in reply to Use Hash? Array? Still confused after all these years.
The trouble with arrays for your example is that arrays are indexed by non-negative integers, while you really probably want to index by state. If you define arrays @states and @files where $state[$i] and $file[$i] correspond for each $i,
you can likely use this for writing your data, but if you want to lookup the filename by state, then you'll have to iterate thru the whole @states array to find the index ... which is, at best, awkward.
(Update: I guess someone already said this while I was responding...)