Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Welcome Back, Maxell

Before DVDs, CDs, USB drives, and iPods, there was the floppy disk. You know what I'm talking about, right? Right?! (Yeesh, am I that old?)

Floppies were magnetic film disks encased in plastic squares and didn't have a whole lot of memory. The old ones typically held 128 kilobytes of data, or the equivalent of a handful of today's email messages. Starting to remember? Great. I'm on the floppy kick today because Maxell is in the news. This division of Japanese tech giant Hitachi (NYSE: HIT  ) was once one of the dominant providers of the little plastic doohickeys.

Today it is working with InPhase Technologies, a spin-off from Lucent (NYSE: LU  ) , to create a new removable drive capable of storing more than 300 gigabytes of data. And, startlingly, the drive even looks like a floppy, but it's juiced up on a whole barn full of steroids. The technology behind it is called holographic media, which uses the entire density of a disk to store information, unlike a DVD, which uses only the surface.

Here's how it works: Lasers are touched to light-sensitive crystals to write data onto the drive, which, according to Maxell, is capable of storing up to 150 million pages, or more than 63 times the capacity of a traditional DVD.

Will Maxell's latest innovation mean much in a world awaiting Blu-ray and HD-DVD? I think so. Surely there's going to be a need for larger hard drives for the increasing number of iPod-addicted netizens who can't seem to get enough video or music. And ask any among the TiVo set (Nasdaq: TIVO  ) if they think 100 hours of storage is enough. You know it isn't. And guess who is a huge maker of drives for all sorts of consumer devices? Yeah, that's right: Hitachi.

So, Maxell, welcome back. You've finally got a rare second chance to regain the Rule Breaking stuff that made you a household name in the '70s and '80s. I only hope you don't blow it this time. A third chance probably isn't in the offing.

Our tech coverage is no illusion. Find related Foolishness right here:

High-tech. Biotech. Nanontech. Any tech. David Gardner and his merry band of Fools cover it all for subscribers toMotley Fool Rule Breakers, and they're walloping the market by more than 15% as of this writing. Get in on the action by taking a risk-free 30-day trial today. All you have to lose is the prospect of better returns.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers still thinks the holodeck was the best gizmo from the Star Trek universe. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out what is in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 498375, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/25/2016 10:27:54 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,238.33 15.30 0.08%
S&P 500 2,149.88 -1.45 -0.07%
NASD 5,305.60 -4.23 -0.08%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/25/2016 10:12 AM
AAPL $117.61 Down -0.04 -0.03%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
HTHIY $50.30 Down -0.28 -0.54%
Hitachi, Ltd. (ADR… CAPS Rating: *****
TIVO $20.03 Down -0.18 -0.87%
TiVo CAPS Rating: **