Anyway, while I've got network access, I figured I'd drop a few notes in here.
It suddenly has occurred to me that it might have been a hell of a lot easier to have a different separator for the name and the rest of the data (especially if I ever roll this whole bunch of files together into one huge combined inventory/cost file).
I think I have an idea of how to do this. A search in the Perl Cookbook (now that I have the CD Bookshelf version, it's so friggin' easy) revealed that I can dump arrays into hashes. If I make the name of the card the key and the rest of it as a two-element array, I think my problems are over. I can sort with that, I can do pretty much all I need to do with it. (And, despite my whining, I can still work around the problem of my separators. s/// is supposed to be greedy, so I'll do a match for the first string that is a bunch of letters and then a colon, rip that out of the string...no, wait, the best way to do it would be to make it a step in reading the file: Rip each line into three parts, then map that three-element array into one key and one (two-element array) element in the hash. Once that's all mapped, working with the hash itself should be pie.
I guess I'm officially back on track; most of what I'm doing tonight is going to be scribblework, not typingwork, so I probably won't post tonight. Got a 7:00 class tomorrow morning. 7:00-9:45 is Discrete Math and then 10:00-11:20 is Statistics. Four hours of nearly continual math, math, math. No wonder I need all that Dew.
Oh, and I have something to scribble *on* now. I can go through a legal pad in about a month, so I've upgraded: I bought a smallish dry-erase board, something I can carry around with me and use like a pad. (Well, except I can't look through my scribbles. Gotta be careful about keeping good things when they come up.) It was over at Staples for ten bucks; worth it, when your legal pad expenses in a year are well into the double digits.
Well, back to the drawing board.