[lug] Perl and large numbers on (K)ubuntu

Gary Hodges Gary.Hodges at noaa.gov
Fri Sep 23 11:24:32 MDT 2011

I have some Perl code I have used successfully in the past.  It makes 
use of the Date::Manip module.  I pass seconds to it for time 
calculations.  Yesterday I tried running it on my Kubuntu 10.04 machine, 
and it didn't work.  I noticed a small number, say one day or one year, 
of seconds worked, but not on the order of 100 years.  With iterative 
trials I found the largest number that works.  2147483647.  I did a 
google search on that number, and it turns out it has its own Wikipedia 
page <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2147483647>.  That number is of 
course the max value for a 32-bit signed integer.

I have tested this on another Ubuntu 10.04 install without success.  The 
code does work on a Debian lenny machine.  I've tried a few things such 
as "use Math::BigInt" and "use bignum", but neither made any difference. 
  None of the machines I have run this on are running 64-bit Linux. 
perl -V doesn't yield anything obvious.


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