You are so right! SEEKing vs. line-by-line processing is wicked fast. For example test.pl script is a quick test script to determine timing to read the last 1024 bytes from the end of a 4GB file located on a remote server.
my $filename = shift;
my ( $curpos, $charsread, $buffer );
open(LOGFILE, "<", $filename) or die "can't open file: $!";
# Read last 1024 bytes of data. Test this via
# read to -1024 bytes from EOF.
seek(LOGFILE, -1024, 2);
$curpos = tell(LOGFILE);
$charsread = read( LOGFILE, $buffer, 1024 );
print "Chars Read: $charsread\n";
print "Buffer: >$buffer<\n";
I ran as shown in next paragraph replacing my actual server name with "foo". I suspect most of you work with Perl on Unix but I'm loving Perl on Win32 and when I can use UNC file pathing as shown below it just tickles me that Perl is Win32 frienly in this way. Anyway, I digress. The result of below script run is the last 1024 bytes of the file is sub-second time. This is sooooooooooo fast! Thank you!