My Tagline

Last Updated 27 March 2001.

A number of people have enquired about my tagline, so I thought I better explain it.

"I file things in historical order, with a hashing algorithm of gravity"

This is a phrase that a mate of mine, Andrew Madden, came up with many years ago. When you add information to a computer database, you need to have some way of giving each entry a unique address so that (a) you can store the data in an empty "slot" and (b) retrieve it again, quickly. A "hashing algorithm" is just a mathematical formula that creates the unique address. It can be really simple (probably causing storage to be slow, as it keeps generating addresses until it finds an empty one!) or really complex (probably causing retrieval to be slow, as the computer calculates the address to look up - but modern machines are pretty fast!). In most modern databases, all of this is done by the database management system (DBMS) itself, and is out of sight to the likes of you and me. ;-)

Anyway, the phrase indicates that I use a very simple method of arranging my paperwork: I just keep _dropping_ ("hashing algorithm of gravity") my most recent stuff onto a big pile of papers (sorted in "historical order")!! ;-) ;-)

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