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The square drive platter

Eliminate wasted space
 
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Rotating drives are on their way out, but this may postpone their obsolescence. Instead of using round, rotating platters, which waste space in a square drive, use square platters and place the read/write head on a rotating actuator. It should be faster than the rotational speed of the drive and/or store less- frequently used data on the corners to reduce wear and improve access speed.
Voice, Jan 14 2016

crystalline storage https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD_DVD
[Voice, Jan 16 2016]

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       How would the read/write head reach the corners?
hippo, Jan 14 2016
  

       Carefully.
8th of 7, Jan 14 2016
  

       By using x,y instead of r, theta, obviously.
pocmloc, Jan 14 2016
  

       Not to ruin the fun. but you could also just use a traditional drive, and add 4 detached corner plates, each with an r/w head.
Voice, Jan 14 2016
  

       While you're at it you could counter-rotate the platter and the r/w head to double access speed.
the porpoise, Jan 14 2016
  

       How about four miniature platters, tiled in a square enclosure?
pocmloc, Jan 14 2016
  

       // By using x,y instead of r, theta, obviously. //   

       Not really possible for any hard drive that uses flying heads, which is pretty much every hard drive since the IBM 1301, which came out in 1961. And the access speeds would be far lower that way, even if that problem was solved.
notexactly, Jan 14 2016
  

       You say that as if it's a bad thing.   

       The "Slow Food Movement" is a thing. I suggest that perhaps Slow Data could also be a thing. A cat picture that took seven hours to download would be better appreciated.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 14 2016
  

       How, pray tell, do you intend to communicate with the spinning head?
WcW, Jan 14 2016
  

       ^<resists urge to crack Linda Blair joke>   

       If trying to eliminate wasted space, then just make circular drive housing.
Cuit_au_Four, Jan 15 2016
  

       Make the read head like a miniature Roomba, motoring along in a straight line. At the end of the data furrow, it moves over a notch, and goes the other way. It can communicate wirelessly, and be powered like a bumper car (which can also help it hold itself in position, if your drive is in a laptop). Multiple independent heads could dramatically improve seek times.
lurch, Jan 15 2016
  

       // How, pray tell, do you intend to communicate with the spinning head? //   

       How about a rotary transformer, like VCRs use(d)?   

       // Make the read head like a miniature Roomba, motoring along in a straight line. At the end of the data furrow, it moves over a notch, and goes the other way. It can communicate wirelessly, and be powered like a bumper car (which can also help it hold itself in position, if your drive is in a laptop). Multiple independent heads could dramatically improve seek times. //   

       Effectively an inverse tape drive. Hmm.
notexactly, Jan 15 2016
  

       The solution to all this is to have a fractal series of circular drives. One big platter in the middle. Four smaller ones at the corners. Then eight smaller ones in the crevices... et cetera.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 15 2016
  

       Sierpinski carpet disk drive ?
8th of 7, Jan 15 2016
  

       So, allowing for some sort of rotary transformer how is the read head rapidly shifted from tracks? Tiny screw drive? Finally, if the head can read sectors in the corners how does it do so without requiring the entire radius to spin in?
WcW, Jan 15 2016
  

       // Then eight smaller ones in the crevices// Is this for use in a non-euclidean enclosure?
pocmloc, Jan 16 2016
  

       // So, allowing for some sort of rotary transformer how is the read head rapidly shifted from tracks? Tiny screw drive? Finally, if the head can read sectors in the corners how does it do so without requiring the entire radius to spin in? //   

       Instead of rotating, simply have the head follow a Hilbert curve. This will cover the entire surface of the platter with no stopping or backtracking, allowing the head to fly. (Sharp corners could be a problem, but I think they could be rounded a little bit without distorting the tracks much.)
notexactly, Jan 18 2016
  

       Makes sense to me, after all skittering around making millions of tight 90* corners is the perfect way to access data memory. I'm sure that this alone should save the disk drive from retirement. Current top end platter drives run at 15000 rpm which means the edge speed is around 140 mph. Your head enacting a similar read rate will have to pull a similar pace but while enacting a pattern that constantly reverses direction. The equivalent of trying to achieve 60 fps with an etch-a-sketch.
WcW, Jan 18 2016
  

       //60 fps with an etch-a-sketch// [marked-for-tagline]
pocmloc, Jan 18 2016
  

       what if my computer is round shaped?
pashute, Jan 18 2016
  

       ^ that would be pointless...   

       You could have a disk drive with a platter that is concave, its surface part of a sphere. The enclosure could be similarly curved. Different radius curvature could allow different-size enclosures to be nested inside one another.
pocmloc, Jan 19 2016
  
      
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