Memory-Lane Monday: Harder_than_it_looks, apparently

I’m an engineer, not a typist!

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

It’s a long time ago, and this pilot fish is writing real-time code for an aerospace company. “On one project, I developed some software to test a radar interface at a remote location,” says fish. “The test software was installed on a computer and the box was shipped to the remote site.”

Next day, fish gets a call from an engineer at the test site: The test software is crashing as soon as it starts.

Still on the phone, fish opens a listing of the latest version of the source code, and his heart sinks. Right in front of him is a typo that’s guaranteed to cause a fatal error on startup.

Fortunately, fish installed the source code and a compiler on the test computer. He can’t directly edit the code, but all he has to do is walk the engineer though the process over the phone — and all the engineer will have to do is type a few commands that will edit the file and build the software.

OK, fish tells engineer, at the command prompt type edit, space, the letter P, underscore, program name.

“What's an underscore?” asks engineer.

You know, an underscore, says fish. Hit shift and the minus key.

“I don't see any minus key!”

The minus key. It’s on the keyboard right above the letter P.


Sighs fish, “The next morning I was on an express trip to the remote site.”

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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