Friday, September 14, 2007


If you are reading this, then you are using a computer, then you are accessing a computer database.

Most people do not "visualise" the route from the keyboard to a physical space on a real disk when they do a search - they just hope to see a symbol on the screen that represents what they are looking for, then expect to click through to what they really want.

But I'm an architect. Sadly, I have not designed bridges or skyscrapers since college days. But I have designed databases. And while the search cursor flashes, I still picture magnetic heads scouring across disk space.

Database principles are not complicated, but data can be stored in many different ways at varying levels of redundancy with various indexing strategies. There are eternal struggles between ease of input and ease of access. Yet ultimately it is just like guiding a little micro-man on a journey around the information store.

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