in reply to
Re^3: System, exec different behaviour with spaces
in thread System, exec different behaviour with spaces
I did go through that thread, but kind of got lost on the way. If I'm reading it right the answer was 'it's probably something odd ActiveState have done to their version of the codebase' (unless they've compiled with odd settings for wait timers - which I wouldn't rule out given the daft settings they use for randbits).
I guess my immediate fix is to use system and put up with having the perl process hang around longer than it needs to.
Thanks for the help.