Before you can write programs you need to download PERL (ActivePerl in our case) and install it on your computer at home. You need only do this if you plan on writting Perl programs at home. We will have the Perl interpreter already installed in the lab (hopefully).
The main web site that supports Active Perl is here but you can just download from this page if you are in a hurry to get the latest version (1/30/2012). This is an .msi file so you just double click on the download file, which should be
Follow any instructions that it shows. Use any default settings it may ask you about. If it asks you to reboot the computer, click “Yes”.
ActivePerl is now installed and you should now be able to run our Perl scripts on your computer. If you want to test to see if Perl is working, then continue with the following steps. Otherwise, you can stop here.
Open an MS-DOS window.
To do that, click on the “Start” menu (at the lower left of your screen) and select “Run…”. Then type “cmd” (no quotation marks) into the box and click “OK”. It should look like the following window.
You should see an MS-DOS window appear. At this point type in “perl -v” (no quotation marks) and press the Enter key. You should see text that says “This is perl, …”. This message tells you that perl is installed properly. The following is an example of what you should now see.
You are now ready to write PERL programs within this environment. Note that this is a command line interface and is NOT a GUI (graphical user interface) that has icons etc. You basically type in commands and the interface responds with a textural reply.
We will use a DOS window to execute perl programs which have an extension .pl and either notepad or preferably notepad++ to write these perl programs. Don’t forget that DOS is an operating system and Perl is a programming language. You can keep both the notepad++ window and the DOS window open at the same time. This will make program construction, program modification and execution easy. You edit and write programs in notepad++ and you execute them in DOS with the command perl program.pl or by just typing program.pl.