Craig S. Mullins 

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August 1998

 
Computing News&Review
 
A.N.A.R.C.H.Y.
By Craig S. Mullins
 
(Another Nasty Acronym Resolves to Confound and Hound You)
 
Do you ever get that feeling that the walls are crushing in around you? In our business (Information Technology) this feeling is probably more common than in most. It seems that every time we finally catch up with the latest industry acronyms and buzzwords, another unruly batch rear their ugly heads.
 
I was contemplating this late one night as I watched Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece "The Birds" on late night cable. But, I wasn't really paying attention. My mind was on OOPS and GUI and RAID and. . . then all of a sudden there I was at work.
 
My terminal sat in front of me looking like nothing I had ever seen. It was clearly labeled SPARROW 2000. I was lost. But I quickly clicked the "Help" icon and a window appeared which trumpeted that my SPARROW 2000 was "...the latest in Sequential Partitioned Asynchronous Reduced Rate Workstation technology. The GOOSE (Graphical Object Oriented Software Engineering) paradigm was used to facilitate easy access to all components of the system conveniently and constantly available through SPARROW."
 
My head was spinning, but I was enthralled. Here was a brand new system where every new acronym was defined. My heart leaped in my chest. "I must be dreaming," I thought. My fingers trembled as I maneuvered the mouse over the screen to request more information.
 
"All DUCK (Diagramming Universe for Conceptual Knowledge) concepts are easily composed using the CHICKEN (Completely Heterogeneous Integrated Conduit for Knowledge Engineering Naturally) framework to create BIRD (Basic Integrated Resource Diagram) diagrams. The keyboard can be used as easy as a mouse with HAWK (Hierarchical Advanced Windowing Keyboard) and all files are no more than a click away with DOVE (Deductive Operational Volume Entry)."
 
Wow! What a workstation environment. It did all the work for me. But, could I get to the network using my SPARROW? Hmmm, let's see. A quick tap on the HAWK and I was bringing up network information...
 
"With RAVEN (Reduced Architecture Virtual Event Network), nevermore will access to your company's network be a problem. Using only this and nothing more, network downtime will be a thing of the past. RAVEN uses the latest in STARLING (Structured Topology And Resource Layout for Increasing Node Growth) technology to rocket networking to a new degree of performance!"
 
Oh, that project that was taking forever would be a snap now. I transferred out of help and created a BIRD using a template I retrieved using DOVE over the RAVEN. My heart fluttered as I tapped on the HAWK and the GOOSE displayed my BIRD on the SPARROW. But, suddenly, I was stuck. How could I turn this into code? I had to cry for help once more!
 
"Upon completing your BIRD, the GOOSE will create an application using any language available in FOWL (Fairly Organized World of Languages). Simply choose the "fly" option from GOOSE and you will enter the world of FOWL."
 
I flew into FOWL and chose a language from the many displayed. It was a difficult decision but I finally decided to use CROW (Common Repository Of Words) with the ORIOLE (Objective Reactive Integrated Orienting Language Extension) add-on. Voila! My application was complete. I clicked on the Save icon, and I couldn't believe my eyes. It was a VULTURE (Vulgar Ugly Limiting Terse User-Responsible Error)!
 
But it could not be my fault. I accessed DODO (Deductive Online Debugger of Objects) and the problem appeared in a microsecond — there was a limited amount of WORM (Write Once Read Many) space available and there was no room to store my BIRD. I hadn't acted quickly enough. You see, the early BIRD gets the WORM!
 
All of a sudden I felt confused and disoriented. There was a ringing in my ears and I jumped up to find that I was still at home in bed. The TV set was on in the background but the movie was over long ago. I guess that high-pitched television sign-off had interrupted my wonderful dream. Waking up was a mixed blessing. My project wouldn't be done when I went to work the next day, but at least I didn't have to learn all of those new acronyms. I mean, let's face it, all of these acronyms are for the birds!
 
From Computing News and Review, August 1998.

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