Reply to post: Sounds perfectly normal

PC lab in remote leper colony had wrong cables, no licences, and not much hope

Nick Kew Silver badge

Sounds perfectly normal

Where would we be if we didn't have dysfunctional management doing half-baked things and leaving the underlings to deal with the mess? Would we ever have had Dilbert, for instance?

Many years ago I was developing custom systems for Big Science. The Client had procured a shiny SGI 'puter, whose keyboard and screen were sheer luxury. But no compiler of any kind! I couldn't even bootstrap gcc to get hacking, and this wasn't an era when one could just download a binary package of anything. And the sysop job was outsourced to the lowest bidder (a well-known UK bigco).

Me: Can we please install a C compiler so I can get hacking?

Sysop: The C compiler is installed as standard!

Me: OK, so where do I find it?

Sysop: Oh, the usual place.

Me: Like the /usr/bin/cc that displays a release note advising me to install the compiler?

Resolving it took months, before finally getting the Client to sit down with both of us, see the problem for herself, and order that the compiler be installed! Meanwhile I had learned more esoteric shell scripting (now mercifully long-forgotten) than you'd wish on your worst enemy.

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