MS Access is obnoxious, but handy.
Perl, however, is the Swiss Army chainsaw of network administration. [The promised thunderstorms have just arrived] I love it.
I spent a good chunk of the morning flogging away in Access working on a network closet inspection form. We now have a maintenance contract for our UPSs, so a tech from one of our vendors will be visiting every closet twice a year to test the UPSs, change batteries, collect asset data, etc. I wanted the inspection form to be pre-populated with information on the UPSs in any given closet, hence Access -- our homegrown asset tracking system lives in Access 97. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised, but the end product of my labors looks an awful lot like a character sheet. :-)
After I cleared out some post-lunch administrativa, I settled down with my weapon of choice and got some coding done. The question was how do I retrieve copies of the configuration files on 49 switches without 'touching' each and every one of them? The answer was Perl's Net::FTP library. Feed the script a file with a list of switches in it, and have the script FTP into each of them and get the config files. The script takes about 74 seconds to fetch configurations from the 49 switches. The Net::telnet library is pretty darn nifty too. You can laugh at my code if you want to.