time() returns the number of SECS since Epoch. Epoch can vary
from OS to OS but localtime(time) if used in a scalar context will return a human readable date.
my $datetime = localtime(time);
# returns Thu Nov 22 13:05:26 2001
# (well at least it did at the time() )
For your continuing date manipulation needs Date::Calc
will quickly become your friends.
mitd-Made in the Dark
'Interactive! Paper tape is interactive!
If you don't believe me I can show
you my paper cut scars!'