2021-02-15

One Afternoon...

Let's say that one long and drowsy afternoon you have been trying to compile a large program using gcc for hours. The compilation fails over and over. You have searched on the internet for people who have received similarly cryptic error messages. You have waded through message boards. Strange linking errors continue to abound, you think you have compiled successfully and then you get even stranger run time errors. You wonder for the ninth time whether you have been using different versions of a C compiler, or passed the wrong compiler flags, or have forgotten to declare an environment variable.

You type ls /usr/local/bin to see what you are compiling with and you inspect the contents of that directory:

    ...
    gcc4
    gcc4.1
    gcc4.1.1
    ...
    _gcc4.2.3
    ...
    gcc4.3.2

you stare at that for a moment, a thought forms on the edge of your mind, "I have but one life.", and then something that had been crystallizing for years inside you takes its final shape, you strike the desk with the palm of our hand and cry "No more, I will abroad!".

You ring the travel agent and before you are halfway down the street you have booked the flight to nix.