Re: Words that should never be uttered or documented...

Subject: Re: Words that should never be uttered or documented...
From: "Paul Strasser" <paul -dot- strasser -at- windsor-tech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 11:08:19 -0600

> "Silos" has been used to refer to information that is stored in separate
> places that are hard to get to and require each piece of information to be
> separately gathered. It is based on grain silos. Think if you had wheat in
> three separate silos - getting some from all three places would require
> three different processes. Contrast this to a system where information is
> accessible regardless of its location - one access can get all three
> of data.

That's what is odd about the use of the verb (ahem) "silo." One of the
points of a silo, especially those large co-op silos seen near railroad
tracks and along roads, is that the stuff inside them is interchangeable,
regardless of its source. Farmer A puts 100 bushels of a particular type of
wheat in the silo. Farmer B also puts 100 bushels of the same type of wheat
in it. The same goes for a lot of other farmers. When Farmer A sells 50
bushels, he pours out (or the operator of the silo pours out) 50 bushels. A
particular grain of wheat may or may not have been grown by Farmer A. But
it doesn't matter. In this case, the buyer has 50 bushels, Farmer A now
owns 50 of the remaining bushels of wheat in the silo. Everyone is happy,
even though there was co-mingling of the actual source of the wheat.

Granted, this is for co-op silos, not silos owned and used by a single
farmer. But it's interesting how a simple word like "silo" can be
misinterpreted. When I first heard the term "silo" related to information
storage it didn't make a lot of sense, because I was imagining a system
(like Farmers A, B, etc.) who put their information into a single location
and could get their info out, even if it was co-mingled with other
information from other sources, and everyone was happy and the information
was correct and useful to the user ("buyer"). My goodness, I thought, what
a clever methodology for information storage.

Wrongo. That's not at all what "silo" means.

Do a google on silo-storage-multiple. Fascinating stuff, but I do wonder if
"silo-ing" is really the correct word.

Paul Strasser
Windsor Technologies, Inc.
2569 Park Lane, Suite 200
Lafayette, Colorado 80026
Phone: 303-926-1982
FAX: 303-926-1510
E-mail: paul -dot- strasser -at- windsor-tech -dot- com

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RE: Words that should never be uttered or documented...: From: jgarison

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