB is really quite unbelievable, without maching leaps in printing, paper, and scanning technologies.


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