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Abideen claims to have placed a 45 second video clip on a single sheet of paper, with the possibility of up to 450GB on the horizon - Image courtesy Arab News
Rainbow technology still in the works but holds promise

According to a report from the Arab News, a university technology student named Sainul Abideen has invented a method of storing massive amounts of digital data on a plain piece of paper that he claims could store many times the capacity of the best Blu-ray or HD-DVD discs. In fact, Abideen says that his Rainbow technology can enable him to store from 90 to 450GB on a piece of paper. As far as a real life demonstration of a 450GB paper goes, the technology still needs development.

Abideen, who hails from the Kerala, India, claims that that his Rainbow system is better than a binary storage because instead of using ones and zeros to represent data, Abideen uses geometric shapes such as squares and hexagons to represent data patterns. Color is also used in the system to represent other data elements. According to Abideen, all that's required to read the Rainbow prints is a scanner and specialized software.

The reporter at Arab News claims to have seen 450 pages of fully printed foolscap being stored on a 4-square inch piece of Rainbow paper. The reporter also claimed that he was shown a 45-second video clip that was stored using the Rainbow system on a plain piece of paper. Interestingly, 45-seconds of video isn't a lot, and if the Rainbow system can store up to 450GB, then we need to be watching full length high-definition videos from a piece of paper.

One of the major advantages of the Rainbow system is the fact that it should cost a lot less to produce than typical polycarbonate DVD and CD discs. Abideen claims that huge databanks can be constructed out of Rainbow-based storage mediums. Although the main attraction is cheap paper right now, other media can use the Rainbow system too.

As of right now, Abideen's system is still under research at the Muslim Educational Society Engineering College and although no major companies have expressed interest, Abideen is confident of the system's future. According to the report, Aibdeen is hard at work at developing a Rainbow scanner that would be small enough for integration into notebook computers. If developed, a Rainbow printer will likely be next up.

In other high-capacity storage news, DailyTech previously reported that Hitachi-Maxell is in the progress of producing holographic media for shipment this year. Holographic storage is one of the biggest forward-looking storage technologies and holds a great deal of promise -- as well as data.

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RE: Beyond BS
By JarredWalton on 11/26/2006 11:03:57 AM , Rating: 0
Storing a lot of data in a bitmap is easy. Ready?

Let's use a 64MB BMP:
4096x4096 x 32-bit color = 64MB of storage.

Now if every pixel has 32-bit color, you have a 4096x4096 grid, where each point can represent 2^32 values. As it's in a digital form, you don't have to worry about stuff like colors fading/changing, unlike paper. But I digress...

Now, where two bits before represented only four possible values, two of these "super bits" can be used to represent 17179869184 values, or 16GB of information. The problem now is that you have to invent an alphabet with 16 trillion letters and map that to a binary alphabet.

Possible? Yes. Practical? Not at all! Your computer would have to have knowledge of this mapping table to be able to actually read any of the BMP "documents", so basically you would always have something like a 128GB (maybe more) file stored in order to read 64MB images.

Going back to the original thread, let's say you have a system where each point can be accurately recognized as one of 256 colors, so each dot on the paper is a byte. At 600x600 DPI, your standard 8.5x11 inch paper can store about 32MB. The reason for symbols is that you can represent more data in a smaller space that way - assuming you can overcome ambiguity.

So, instead of 256 possible values at each pixel, you can combine 4 pixels as a block and even if each block is all the same color, you now have 4096 possible symbols. Even sticking with the 600 DPI scanner/printer, you can now store ~128MB of data instead of ~32MB using pure dots.

Switch to blocks that are 4x4 pixels, and you can now have 16777216 symbols (2^16 pixel arrangements multiplied by 256 colors), and even if every symbol is a solid color you can still store four times as much total data (now up to about 512MB per page). All you have to do is use a large enough symbol size, and getting 450GB of data on a page is easily possible.

Extracting the actual meaning of each page is still the difficult part (as well as creating the page in the first place). Just like with reading the previous "BMP alphabet".

Unless I'm missing something and there's an easier way to extract meaning from the images? Maybe some sort of pattern could be predetermined by an algorithm, eliminating the need to store the data mapping tables.

RE: Beyond BS
By Visual on 11/27/2006 7:13:10 AM , Rating: 2
what drugs are you on?

17179869184 values = 16GB of information?
since when?
2 pixels, each 4 bytes, or 64 bits of information total, can represent
1.84467441×10^19 possible values. thats way more than this 17179869184 number you come with (from where?), and it's still just 8 bytes. it's not 16GB or anything. get a grip.

try to figure out the difference between number of possible values and number of bits. 256 possible values are still just 8 bits, and 1.84467441×10^19 possible values are still just 64 bits of information, no matter how huge a number it may sound. your 17179869184 possible values are only 34 bits, not 16GB.

even more bs below the line in your post, but i hope you'll realise where you went wrong.

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