> Someone was telling me the same thing yesterday in #ruby-lang.  He was 
> shocked that it was working at all with ruby 1.8.6.   Nevertheless, it 
> seems to be working today!  All I had to do was set a seemingly 
> arbitrary read_timeout value.  With the timeout, serialport.gets just 
> returns whatever was in the input buffer.
>

Thanks so much for posting the response. You saved my day!
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