Perfect, redefined

It's the early days of big-iron computing, when IT is called Data Processing and this programmer pilot fish has a program that has apparently compiled perfectly.

Well, not exactly. "I had exactly 256 errors in my program," fish says. "The mainframe compiler software used to have only one byte for counting compiler errors. My program took the whole mainframe down -- several times!

"After they figured out that it was my compilation that took the mainframe down, I got called in to a meeting with my manager and the data center manager.

"I was told I could only compile my program on weekends, and only under the supervision of the data center manager and his top mainframe programmer!

"Shortly after that, the mainframe was modified to use two bytes for counting compiler errors -- and my 'perfectly compiling' program was used to test the mainframe fixes."

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