Thursday, September 02, 2010

of NachOS and surReal Views

I was staring at the symbols.  The debugger was throwing a hell a lot of tantrums.  The memory locations and debug symbols were actually making life difficult for me.  I craned my neck as closely as possible to the monitor with my nose maintaining a thin 1mm distance from the screen.  It is not too hard to imagine when you consider the fact that my nose to face ratio is as high as the noise to signal ratio when making a call on the AT&T network.  It was like the day before the last exam in school.  You just wished the holidays started a day earlier.  What kind of an instruction is that? I wondered, knowing fully well that another few hours of persistence and few more hard and cold stares at the figures jiggling in front of my eyes, I would have my moment of peace.

In the midst of this insolvable problem, my mind wandered to other issues.  I could as well take something simpler and get back to this later.  I narrowed down to one from a multitude of choices.  After some battling, I realized that this too had become insolvable.  There had to be a way out.  Anyway, after a few more valiant attempts, and after running out of choices, I decided that the only way to bail myself out of the current crisis was to actually solve the problems.  At the end of the day, I found a resolution to  one of the issues.  I, secretly, no, actually loudly wished that the debugger was actually a debugger.

I got a call from my wife.  She was losing track of the pointers.  I did not feel like advising her.  I wanted to say that playing with pointers would invariably put a person in such a state, and at the same time, I realized that everyone in the world had their share of trauma.  Lest I convey these things to her, better sense prevailed.  I passed her my share of limited expertise in the matter and left it to her to find her way out of whatever mess she had got herself into.  The first time she had told me about Nachos, I could not connect the dots.  All I knew about Nachos was the packet of chips available, and not even remotely did I guess that it was some kind of an OS.    

I got home in the evening, and she was hurled up in a sea of hopeless despair.  The make process was throwing its share of compilation errors, and even by hook or crook, if something got fixed, the build was seg(mentation) faulting as though it was nobody's business.  To top it all, the debugger at home was a command line interface in the form of GDB.  Anyway, thankfully, she found a way to immerse herself deeply in the pile load of trash.  She read the expression on my face.  "Yes, I have to submit this by tomorrow.  I have no choice."

That's when my friend called up.  "Maga, wishing both of you a very happy wedding anniversary...".