For some reason, a bug apparently has slept dormant in MacPerl for the last many months, whereby sysread() is returning undef instead of 0, intermittently, when it is finished reading. This came up while I was using LWP::Simple::get(). However, if I switch to get_old(), or define $FULL_LWP so that the trivial_http_get() is not used, then it is fine. Harumph. Murr will save me.