Looks like my cow-orkers learnt perl and linux and apache the hard way last night as I decided to call it a day after 12 hours on saturday and 2 more on sunday. When I came in last night it was obvious they had pulled an all nighter and learnt enough perl and stuff to make some very simple changes. Oddly, despite being sleep deprived I think they might catch the bug.
So today we are all shattered but still have dozens of niggling little issues to chase down until the entire frontend is served from Linux and MySQL without having to hit the very slow and overloaded windows boxes.
Before you ask why I didn't pull an all-nighter I'll point out a couple of things