in reply to Generate unique ids of maximum length
I think you're trying to use the same field for two things: a unique ID, and a human-readable name. You can do that, but there are going to be trade-offs, and one of them is that your unique ID field, in order to remain human-readable, will be longer than would otherwise be necessary. You can use abbreviations up to a point, but eventually you're going to run into "I don't remember what L stands for, was that Lexmark or Luminox or Lenoc or Linksys or what?"
Personally, I would use two fields: a unique ID field (which could just be an auto_increment field if you're storing these in a RDBMS) and a separate human-readable name field that doesn't have to be so short. (You can put a must-be-unique constraint on the name field or not, depending on your preference.)
Just a thought.