thank you all, ESPECIALLY ree, many smilies to you in thanks
from reading the link to the perlhowto site and puzzleing for quite a while as to why it didn't work as it says it should 'the penny dropped'.
I had origonally been using ' (on the key with ") amongst the character sets I had tested and not ` (on the key with ~).
Final code in case anyone else comes across the need is,
$package_category = `./support/find_cat $package_name $package_description` ;
And a note to parser, down here in australia, Perl is taken to mean something like, she's a beaut shella or great campsite or tasty thirst quenching drink (usually beer), definately not a programming language! Sorry!
a final thanks to all
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