This is a technical post - geek level 5. Perl is a programming language. It's a scripting language, as opposed to a compiled language. I first used perl about 15 years ago, playing with cgi-bin and other curious things. I dropped perl in favor of PHP, and usually use bash for my shell scripting (I haven't scripted in years, but since I found linode, I've been scripting a bit more - I love it) So I'm in a small tiff with my ISP. They are horrible (dropped internet connections) , and I need proof. Enter perl, and this especially yummy script. I hadn't thought of using http requests, I was just going to write something that pinged, and appended the result to a logfile. This is cleaner, and the variety of hosts is a good thought.