As the author of the node in question, I feel I should say something. The only feature of 5.6 that Spork uses is our. For now, I shall stick a note in the node saying that it requires 5.6, but I'll eadeavor to work out the use of our so those still using 5.005_03 can still join the fun.
Also, though I'm far from a Curses guru, I did start to write something resembling a tutorial. For me, writing Spork was an exercize in reading manpages -- I would point you to the manpages on ncurses, as well as the curs_ pages (curs_window, curs_scroll and curs_attr were my only friends during that time..) Once I get some Copious Free Time, I'll finish up the tutorial and post it here.
Update: The node in question now uses globals isntead of our variables, and thus should work under Perls < v5.6.0.
perl -e 'print "I love $^X$\"$]!$/"#$&V"+@( NO CARRIER'