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Hm. Strange that, because I just tested it, (system( 1, 'the.html';) again, and it works here on my Vista machine: from the command line, double-clicking the .pl file within explorer; and double-clicking a short-cut to the .pl file. (Although I did have to modify the properties of the short cut to start it minimised to avoid the flash of the shell window.
It also works on my old XP machine. All three ways.
I don't use PAR:Packer, but if the only reason for using that is to conceal the perl, your AS distribution comes with utilty called pl2bat. As the name suggests, it converts the .pl file to a .bat file. So, I tried that, and that works in all three ways also.
I've requested a friend try it on his Win2003 setup. He hasn't got back to me yet, but I'll lay odds it works there too.
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.