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Ok, instead of catting the whole file you could also use tail (or head, if you do thinks standing on your head) to print last X lines for example..but now you probably mean that you don't know how many lines the error produces, so you don't know exactly how many lines you would want to read, and don't want to read too much either.
Well, second way I can think of, thought not as easy as the first one, would be to send stderr to a variable, then print that variable to screen and echo it to a file. Never tried myself (have not needed), good luck