An Old Nerd Anecdote

This happened in the team where I worked in the end of 2012, and back then I shared it somewhere else in Swedish. I was just reminded of it and dug it up. Here it is, translated, and I've changed the names to protect the guilty.

John: I just got the exit code 65280. What kind of exit code is that? Really odd.

Me: What kind of program is it?

John: A perl script.

Me: Oh. Then it's probably an exec sub shell that failed. You have to shift eight bits right to get the actual exit code.

Andy: Then it's 255. 65280 in hex is ff00, which means eight bits right is ff. Maybe -1 then, if it's a signed char.

Me: Ah. Your sub shell failed, in other words. Great error code.

It's one of those moments when the term "nerd" is an understatement.

-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal