Under Control


Because this column will appear in the Buyers Guide issue of Manufacturing Systems , I feel I'm under lots of pressure to produce something that can sit on your bookshelf all year, something you can whip out if whenever you have a tough question that needs answering. It occurs to me that one thing I can do is furnish definitions of some terms you probably won't find in the CIM glossary in the issue's handbook.

Regular readers of this column are aware that we sometimes threaten to sink to new depths in the cynicism and sarcasm department. But that's not the case here. We want to make a serious effort to aid the reader in his or her quest for knowledge. We could simply redefine some of the glossary terms in a vain and feeble attempt at a crude kind of humor. For example, algorithm could refer to vice president's musical talents. But even we cannot stoop that low.

While we're on the subject of politics. maybe we should pick out some political terms for inclusion in our "Zen" addendum to the CIM glossary. It's appropriate that we give this some thought now, because if the administration ever establishes a proactive industrial policy, the Washington pundits will want to connect our concerns with those of individuals living "inside the Beltway.". Porkware, for example, could be software that answers no market need, but that results from government largess. This phenomenon will of course be written about by professors of porkonomics. And, no doubt, political funding of the data superhighway will be tagged E-Pork.

Another thing we thought about providing is a guide to operating systems and chip technologies. We're convinced, for example, that RISC (Really Integrated Spaghetti Code) will continue to make gains in the market place. And Digital's object-oriented language (DROOL) is expected to be announced sometime in 1994. During that same time frame, OS/2 will be upgraded to OS/1.3. Eventually, the system will be simply OS/.

Did we forget to mention that GUIs (graphical user interfaces) will become even more friendly? Eventually, they will be known as UGUIs (undemanding graphical user interfaces), pronounced "u e gooey."

Because computer chip power will continue to proceed apace, Pentium will be discarded as the chip de jour. The name will be purchased by the Tennessee Stove Co. and bestowed upon local heating element. The superchip of the '90 will be called the Sexium. We can forecast some of the tentative specifications. The clock rate will be 10 GHz with a 128-bit word length. Dissipation in the power save mode will be less than 340 watts. Systems hardware will utilize the concept of virtual input. This self-generated data will assure the programmer of correct manipulation of input.

Dare we go on? If the reengineering of the American corporation continues much longer, one result is likely to be the emergence of the term "stealth" management. This is because focusing on the core competency of the organization will shrink most corporations to zero. Virtual management and virtual financing will be significant byproducts of this important business process.

Lest people escape unscathed from our glossary addendum, we have acronyms proper to the professions as well. Obviously, a JALAW is Just Another Lawyer and a YAMBA is yet another MBA. And who could fail to discern that when we say "SAPHD," we mean: "shucks, another Ph.D"

We hope this discussion has stirred your imagination. If you have any relevant terms or acronyms you'd like to share with us, send them along. But please. send only those that share the kind of serious intent and purpose you find reflected in this column.

As appeared in Manufacturing Systems Magazine December 1993 Page 14

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