It's 2:30pm--do you know what your laptop is doing now?

Note: This is an old post in a blog with a lot of posts. The world has changed, technologies have changed, and I've changed. It's likely this is out of date and not representative. Let me know if you think this is something that needs updating.

I know what my laptop is doing. It's compiling Xfree86. I figured I'd do an emerge rsync and an emerge -uD world yesterday. I let it run through the night and when I awoke this morning, it was still chugging through XFree86.

I must admit, it's really awe-inspiring thinking about how much code is involved and how long it takes to compile it. It makes one think seriously about the:

code  ->  compile  -> examine issues -> fix code
             ^                            |
             |                            |

methodology. Fixing a bug that way on my laptop would take weeks. When I was in college, I would tutor CS 1 and CS 2. It was difficult to watch people do theme-and-variations programming with syntax "Maybe I should add a ; here?... Nope. How about an extra *?... Nope--that didn't work either. How about ( ) around this?... Nope..."

Then I would point out, "Um--this would never work. Remove that extra *."

And they would say, "Nope--that won't work because it segfaults." Then I would sit there and try to explain why the two things are completely different issues and all I'd get back would be vacant looks.

That seems like a tough place to be in.

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