if I were to ask "how do I start a process in the background then kill it after a pre-defined amount of time?", you would direct me to the FAQs, and rightly so.
However, there are two complicating factors:
I need to do this on Windows,
and I can't use any modules from CPAN, only those that come with one of the common Windows-oriented Perl distributions.
The reason for the second requirement is that I have to work in a very restricted environment where access to the internet is not allowed.
What I actually need this for: I want to write an automated testing tool for one of the programs that I'm working on. This is a huge application whose behavior can be modified with hundreds of options scattered around dozens of config files, and I suspect that there exists a winning combination of options that enable a certain functionality that so far I couldn't entice from the program. Manual testing of all possible combination of all the suspected combination of options would be tedious and error prone, hence the need for this script.