Within your responses you have demonstrated the exact reason I prefer this forum to the News Groups. When asking a question in the News Groups, the answer is usually a few lines, but the people responding would rather go into a 10 page thesis as to why the person asking the question should have referred to the perldocs, FAQs, etc. The whole purpose of using a forum is to tap the exact people who know the answer to your question.
Both your solutions were exactly what I was looking for.
You shouldn't be too hard on the newsgroup people (I spend time there occasionally After all, what they say about checking the faqs and searching are things everyone should attempt first. In forums, a lot of responses are of the "search the forum" and 'follow this link' type. I use those myself once I have enough responses on the forum.