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VSarkiss (704)

VSarkiss
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I haven't really taken the time to set this up, but you can look at my home node [perlmonks.org] on Perl Monks.

Journal of VSarkiss (704)

Sunday August 29, 2004
02:37 PM

Waah! Need modules!

[ #20626 ]

Some of you may have heard me ranting in the Monastery's CB about this, but I still haven't got a solution that I like.

My current client engagement is at a bank, and they have an absolutely draconian firewall. (Several years ago, you couldn't get internet access until a senior VP approved it.) I'm using a Windows XP machine without a compiler, so I need pre-compiled CPAN modules for anything that's not pure-Perl.

Piece-o-cake, right? Just install PPM, and set up some repositories. That's what I thought too, until I realized I couldn't make PPM punch thru the firewall. I'm still not sure what the problem is.

Happily, ActiveState, as a last measure, have set up a repository of ZIP files corresponding to their PPM packages, and I've often fallen back on using those.

Except the bank's f*-ing firewall won't let me download anything whose name ends in .zip! In the past, I've gotten around it by renaming archives to end in .mdb or .piz. But I can't do that with AS's repository.

The only thing I could come up with was to download the repository contents (at least the stuff that I needed) to my own machine, then burn a CD that I could take to work. Of course, that has a limited lifetime, in that it goes out-of-date as oon aas anyone uploads to CPAN, but I'm only looking for acouple of DBI/DBD packages, which don't change very often.

So the question is: are there any other alternatives?

Remember, I:

  • don't have a compiler, so make install isn't an option.
  • can't seem to make ppm go past the firewall;
  • can't download any files whose name ends in .zip or (probably) .tgz

Is there any other way to get CPAN modules running on my boxx??

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  • burn a CD/DVD of the AS repos/CPAN at home or elsewhere or get a jaz drive or some other sort of removeable media and do the same between home a nd work. Banks don't change very quickly usually and, to be honest, after Nordea bank crashed after one of the more recent virus outbreaks, it's really not a bad idea to keep the internet away from the money networks.
    • That's all I could think of too.

      I'm not blaming the bank for wanting to keep people out -- as a matter of fact, I wish they would try harder -- it's just that they're doing a better job of keeping their workers in! I mean, extension-based file blocking is a bit stupid. The fact that I could get around it by just renaming files tells you how effective that is.


  • I missed the CB discussion so I don't know if you are already aware of this but, just in case, here are ActiveState's instructions on PPM, Proxies and Firewalls [activestate.com].
  • The "proper", and sometimes even most effective solution may be to go political.

    Find someone who needs your work to... well, be done. Tell them you need access in order to complete the assignment you were given.

    Make sure they understand it's that simple, and while it may be unusual, there is nothing strange about it. You're not an ordinary user in the system. You're a developer and have legit reasons for what you need to do.

    It helps if it's a high-pressure/high-profile gig (one of the few advantages of d
  • I thought I read something somewhere about Mr. Schwartz creating a mini-cpan that he took around on CD.