Hashes provide the Perl programmer with many useful tools. Beyond simple record storage and retrieval, hashes provide mechanisms for doing useful transformations and analysis on data. The formulas for array manipulation, record storage, and retrieval will benefit you greatly. In the hours to come, hashes will provide the gateway to your learning about such topics as handling DBM (Data Base Manager) files, working with complex data structures, and interacting with your system's environment.
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