Nick Snels wrote:
> Indeed, it isn't in UTF-8. It's in ISO-8859-1 (Latin1). The problem here 
> is that I would like to work in UTF-8, but I have to read in files. And 
> these files are often (almost always) in ISO-8859-1. And I haven't found 
> a way of converting these strings to Unicode in Ruby. é and è etc. form 
> part of ISO-8859-1.

I have to deal with similar problems when processing the infamous german
umlaute äöü. My solution has been to convert a string from latin1 or
latin15 to utf8 via this
	utf8_string=latin1_string.unpack("C*").pack("U*")

and the other way round with
	latin1_string=utf8_string.unpack("U*").pack("C*")

Did work so far and does not include changes in the environment.
HTH,
Lars