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# information storage +1

take hard drives and write stuff on them
 (+1, -1) [vote for, against]

The most dense storage methods possible, such as modern hard drives, can be increased even further by, say, writing on the platters with a pen that won't disturb the magnetic storage medium. By using different colors of pens we can increase this even more. Now if we take our pen marked hard drive platters and make them wavy (modify the read head so it can read a wavy surface) we can encode information into the 3-d shape of the platter. We can also change the physical density of the storage medium by using different materials for the substrate.
different chemicals in the ink we wrote with, spinning the magnetic encoding particles....

I propose that possible density of information storage is actually only limited by the time required to read and write information not by space.
 — Voice, Sep 12 2010

Pictures. Use pictures. Each is worth 1000 words, or in 60-bit terminology, 60,000 bits. Put them together in some kind of pictorial linguistic compression, like Egyptian hieroglyphics...
 — RayfordSteele, Sep 13 2010

 You're all overlooking the obvious here - much more data can be stored on a disc.

Suppose we can place the disc anywhere on the surface of the earth, to within (say) 10um. This means that, simpy by choosing the location of the disc, we can encode more data. There is also altitude (say, up to a working maximim of 1km, again with 2um resolution). Also angular orientation.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 13 2010

[Max] The surface area of the Earth is 5.1×10^8 km^2, so if our resolution ia 10um, that gives us 5.1×10^24 points, roughly equal to 2^82. So we'd be able to store 82 bits, or about 10 alphanumeric characters - e.g. the word "intestines" or "vacillates". I'd suggest a Post-It note stuck to the disk would be more cost-effective.
 — hippo, Sep 13 2010

 Ah, but then there's altitude - a few more bits. And orientation, another few.

If my calculations are correct (which they invariably are from time to time), I believe you will find that this gives sufficient capacity to encode the message "See other disc."
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 13 2010

 Have you examined how the weight/volume of the ink compares to an additional magnetic byte?

And the extra thickness? There is, at some point, a quantum of information storage, what exactly that is we don't know, although it probably falls somewhere in the molecular storage range, which we've got some time before we hit, admittedly.
 — MechE, Sep 13 2010

 //[Max] The surface area of the Earth is 5.1×10^8 km^2, so if our resolution ia 10um, that gives us 5.1×10^24 points, roughly equal to 2^82. So we'd be able to store 82 bits, or about 10 alphanumeric characters - e.g. the word "intestines" or "vacillates". I'd suggest a Post-It note stuck to the disk would be more cost-effective.//

I think there is a chance to use a very good compression system here: a large dictionary with the drive sitting on the appropriate word.
 — Ling, Sep 14 2010

//who’s going to volunteer to cover the surface of the earth in Post-It notes?// Christo?
 — mouseposture, Sep 14 2010

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