UNIX programmers express themselves in a rich vocabulary of system utilities and command-line arguments, along with a flexible, varied grammar and syntax. The one-size-fits-all, point-and-click, we've-already-anticipated-all-your-needs world of NT had me yearning for those obscure command-line flags and man -k. I wanted to craft my own solutions from my own toolbox, not have my ideas slammed into the visually homogenous, prepackaged, Soviet world of Microsoft Foundation Classes. In a literary light, if UNIX is the Great Novel, Perl is the Cliffs Notes. Mastery of UNIX, like mastery of language, offers real freedom. The price of freedom is always dear, but there's no substitute. Personally, I'd rather pay for my freedom than live in a bitmapped, pop-up-happy dungeon like NT.