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How real is rainbow storage

November 16, 2007

Sainul AbideenI am sure that some of you have heard about the discovery of a technique for portable data whereby data can be stored on ordinary paper about 2 years ago by an Indian student. If you haven’t, then you can catch up on it here. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a hoax. Storing 450 GB of data on a sheet of paper seems pretty crazy, when a DVD can only store up to 13 GB of data. So I did a little research on it to see how far this new technology claims to be true. It’s time for a little Myth Buster!

The development of this “Rainbow Technology” by an Indian student, Sainul Abideen(pic) was first reported by Arab News and then later the word spread out to other medias on the internet. People who’s interested express their own opinion on the topic which mostly was about whether this technology is true or a fraud.

But following huge interest in the story, Mr Abideen’s claims have come under determined scrutiny across the Internet, with a broad consensus that it is in fact impossible to store that amount of information with the apparatus he has outlined.

Let’s just say if this technology is true, why would anyone want to store that much of data on a piece of paper? Paper can be really fragile. Just a little smudge on it and that’s it, so much for that 450 GB of data. But on the other hand, paper is a small carrier that you can slip virtually into anywhere unnoticed. In another word, portable.

Anyway, the topic were discussed over the internet for quite some time now and it seems that Sainul Abideen’s claim on his development had been misinterpreted by reporters. According to Sainul Abideen, people have mixed up his statement in the newspaper article. You can read more on Sainul Abideen’s clarification here.

From the researcher’s explanation,

Rainbow Storage is not a method to store data on paper but it is a group of techniques to represent data in the form of colour, colour groups and some symbols.

So from the sources that I’ve discovered, storing data on paper is actually possible but not as much as 450 GB of data. But the point of Rainbow technology is not storing data on paper but a technique to store data.

When this technology is ubiquitous in the future, the word Gigabyte would be oblivion in terms of hard disk capacity. Scenario | Enthusiastic and pleased guy: Hey check out my new 100 tera hard disk I just bought. It came with a free 5 tera pendrive | Disappointed and miserable guy: Geez, if I could only find a good excuse to replace my 20 tera hard disk.

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