Current Perl documentation can be found at perldoc.perl.org.
Here is our local, out-dated (pre-5.6) version:
To turn a string of 1s and 0s like
10110110 into a scalar containing its binary value, use the
pack() function (documented in
$decimal = pack('B8', '10110110');
Here's an example of going the other way:
$binary_string = join('', unpack('B*', "\x29"));