LittleGreyCat has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Dear Monks,

I am a Perl 'basic user' i.e. do a lot with very little.
I am now advancing a little and trying to use CPAN modules.
I am working under Windows (mainly Win2K but also W2K3) with ActiveState 5.8.8.
I want to add CPAN modules such as Net::Telnet, and perl-ldap.

My main problem is that I am working on corporate systems that are behind an 'air gap' so I do not have direct Internet access.

I started by downloading the modules in '.tar.gz' format, transferring them, unpacking them, and using the recommended combination of 'MakeMaker' and 'nmake'.
This worked O.K. on Net::Telnet but choked badly on perl-ldap.
After puzzling and Googling for a while, I wondered if nobody did this anymore.

On my home system I tried the recommended 'perl -MCPAN -e "install Bundle::Net::LDAP"' and similar.
This seemed to get further, but still choked on various things, often in an obscure manner.
Further confusion because CPAN told me it wasn't up to date and suggested that I installed the newer version.
I tried that, which had failures in the install using the previous CPAN.
I then tried 'ppm' and everything went smoothly first time (although 'ppm' didn't seem aware of stuff such as Net::Telnet that I had installed previously using 'perl -MCPAN -e "install Net::Telnet").

So I can work smoothly with 'ppm' at home - but not on my 'air-gapped' systems.

I have searched and found various references which suggest that all may not be simple on Windows with CPAN.

Am I chasing a known fault, or am I just cursed?
What is the best way to install CPAN modules on systems which are not connected to the Internet?

Many thanks
Dave R