> def backtick(cmd,*args)
> =A0IO.popen('-') {|f| f ? f.read : exec(cmd,*args)}
> end
>
> backtick 'du', '-sh', filename

Thanks! That's a very nice solution, and more concise than I would
have thought possible. I'll use this until ruby-1.9 or 2.0 becomes
standard.

-Dan