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Philips Blue Laser Itty Bitty Disc Drive 330

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the little-is-better dept.
Acid-F1ux writes "Over at news.com they are running a story about how Philips is demonstrating a prototype miniature disc drive that uses a coin-size disc capable of storing nearly twice as much data as a standard-sized CD. "
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Philips Blue Laser Itty Bitty Disc Drive

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  • by xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) <xanadu.inorbit@com> on Thursday June 20, 2002 @10:36AM (#3735904) Homepage Journal
    "I guess I'll have to go buy the White Album again."
  • Speed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by proj_2501 (78149) <mkb@ele.uri.edu> on Thursday June 20, 2002 @10:37AM (#3735909) Journal
    The article didn't say anything about how fast the drive is. Any more info?
  • by Johnso (520335) on Thursday June 20, 2002 @10:38AM (#3735923)
    Imagine getting drunk, playing cards with your friends, and accidentally placing your pr0n collection as ante instead of a quarter...
  • by Nanite (220404) on Thursday June 20, 2002 @10:38AM (#3735930)
    I hope they put a case around it ala minidisc. It's so hard to keep your CDs unscratched as it is, a tiny disc will only make it harder.

    N
  • by InspectorZero (471161) on Thursday June 20, 2002 @10:39AM (#3735935)
    I'd hate to work in tech support after this technology starts proliferating...

    Instead of: "The cup holder on my computer is broken!"

    It will become: "The coin slot on my computer ate my quarter! I was just trying to pay for my Amazon order in cash..."
    • Do I hear an opportunity knocking on my front door???

      [Knock Knock]
      Homeowner: May I help you?
      Me [beaming]: Hello maam, I'm here to make my rounds.
      Homeowner: Your rounds?
      Me: I'm here to collect the money in your computer.
      Homeowner: Oh yes, right this way...
      Me: [tinkering] Maam, Is this a slug?
      Homeowner: [shocked] I... I... thought
      Me: You thought you could get away with it?
      Homeowner: [shakes head]
      Me: I'm going to need you to pay your balance off right now, maan.
      Homeowner: You take cash?
      Me: Why certainly! [smiles + winks + thumbs up]

  • coin sized? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phyr (586855) on Thursday June 20, 2002 @10:43AM (#3735971)
    why must new techology always like to be smaller. Instead of fitting twice as much on a coin sized cd why not fit a lot more Gb on a regular sized CD?
    • Yeah, Why? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Karpe (1147)
      I agree! Why don't they keep the 12cm format, allowing people to put GBs of data on it? Can you imagine? You could put a whole movie on MPEG-2 format in such a disk! Perhaps, you could even put extra material, let's say, making ofs, commentaries, etc. They could even create double layered media, allowing for larger capacity. These versatile disks (let's call them DVDs, for Digital Video/Versatil Disk, for now) would be really cool. I would certainly by one!
      • To hell with the 12cm format: I want the 12 inch format to come back! And the 8" floppy disk! And magnetic drum storage, 24" in diameter! And the computer should fill an entire room... no, wait, the entire building!
    • You're just assuming that the coin that they are comparing it with is smaller than a CD. Maybe they are refering to these coins [bbc.co.uk].
    • "Instead of fitting twice as much on a coin sized cd why not fit a lot more Gb on a regular sized CD? "

      Some of us ache for something smaller. A CD Player, for example, can be a PITA to carry around in your pocket, particularly on a plane.

      Also, one day I'd like to watch movies on my PocketPC. With a disk that small, they could make a palm sized movie player. There is value in that if you can record from your PVR to it.
  • Eh... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Paradoxish (545066) <glegeza AT simparadox DOT com> on Thursday June 20, 2002 @10:45AM (#3735986) Homepage Journal
    The technology is pretty damn cool, but it's like every other bit of cool technology we hear about - more than likely it'll take years before it's in wide-spread use. In this case, I don't really see the point though. A DVD can hold much more information and because of that my DVD drive is good for playing discs that contain movies, lots of media, games, regular CDs, whatever. There's no reason to add another (smaller) data storage format to the PC... ...and in the case of other consumer-level products that might use this: what's the point? The main use for CDs right now is to hold audio, but the vast majority of artists can't even fill a CD with music. So, really, what's the point? (by the way, I AM aware that the technology is cool, I just think that making a tiny disc that doesn't offer any real storage advantage was a poor choice to make use of it)
    • "I don't really see the point [...]. A DVD can hold much more information"

      Did you bother reading the article? Or, do you actually understand the DVDs that you seem so fond of?

      This mini CD can hold 27GB of data. DVDs are much smaller [dvddemystified.com], as well as being four times the diameter. The biggest DVDs (dual-layer, dual-sided), which I doubt you see very often, are just over half the capacity.
  • On the one side, this is cool as hell. On the other side, what about...

    • Honey, get the Ex-Lax - your daughter has swallowed her Pokemon Music disk again!
    • No, I'm looking looking for spare change in the seat cushions, I'm looking for my Nirvana CD.
    • 1300 MB of storage space...and they still split all the Queen songs I really want across 3 CD's.
    • Ah, now to drink a nice Mountain Dew and listen to my music - shit, I just used my CD instead of a quarter.
    • AOL CD's are now air dropped over your house instead of the mail - their small size lets them flutter down like little, shiny snowflakes.
    • Ever have a problem when you're lying naked on your money, and you accidently get a dime stuck in the crack of your ass? This is much worse.
    • The CD's aren't just the size of a postage stamp - they become the postage stamp.
    • 650 MB Gameboy Advance games - no, wait, that's a good thing. (Seriously - imagine putting Final Fantasy VIII on one of those suckers...Hand held Selphie lovin'.)


    Just some ideas.
  • by DNAGuy (131264) <brent@@@brentrockwood...org> on Thursday June 20, 2002 @10:47AM (#3736001) Homepage
    Can somebody please just come up with a convenient, inexpensive storage medium that allows me to back up these giant (~100GB) hard drives. I haven't had a decent backup medium in years and the commercial stuff is far too expensive for the average consumer.
    • How about... another hard drive in a removable drive cage?

      They're convenient and inexpensive, and about the only consumer-friendly way of backing up. I'm sure you can find hot-swappable IDE drive cages, or just reboot.
      • A hard drive is not a safe backup medium. Hard drives fail. They are also vulnerable to shock, cosmic waves and magnetic fields. The life span of data stored on a hard drive that is not connected to a computer is not long. Even magnetic tapes suffer from this.

        Large, non volatile mediums are definitely needed. DVD's may be a good start but, commercial squabbling has prevented a universal standard from emerging.

        • A hard drive is not a safe backup medium. Hard drives fail.

          Ye the do, hence you back them up. The chances of 2 hard drives failing at the same time are minimal though. You're really irreplacable, important stuff you can put on a CD. Your less important stuff (mp3's, divx etc) can be just copied to the hdd.

          Check the backup hdd every couple of weeks (well, when you do a backup). No problem. Keep it in a fire proof case, antistattic bag, soft padding and unplugged. OK an alien spaceship might disintergrate the house, but if you're worried about that....

          CD's arent that great either, ever scratch one?

          For a small company offsite backups are important too. Look at the USCG data that was lost inthe WTC with an offsite backup apparently in the other tower. If you are paranoid send of the hdd to your mother in arkansas.

          For most people a couple of mirrored, removable 100gb drive will protect against lightning strikes, theft, fire and rm -Rf / - need more, then you are sad.
      • Or Firewire/USB kits - I've seen those going for about $60 (USB) to $100 (Firewire). I plan on doing that for my OS X backups.
    • Get another cheep 100GB hdd
      • Can somebody please just come up with a convenient, inexpensive storage medium that allows me to back up these giant (~100GB) hard drive

      So you want a re-recordable medium that's power-off stable, has large information density, and which can handle high data throughput?

      Mmm, sounds like you need to buy more hard drives.

      Really, no joke. I take your point, but the only thing that meets the criteria that I think you're applying is a RAID array with occasional disaster-recovery backups to good old tape. There's a very good reason that this is a popular choice for commercial companies.


  • At what stage will these advances in data storage become pointless. Getting a HD that can store 100Gb is possible today. These advances mean that today we can store 14 or so DVD movies on a single drive, in future, and we are only talking 10 years here. You will be able to store "Blockbusters" entire collection on your hard-drive.

    So there must come a point where financially there is no reason to buy a bigger drive because consumers cannot use it up.

    Now big business and the military will always be able to use it up. As will scientists and universities. But for the consumer this is talking about the day where your MP3 player stores millions of albums and is the size of a credit card... question is "how will you plug in the headphones"
    • So there must come a point where financially there is no reason to buy a bigger drive because consumers cannot use it up.

      That would seem to make sense, but in my experience it's simply not true. No matter how unbelievably enormous my hard drives seem when I get them, over time I really have no trouble filling them up.

      My theory is that (a power user's) disk usage scales proportionally with the amount of available disk space. You get a new drive, and fill it up with less 'compressed' data - like using lossless codec instead of MP3, and >1GB DivX files instead of 500MB ones. Install more games in "FULL" rather than playing off the CD's. And use duplicate disks in RAID for backups.
    • "Now big business and the military will always be able to use it up. As will scientists and universities. But for the consumer this is talking about the day where your MP3 player stores millions of albums and is the size of a credit card... question is "how will you plug in the headphones""

      That brings up another point ... can Philips sneak this by 'under the radar' so that it can/will be released without DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) ?

      If anyone can do it, it's philips, considering their position on DRM'd fake CDs [wired.com].

    • what makes you think well still be using headphones and not peizoelectric implants? either way plugging in is the way of the past.
    • If you could hold the video stores collection of movies then one would put forth another plan to distribute movies.

      Simply you get all the movies ever made inside your cable box (PC, etc). New movies come out and you download them to your HD (all at 238932398GB/s last mile). Then you "buy" a movie, or basically the rights to watch it forever as much as you want. If you like, you can "rent" a movie and pay for the trial usage.

      (of course this could be done with music too if you are right)

      Problem is new things are always coming out and digital copies are getting bigger (ok, let's forget ogg, mp3, DivX;-), et. al.).

      One thing though is that maybe the 12GB potential of these discs could start a (crappy) holographic format!

      Imagine getting a movie and being in it... cool.
    • But currently the data being saved and manipulated is so... reduced.

      Consider textures. When a surface recedes from you in three dimensions, the appearance of the texture changes, not only because of differing ray trace paths, but because the angle that you are looking at it is different, so you see a different distance into the surface...

      Now a realistic image would need to reproduce this. And you should be able to change the angle that you are observing it from. Now for motions to be done correctly you need to track the mass distributions through the volume, so you can position the supports, and indicate how the support surface gives under the figure.

      Then there's artificial intelligence. One thing that this is going to depend on is lots of information. Not only real-time sensory input, but time-series historical records of it so that patterns can be detected.

      And then....

      How much storage you need depends on what you are attempting to do. What you attempt to do depends on how much storage you have available. There probably is a limit, but it may well not be reachable.

  • News.com had a link that points to related stories, in case you want the bigger picture.

    Located here [com.com], it contains a story from May 2002 (when they were first getting the technology ready).
  • It's the development of the cost-efficient blue LED that is responsible for the blue laser. It's development is also responsible for the massive, low-power, groovy LED video displays in Vegas, NY, Tokyo, etc.
  • Microdrive killer? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Thursday June 20, 2002 @10:53AM (#3736043)

    If there things cost less than $20, they'd totally wipe out the microdrive niche for high-end cameras - who cares if each picture takes 20MB when i've got 5 of these in my pocket.

    • Not necessarily. Who's saying that they won't be producing these discs inside CompactFlash cards? This might actually help pump up the storage capacity of microdrives.

  • Form factor (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fruey (563914) on Thursday June 20, 2002 @10:54AM (#3736052) Homepage Journal
    I have seen a lot of people talking about losing these mini blu-ray CDs and all that, but what they are really for is for PDAs and cameras. The 5" form factor of current optical discs (CD and DVD) is perfect. Much smaller and they would be a lot harder to handle. Remember CD singles on 3" discs? They stopped that pretty fast and went back to 5" discs with 3" of nothing. Wish I still had some of my CD-singles though, bet they'll be worth a bit soon.

    The credit card form factor is better for rescue CDs, in your wallet for those times when the server won't boot at a client's place. These are just for PDAs and cameras and maybe walkman jukeboxes, once they are burnable for cheap of course.

    It would seem that a lot of you missed the point that the form factor is just "cool" so they're mentioning it, but of course this will scale up to high capacity optical 5" discs, each fitting the contents of the British Library AND the library of congress...

    Or how about using these discs inside old 3.5" disc cases? That would make them easy to handle and should they be RW it would be a bonus.

    • In the Star shows they are always manipulating memory devices about the size of a credit card. Thats a good size for human hands. Round ones may role away and waste corner real estate.

      In trekno-babble, an "iso-linear memory card" holds "kilo-quads" of data. People have speculated that means 10^18 bits (one thousand quadrillion) or a hundred million gigabytes. I'd guess about every atomic particle need be a memory cell then. Hey, with Moore's law adding a zero every five years, thats just 40 years from now!
    • Re:Form factor (Score:2, Insightful)

      by virtual_mps (62997)
      Are you kidding? I love the 3" cd format--I've got a spindle of 50 3" cdr's on my desk right now. The music industry probably stopped using it because it's more theft-prone than the 5" format. (Small enough to fit in a pocket, smaller than the usual anti-theft boxes will hold)--but the fact that it fits in a pocket is a huge advantage for me. The jewel cases for these are *exactly* the same size as a 3.5" floppy, so you can get some more life out of your old floppy stroage bins...
  • Finally! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MImeKillEr (445828)
    A (hopefully) cheap way for me to back up my data without having to resort to SAN or tape.. The article mentions that they're hoping to get standard-size discs to store upto 27GB of data... I could back up my home system on just *3* CDs!

    Of course, given the price of DVD writers initially, I'd expect these to be quite pricey when they first come out.

    I didn't see any mention of backwards-compatibility with current devices. Imagine burning 27GB of MP3s (or .wavs to play in the non-MP3 car stereo) only to find out that your favorite player can't read it....

  • Mmmmm Storage (Score:2, Interesting)

    by OzPhIsH (560038)
    God, this is the kind of new technology that makes me giddy!! Imagine the things that could benefit from tiny mass storage devices. Imagine your digital music player that holds 1000 MB instead of a paltry 64 or 128. A digital camera that holds hundreds of high-resolution photos instead of 30 or so. Sure, these aren't new ideas, but they'll be so much BETTER with this tech. Remember in MIB when he's got the enitre Elvis collection on one of those tiny disc's? That could become a reality in the not so distant future. The possibilites of a cheap, portable, mass storage medium has me drooling. I have a few questions though.
    How much? Just how expensive will devices based on this technology be?
    Standard? There appears to be a lot of key companies in this "Blu-Ray" group. Does that mean consumers can expect a standard medium, or are there going to be 5 different manufacturer versions that we need to check compatability agaist.
    When? When will these devices become available to the public? Or, more likely, how long will it take for the 'How Much' question to be answered with 'cheap enough for your average consumer'.
    Re-Writability? Are these devices write once, or can the be re-written several times over? I've been waiting for the difinitive floppy disk replacement for a long time. Zip hasnt cut it. Super-disc hasn't cut it. But cheap portable 1 gig storage? Yeah, now you got me interested.
    • "I've been waiting for the difinitive floppy disk replacement for a long time. Zip hasnt cut it. Super-disc hasn't cut it. But cheap portable 1 gig storage? Yeah, now you got me interested."

      I am also interested ... but get this: "Optical drives and discs are less expensive than the flash memory typically used in portable devices today. The low cost of the discs makes the format more appealing to consumers than removable flash memory cards, but adding a new storage technology to devices is expensive, according to Gartner analyst Mary Craig. "It takes a lot of money to develop and market a mini-drive for devices," Craig said. "

      Basically, I'm wondering (after reading the article:)
      - How costly is the drive itself?
      - How costly are the discs?
      - Is it read/write/rewrite?
      - How fast is it?

      The article seems to imply that it's "expsnsive, but less expensive than flash memory."

      I was considering buying a digital camera in the next weeks, but is it worth waiting a year or more for devices with better (and perhaps faster, lower power requirement) storage?

  • Minidisc? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Christianfreak (100697) on Thursday June 20, 2002 @11:00AM (#3736087) Homepage Journal
    This looks pretty cool but one has to wonder if it will make it or if it will go the way of the minidisc [minidisc.com]. I guess the market will decide, but right now CD's are pretty entrenched (even with the MP3 players that are out now).

    • Er, what's "the way of the minidisc"? That's the leading removable-storage music format in Japan and Europe. It's only the Americans who've remained utterly clueless.
    • one has to wonder if it will make it or if it will go the way of the minidisc

      The MiniDisc is not so mini, and it requires lossy compression to store a full album.

      I've never seen a non-Sony MD player. Is the technology licensed to any other companies?

  • I can't find my keys, and they expect me to be able to manage these?

    Portable Storage is kind of like other portable devices, there is a size that is too small. The super small Motorola flip-phone? Too small for me, I'd lose or break it.

    What might make more sense a a group of these in a cd-player magazine type configuration. It's big enough to keep track of, and holds a crapload of info. Not small enough to fall in between your couch cushions never to be seen again. Just think of how much change you find behind, or beside the driver seat in your car. I can wash my car every couple weeks with what rolls out of my pockets.

    -Pete
  • "This little sucker is going to replace CDs. Looks like I'm going to have to buy the White Album again." (Men in Black)
  • It's good to see that they used a standard measurement for size (a US quarter) but how about the standard 'Libraries of Congress' instead of this 'two cds' crap. Who the hell knows how much a cd holds, anyways???

  • Itty Bitty Disc Drive? Let's just call it an EDBDCD-ROM [mustrock.com].
  • For some reason, I forsee a lot of these devices getting lost around laudromats and arcades.
    • For some reason, I forsee a lot of these devices getting lost around laudromats and arcades.

      I could imagine in the next cold war spys depositing their journal and a dime into a telephone, later on their contact drives up in the phone truck and does his routine. :-)
  • The article seems to suggest that the CD's will be writable, but it does not specifically state that they are. They talk about camara's and replacement for flash cards, but that only holds if these babies are Blu-CD-R's, not if they are just Blu-CD's
  • but this is getting so small it will become a liabilty and get lost...
  • I read something in Popular Science a couple days ago -- quick blurb about the blue-laser DVDs which will be holding 27G, enough for a couple hours of high-definition video..

    I can't WAIT for this technology to become available.. There's no way in hell I'd consider D-VHS [slashdot.org], it's only selling point until this was the fact that a DVD couldn't hold high-def video due to storage capacity..

    Hopefully we'll see a blue-laser DVD player with (PLEASE!!!) backwards compatibility and High-Def upconvert capabilities (even though most HD sets do this for you anyways)..

  • by evilviper (135110) on Thursday June 20, 2002 @11:36AM (#3736352) Journal
    Everyone is making their own propritary formats and promptly saying IT will be the floppy/CD-R of the future. I'll tell each and every one of you what the format of the future is: PCMCIA, PC Cards.

    That's right, if every PC came with a couple front-mounted PCMCIA slots, we would have the PERFECT solution. You could boot off of flash cards with capacities from 4MB-2GB... At about $0.50/MB. They're cheap enough to hand around, and, unlike floppies or CDs, no matter how big of a file you want to hold, you can get a card with the exact capacity.

    Of course, with a small adapter, you could stick in CompactFlash cards as well. And you aren't limited to just solid-state either.

    If you wished, you could stick a small hard drive (2.5") in an external case which plugs into a PCMCIA slot. Then you have a drive which the BIOS can't even tell isn't native (it sees it as a drive on a new controller), unlike USB, where you have many limitations in function and speed (PCMCIA slots are just like little hot-swapable external PCI slots). In addition, unlike the low-power USB/Firewire ports, bus power would be suffecient for ANY drive.

    Of course, those who want capacity, but don't want large size can spend a little more for PCMCIA or CompactFlash hard drives. No worries about battery-life, and a pocket drive that can be transfered to any system.

    And finally, those ports could also be used for NICs, CD Burners, crypto-cards, modems, etc.

    I do have one problem... There isn't any cross-platoform file system out there! FAT32 is the most compatible, but doesn't support filesystems larger than 32GB, requires defragmenting, and doesn't support serious file attributes. What would be great is something like a UFS/FFS filesystem drive for Windows! That would solve all my problems... But, even something like a port of XFS, or Reiser FS to MANY more platoforms would work (but geez, the number of platforms is staggering. Most already have UFS/FFS support.)

    So? Any suggestions?
    • What would be great is something like a UFS/FFS filesystem drive for Windows!

      And the Mac OS X users wouldn't complain about it either. OS X already supports UFS.

      NTFS is a tough nut to crack. At least HFS+ has specs available. I'm not sure because I've never looked at the code, but there may even be source code for an HFS+ file system in the Darwin project. There are at least two commercial HFS+ file system drivers for Windows, but that could leave Linux users in the cold. (Does Linux have HFS+ support yet?)

    • > That's right, if every PC came with a couple front-mounted PCMCIA slots, we would have the PERFECT solution. You could boot off of flash cards with capacities from 4MB-2GB... At about $0.50/MB. They're cheap enough to hand around, and, unlike floppies or CDs, no matter how big of a file you want to hold, you can get a card with the exact capacity.

      That's your innate flaw of using PCMCIA Flash. Real hard drives, even USB2/Firewire adapted, cost at most (and this is high) $4 / GB. Blank CDs cost, what, nothing per CD? I wait for deals and only pay tax (and get a rebate for the actual price) anymore.

      Zip offers a cheaper alternative for high storage. At around $.05-$.10 / MB for a disk ( = $5-$10, 100MB) for a (usually) bootable disk high realtively high read/write storage.

      The problem with your argument comes with the very high price. Now, for a 4MB flash card, $2 is just fine. But they'd never get away with $50 for the equivalent of a Zip disk in size, much less the $1000 it would cost for a 2GB card. I can get a 180GB SCSI hard drive for that cost.

      I'm not saying I wouldn't want to use PCMCIA for lots of things, but with it's current cost it really is not feasble.
      • CDs are okay for STATIC content... The problem is simply that there is no easy way to delete or change a file, even if you are only on systems with CD-RWs. With a hard drive and such, you can write and rewrite to your heart's content. You can even boot off of them... Those CD limitations are exactly why we still have floppy drives. I admit CDs will still have their place... But who said they had to go extinct? I pointed out that those same PCMCIA ports can be put to good use by plugging in other devices such as CD burners, et al. Any way you look at it, PCMCIA is a MUCH better solution than USB for CD writers, Hard Drives, NICs, solid state storage, etc.
  • I knew I had seen this story [slashdot.org] before... or at least something like it...
  • I can just hear it now...

    Sorry boss... I did those TPS reports you wanted, but unfortunately I used them to do my laundry last night.

  • Too small? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ceswiedler (165311) <chris@swiedler.org> on Thursday June 20, 2002 @11:58AM (#3736498)
    I've wondered in the past what the smallest form factor for technologies like this is, in terms of human usability. A CD isn't particularly big, and it's physically easy to insert into a player. It's considerably more difficult to insert a quarter ($.25) sized disc into a slot; how many quarters have you dropped over the years trying to feed vending machines, video games, etc? How many CDs have you dropped while trying to load them?

    The same thought goes for devices like PDAs, phones, and laptops. Logic says these should be as small as possible, and probably unified into one device. But human hands require large keyboards (if keyboard input is used) and human eyes require large screens (if visual output is used). A nice thought is screens which fold up like paper, and unfold to whatever size is required. Audio output and input (voice recognition) don't require much physical size, but there are many tasks which are not well suited for voice input. Or so I think, but then I'm used to a keyboard.
  • Moving parts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sacremon (244448) on Thursday June 20, 2002 @11:58AM (#3736500)
    Great. Just what I need in something portable like a camera is another moving part. The nice thing about flash memory is that is doesn't have any moving parts = fewer things that will wear out or have to made shock resistant.
    • Re:Moving parts (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Noofus (114264)
      Worse than shock resistance is the fact that moving parts require alot of power. Entierly solid state devices dont need much power due to the fact that the solid state devices are rather efficient. Motors and servos and anything else that moves are dreadfully inefficient.

      Moving parts = large bulky batteries etc, meaning added weight and less use per charge/per battery.
  • I remember when DVD Audio was first introduced and a lot of people in the HI-FI rags were wondering whether blue-laser technology would be feasible.

    The issue of taking any sized disc (12cm, 3cm, what have you) and using pits small enough and densely packed enough to achieve the capacity that Philips has doesn't seem practical to me.

    When you consider that a blue laser with a wavelength of ~425nm is reading information off of a 3cm disc, that makes the pits pretty damn small. When you're talking about capacity in the 1GB range on such a disc, the disc simply must be a multi-layer (probably 3-4) multi-substrate hybrid unlike any DVD or CD we know.

    With this new technology, people must realize that such a disc is incredibly susceptible to scratching and will require a caddy. When DVD was still being discussed back in the day, it was assumed that the discs would all be in caddies but that was deemed inappropriate by marketing folks.

    A 1cm scratch on a 12cm CD disc renders the disc with 83% of the surface intact and 581Mb of 700Mb intact. Compare that to a DVD with 5.7Gb of data... that's a loss of 969Mb!

    Now, a 1cm scratch on a 3cm disc is a 33% loss of data. Scratch this disc and you lose 348.16 Megs! That's not good! Hey Philips, ENFORCE CADDIES! -Hualon

  • by Apreche (239272)
    somethign the size of a quarter = 2CDs, why not make the media the size of a normal CD? Wouldn't that make it hold a whole lot more data?
    • They did, the folks making this storage tech are also pushing for a new blue laser standard for standard size CDs, allowing them to hold up to 27Gb worth of data...
  • I hope that they aren't putting in all sorts of Digital Rights Management crap, such as DataPlay has done [com.com]. Hint to anyone in charge of this stuff: people don't want to pay money so that will be RIAA happy. People want unencumbered technologies that treat them like adults, and give them the flexibility to do as they see fit.
  • ...as a giant CD rack! What a deal!

  • I believe that if twice the content of a CD-ROM can be stored on something the size of a coin, the technology should be extended to discs the size of CD-ROMS.

    What I'm really looking forward to is discs the size of CD-ROMS with storage capacities in the multi-exabyte range, which can be completely "burnt" in a few minutes... that would be really huge. I can imagine companies with tons and tons of data running automated systems that transfer nearly all of their rarely-changing data to these discs, and union-mounting them for the ability to modify data. Better yet, if the discs could be read and written like a hard drive, you'd really have a solution.

    Oh yeah... what drives me mad about burning CDs is that you can't do anything else with the computer at the same time, or it screws up the CD. I can't understand why CD-RW drives can't be built with 700 MB of RAM inside the drive. When you insert a CD, it would immediately begin copying the entire CD into the RAM for really fast access. If you try and access something that isn't in RAM yet, it'll read it directly off the disc, placing it in RAM at the same time. Once all the RAM is full, all accesses to the CD-ROM are nearly instantaneous. And when you want to record a CD, all the data will be transferred in a matter of perhaps a minute, and then you can do whatever you want with your computer while the recording process happens in the CD-RW hardware, with no computer intervention. Aren't our main processors doing enough already?

    Seriously, the main processor should do computations and things that are critical to the efficient operation of the computer. For all other purposes, including user interface and whatever, there should be other processors. Imagine how fast crap will run if your desktop, including X, your wm and everything else ran inside a separate processor. It wouldn't even need to be such a fast processor, and better yet, if the user interface crashes, it won't bring down the rest of the program. But I digress. Oooooooooooh well.

    • Sure you can, it's called buffer underrun protection (such as BurnProof), a feature included in many, if not all, current CD-R/W drives... Since I finally bought a drive with such a feature, I've been able to browse, download, listen to MP3s and chat online without the CD-R/W making a single coaster...
  • by sharkey (16670) on Thursday June 20, 2002 @03:17PM (#3738182)
    Will it come with an itty-bitty felt-tip pen so I can listen to the content of the discs?

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