More exciting for storage capacity and permanance is the Pancake Disc
developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory. Norsam Technologies, which
sells this product, claims that Pancake Disks will last thousands of years
without any special storage requirements. Norsam is issuing two products on the
Pancake this, one for digital storage and one for analog storage.
The analog product, called HD-Rosetta, is an intriguing variation on microfiche technology. You access the stored records as a series of images through a high-powered microscope. HD-Rosetta can record about 90,000 8 * x 11 analog images on a two-inch Pancake Disc.
The other product, called the HD-ROM, is being developed with IBM, and can presently store 650 gigabytes, which is 1,000 times the capacity of today's CD-ROMs. Eventually these disks may hold up to 12 times that amount. Norsam's technology uses charged particle beams, rather than laser beams, to write data onto disks. Or to put it another way, it uses a smaller pencil.
Because storage technologies like these are advancing at a breath-taking rate, the UPF will not recommend one storage vehicle. Our concern is with how the information is stored, regardless of medium and the computer operating system you are using.