Leo Tötsch, the release manager for Parrot, recommended in an e-mail that I upgrade Navi's copy of gcc (the C compiler--a program that turns source code into something the computer can run) to make Parrot compile faster. Well, I did so today.
After fiddling with dselect for a bit, I got a package list with testing on it, and installed the gcc-3.3 package. This upgraded a load of stuff on Navi, including glibc (the C library--most programs depend on this code). An upgrade like that...well, it's not quite equivalent to a service pack on Windows, but it's not that far from it, either.
glibc's installer restarted a few daemons and told me that it might be wise to reboot; I didn't see any ill effects of the upgrade, but issued the proper shutdown -r now command anyway. I then wandered into the other room to watch Navi reboot. (I'm endlessly amused by the fact that she seems to spontaneously reboot--there's no on-screen warning before rebooting when I run shutdown -r now via ssh.)
Navi rebooted without a problem, and was back online before my mail client even noticed. I logged back in and built Parrot with the new compiler, and sure enough, the two huge files that used to keep Navi working for minutes now take less than thirty seconds. Yay.
A few games with rm and ln, and the shiny new gcc was completely installed.
I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it doesn't seem that it will. Unix systems are inherently stable, and Navi is no exception. Weird how rock-solid it is, compared to Windows...
Now for bed, I think. G'night, minna.