Re: Just use Perl for what it was intended for
Yep, I am not a programmer, and I was using Perl from the late 90s onwards to do Windows scripting because I could not get my head around vbs (vbs was useless with regexes, hashtables/"dictionaries" are just awful, etc).
Perl had Win32, ldap and smtp modules, which meant I had simple means of doing 95% of my work with no fuss. The O'Reilly books were great. For the other 5% of stuff I couldn't figure out readily, sites like Perlmonks were excellent for giving good advice with very little "RTFM n00b" smackdowns, and I found the obfuscation and poetry parts pretty amusing (since, hello, you're not supposed to do that kind of stupidity in real code).