(My understanding of the technical side of things may be wrong, if so please correct me. But the principles should still remain)
We all know magnetic hard drives are made up of lots of little switches that can be on or off. I think on is north and off is south or something like that. Given this, an 80GB hard drive would have 687,194,767,360 of these switches. Each switch is a bit.
I believe the reason we are limited to just using north and south is because it is the simplest way to measure mechanically.
But I was thinking. What if I invented the Trinary Hard Drive? Instead of using bits (binary), it would store data as tits. Each switch would either be magnetised north, south, or not magnetised at all. Rather than being limited to two states (0 and 1) it would have 3 (0, 1 and 2). The little pin thingy that reads each switch would have to be a little more accurate, but the tradeoffs in size would be worth it.
Lets say you have 8 bits, each with 2 values. Thats 2^8 possible values, or anywhere between 0 and 255. But using tits, the possible values would be up to 3^8, or anywhere between 0 and 6,560. Thats a huge space increase using the same number of physical switches, simply because each has 3 states rather than 2.
Now back to the original. I said before that a conventional 80GB hard drive would have 687,194,767,360 (80x1024x1024x1024x2) switches or bits. But using tits, this storage space would become
3^687,194,767,360, or <some number the windows calculator won't go up to> possible values. A huge storage space increase!
I believe the same system would work for RAM. A positive electrical charge, a negative, and no charge.
Granted for simple true or false operations this system might be a little slower. But for large operations, say reading a big file, it would be much faster because the mechanical head wouldn't have to read as many switches.
What do you think?