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Bang Head (X) Here

It's a strange old game, you learn it slow
It's one step forward and then back you go...

The compiler build failed again, and again, and again, each time for increasingly  obscure reasons, and this last one left an error message that is not documented anywhere Google can reach on the Internet.  

This weekend I'm quartermaster for the Council's High Adventure Training Core course, which means keeping about thirty students  and a half-dozen staff fed while they learn how to take a group of Scouts out to the places  where there aren't sidewalks.  It's my fourth time, but I enjoy auditing the classes while I'm slinging chili.  Kate is, of course, my resource when it comes to real cooking; I can make the coffee and set out the muffins (mmm.  muffins)  but she's the real cook behind it all.  To her, it's trivial; no campfire, real knives and stoves, no 16th-century authenticity requirements.

Brother Jim is on his way back to Connecticut, so I can get back to having a normal (ha) schedule and not try to come up with something to do next.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 14th, 2007 04:12 am (UTC)
That sounds like some of my renders.

One of my renders takes about 4 hours to complete, so I leave and come back when it's finished.
Often I find that what I'd changed either didn't take, or didn't do what I'd wanted, so it's off for another round of "find out what might be wrong and figure out what to do to fix it again"...

Does it continue to build after it finds an error or does it just stop when it fails?
Sep. 14th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
Each step in a 'make' depends on the output of the previous step, so if there's a glitch, the whole thing dies. IF you can find the problem with that stage, you can continue from that point; usually the solution requires the build to start from the initial configuration parameters and go for another ten hours before you find if that really was the fix to the glitch.
Sep. 14th, 2007 05:51 pm (UTC)
Your compiler build must be reaching for excuses to fail, eventually making one up. Kinda like an exchange from early "Dilbert":

"Sorry, I don't date guys from work."
"I'll quit."
"Sorry, I don't date unemployed guys."
"I'll get a new job, one that you approve."
"Sorry, I don't date guys with your social security number."

(Later, Dogbert hypothesized that she has a nine-digit unlucky number, while Dilbert was still psyched that she apparently knew his SSN already.)
Sep. 14th, 2007 11:21 pm (UTC)
Although I don't have any programming involved in my job (I wish) I know the frustraiton of seeking the source of an error. That happens all frequently in my job.

Recently a woman from one of our large client companies got hold of my contact details and telephoned to complain that a payment had been made from a bank account that was supposed to be inactive. I explained to her that this isn't in my jurisdiction; she need to get in touch with the payments or replacement payments team. What followed was an hour of me making phone calls to find someone willing to investigate, because they were all saying "It's not my problem" or words to that effect. Eventualy I caught someone willing to start the detective work.

Then late yesterday afternoon the same woman E-mailed me again saying that the matter still hadn't been resolved. I repeated my explanation that I have no access to payments information, and no control over whomever is working on them. I then telephoned the person I'd spoken with before, only to find that he is now on annual leave until Thursday next week. What a mess.

Then with two minutes before close of business, someone in the Employee Share Plans department phone to say that for one of our other client companies there was an imbalance of shares between what we tallied and what is announced on the Australian Stock Exchange. ANYTHING could cause this; buybacks, off-market transfers, share class conversions, etc. I investigated until 20 minutes past my normal leaving time and only accounted for two thirds of the discrepancy. A senior staff member told me "Stephan, don't worry about it now. Call it a day and chase it up on Monday." Now I have the whole weekend to fret. I wish I'd left two minutes early and lived in blissful ignorance.
Sep. 15th, 2007 06:32 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure which is worse... An error message which can't be found, or one which thousands or millions of hits, none of which seem to apply to your situation.

(The second scenario brought to you by almot every product produced by Microsoft in the past ten years, especially if it has to interact with any other product, whether made by Microsoft or not.)
Sep. 16th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
The Murphy Law that covers this situation is "Never test for an error condition that you don't know how to handle."
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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