Perl Module Problems

One of the clients I still do some programming work for has their server at a relatively reputable hosting company (name removed to protect the big company) called lets say, Bob’s Hosting. Anyway, about two weeks ago their main hosting server had some sort of a big crash, and they nuked a lot of things. Their backups were two months old, and in the restore a lot of files that weren’t in the proper places, missed permissions, etc.

So I got a call from the company that contracted me saying could I please take a look. Being an overly nice guy I did some looking and then spent probably an hour or so with the company and a techie from Bob’s Hosting getting some stuff fixed up. Today I got another email saying that another page wasn’t working. Ok, look some more. One of the pages I did originally is broken because the perl modules which I installed into the hosting user’s home directory are gone. Ok, mkdir ~/site_perl, then run perl -MCPAN -e shell and start the install. Probably an hour later I still can’t get some of the modules installed (Module::Build and Test::Harness in particular) due to various problems. At this point I sent an email simply telling them to get the hosting company to install the needed modules.

Where does my obligation end? Should I be responsible to help clean up the mess caused by someone else? I’ve put in enough time to be helpful, but I’m not going to stay up till midnight or 2am (again) unpaid. Hell, even when I’m up till 2am it’s unpaid because I hopelessly underestimate the time involved in getting stuff up and going. I think the next few nights should be my own time to say, play half life 2 or something. Or update my site to the new MovableType. Or put up my hangboard, or go to the gym or anything but this! Course, I’m sure I have other obligations I’m welching on if I do that.

20 minutes later…

And now I just spent 10 minutes on the phone in a conference call with the support person at Bob’s Hosting telling him what to do, and being told to email another address (which I’ll let the guy who contracted me do). I think I’ll just send a bill. And increase my rates.