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Limbic Region (3985)

Limbic Region
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I love to code perl. If you want to hire me, see details on my homepage.
Wednesday September 15, 2004
07:25 AM

A first exposure to Perl

[ #20886 ]

Ok - so I didn't do much with my free time while my wife was away visiting her new in-laws and I haven't done much since she was back.

I don't really consider myself in a slump - just not being terribly productive.

Yesterday, a seasoned professional (probably with 30+ years in IT) comes to my desk because he has heard that I know a fair bit about Access and he can't get it to import a 150MB text file as it is giving him some weird un-diagnosable error. I repeat the same steps he has and sure enough - the error message is nothing but gibberish.

I offer to verify that every record has the proper number of fields and also to truncate a particular field he suspects, but has no proof is the culprit. I indicate that I have *nix tools on my machine and he is interested in knowing how since they are "locked" down and chuckles saying he could do it if he had sed.

I reply with - why do it in sed when you have Perl.

You should have seen the look in his eyes when I began writing the program. You see - this was a get it done as quickly as possible so you can take your wife to the Social Security Administration Office type problem. I used every shortcut and then some. He looked at the resulting gibberish - mentioned a few programming lanugages I had never heard of and said - "that" is going to fix my problem?

It did ;-)

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