I first learned perl in 95, say about May or June. We used this office suite for unix called Uniplex (on some sequent machines). This suite handled mail with multiple mailboxes, and even the ability to retrieve mail that hasn't been read yet. People would archive mail or whatever, and after a while there were thousands of messages, and we would run out of disk space, so we would tell the users to clean up their mailboxes. However, there was no bulk way to delete mail. You had to delete each message one by one. So, I learned perl 5.00 something or other so I could write a program to manage the mail, deleting by name, subject, date, whatever.
in reply to Why I learn a language.
Interesting aside, at the time the perl version would not compile for dynix/ptx 4.0.1, which was the version we were using. A couple of things were just a little bit different, a little nonstandard, and there was an extra underscore at the beginning of a macro for file access or something, that the Configure program didn't detect yet. I submitted a patch, but I got a return mail saying it was fixed in the next version that hadn't been released yet. Oh.