In the search for lasting storage systems for data, we have yet to improve on the book. It may not be high-tech, but books are easily legible centuries after they're created without any kind of specialized reader, unlike eight-track tapes and CDs. Finally, though, the Japanese technology company Hitachi has created a storage device that one-ups the book: a tiny piece of quartz glass a little smaller than one square inch. It’s nigh-indestructible, and will probably be readable forever.
Here's how it works:
Hitachi's new technology stores data in binary form by creating dots inside a thin sheet of quartz glass ...
The material currently has four layers of dots, which can hold 40 megabytes per square inch, approximately the density on a music CD, researchers said, adding they believe adding more layers should not be a problem.
As long as you have a regular ol' microscope and a computer that can deal with binary, it should be fairly easy to get data off this little piece of glass.