Re: Stupid Question
back in the early 90s this was more or less how you had to compile gcc on machines that did not come with a compiler
You downloaded a bit of binary code that would compiler some source code into a proto compiler
(or if you had access to a Convex, you could use the Convex C compiler to build the proto compiler)
the proto compiler would then compile a second set of source code into a simple compiler (Im tempted to write a basic compiler, but that would confuse matters).
the simple compiler would then use the gcc source code to compile gcc
[but this was not the end of the build cycle, there was more ...]
the gcc-you-had-just-build would then recompile the gcc source code to create a proper gcc compiler
Note that the downloading process could involve having to uudecode some uuencoded files to get the proto-compiler, and there may not be a uudecode program for your OS.. Fear not .. as long as your OS had a hex editor, you could usualy find a printed copy of the hex code to do basic uudecode on your system.
All you had to do is retype the printout exactly as it was in the printout.
Though I think most of the ftp sites (like the wsmr one) had binaries of uudecode for pretty much any conceivable platform) ...