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"To get anywhere, or even live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer."
- Robert Heinlein

Tri-Type Record  
  A printed card that stores information about a person, including a perfect three-dimensional representation.  

Aile Farr, traveler to Iszm, is under some suspicion due to his profession; he is a botanist. The Iszic provide house trees to the rest of the galaxy and guard their expertise jealously.

"If the Sainh pleases - his tri-type for our records."

Farr patiently stood on the disk of gray metal.

"Palms forward, eyes wide."

Farr stood quietly. Feeler-planes brushed down his body.

"Thank you, Sainh." Farr stepped up to the counter. "That's a different type than the one at Jhespiano. Let's see it."

The clerk showed him a transparent card with a man-like brownish splotch on its middle. "Not much of a likeness," said Farr.

The Szecr dropped the card into a slot. On the counter-top appeared a three-dimensional replica of Farr. It could be expanded a hundred times, revealing finger-prints, cheek-pores, ear and retinal configuration.

From The Houses of Iszm, by Jack Vance.
Published by Better Publications in 1954
Additional resources -

A hologram - the picture itself - doesn't look like much, either.

Compare to the personal metallic record disk from The Ancient Brain (1929) by A.G. Stangland.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Houses of Iszm
  More Ideas and Technology by Jack Vance
  Tech news articles related to The Houses of Iszm
  Tech news articles related to works by Jack Vance

Tri-Type Record-related news articles:
  - AMOLED E-Passport W/Rotating Mugshot
  - World's First 3D Printing 'Photo Booth'

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