Tallest Building

On December 31, 2004 Taipei 101 opened as the tallest building in the world, just barely edging out Chicago’s Sears Tower, now called the Willis Tower.

Since then it has been soundly beaten by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The Sears Tower and Taipei 101 were both less than 500 meters in height, while Burj Khalifa is over 800 meters in height, with 163 floors. The former World Trade Center had 110 floors.

Atlanta ERP Companies

ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning is a term that evolved from MRP or Manufacturing Resource Planning or even Materials Requirements Planning going back to the 1960’s and 1970’s, IBM Mainframes and the Mapics software package. Early MRP was used by manufacturers with bill of material explosion requirements when the very process of recording a product structure on the computer was done with antecedents of the Hollerith card and a heavy reliance on batch processing.

Early versions of Mapics utilized low level codes to allow bill of material traversals of an entire companies product line. The Materials requirements planning process generally included a Master Production Schedule whereby customer orders were combined with a sales forecast or presidential edict and pushed down the product structure or bill of material while multiplying by the number of component peices per parent to achieve an new demand called the dependent demand, now stored at the next level down.

Before the advent of Winchester disk drives, this dependent demand was punched to a new Hollerith card for the next round of batch processing. Wow, what a trip!

These days we will look back upon some day the schism between ERP software and the CRM or Customer Relationship Management aspects. Really advanced CRM functions may integrate with phone systems and trouble ticket systems as well as billing,service configuration and automated on-line customer service functions. As the older customers in a customer service client base still rely on phone calls to customer representatives, the younger patrons are more likely to interact with company product and service schedules and capabilities through a web portal.

ERP on the other hand is primarily an in-house set of functions and procedures, best described perhaps as accounting software on steroids. While an accounting system must keep track of all transactions affecting the bank account, and usually accounts receivable, ERP widens the grasp to areas such as purchase orders, independent demand orders or sales orders, product structure, shop schedules, scheduling of presses and work centers, warehouse inventory management, and sometimes even payroll.

More information on Atlanta ERP where we have a survey of open source linux based accounting and ERP systems,
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Tulip trading

The 1630s in Amsterdam was the time of the great Tulip Bulb Bubble. “Tulpenwoede” or tulip madness approached its apex in 1637 when bulb contracts, particualarly for Semper Augustus, exceeded 5,000 gilders. Perhaps fueled by speculators and gamblers, most professional tulip practitioners avoided the wild market. While 5,000 gilders could buy a house, just a few years earlier when prices were more reasonable, the same contract was 1,000 gilders. As is the case with moden commodity contracts, depending on weather and yield, the future value was not, as history seems to be written, many orders out of the ordinary.

But the final months of the bubble were driven increasingly by amateur speculators, out for quick profit, not the central tulip business players. What failed was contract law, in which the trader was not really required to buy and take delivery, but could exit the contract with a small fine. The actual spot delivery prices of tulips never strayed from reasonable levels. So in effect, Tulip Mania was not caused by wild trading schemes, speculation or a quest for profits. It was caused by lawyers, politicians and the courts, who rarely find the insight to design a level playing field. The lesson of Tulip Mania should be a healthy distrust of ability of our lawyer-politician class to enact good legislation, when their goal is to buy votes and extract campaign contributions.

Stock options trading

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